What is ArcGIS for Local Government?
ArcGIS for Local Government is the name of an initiative by Esri and its partners to help users to successfully implement GIS in cities, counties, and other local authorities. ArcGIS for Local Government includes a series of maps and apps built on a common information model that are designed to work together across various departments.
The objective is to help GIS professionals in cities and counties to deliver value to their organizations by applying their geographic information to support daily government activities – that is, to run their operations more efficiently, to communicate more effectively, to save money, to engage with their citizens, and to understand, plan, and make improvements in their communities.
Esri would like every city, county, or other local authority that gets ArcGIS to make immediate use of core GIS tools, templates, and an information model to support a wide range of their operations and workflows.
To date, there are about 50 maps and apps that support applications across various government departments, such as land records and taxation, public works, facilities, management, elections, emergency response, planning and development and public health. For example, ArcGIS for Local Government includes:
- Maps and workflows that are used to collect and maintain foundation layers such as parcels and related land records information, buildings, streets, addresses, administrative boundaries, and infrastructure for city GIS
- Apps that help water utility workers to collect trouble reports, track work orders, and perform inspections
- Maps used by citizens to report service requests and to comment on community activities
Why should I adopt and use ArcGIS for Local Government?
The ArcGIS for Local Government maps and apps are freely available and will save you time and money, reduce the complexity of implementing and managing your GIS, and increase the value of GIS in your organization.
The maps and apps include a Local Government Information Model that includes a geodatabase schema and data model documentation, a series of useful map designs, their supporting GIS services, and a growing collection of apps for your users. Many of these are built around common workflows that support common city and county functions.
Additional benefits include:
- Low cost for development and deployment of ArcGIS. These maps and apps are ready to implement and to immediately deliver value to your organization. This is critical in times where budgets and staff are shrinking.
- Consistency. The various maps and apps are designed to work as an integrated system across departments and local government functions.
- Wider information access for users within your organization. By implementing ArcGIS for Local Government, your geographic information comes to life in useful maps and apps that can be deployed inside of your organization and on the web for your citizens.
- High quality maps. In most cases, each app is built around the experience of working with maps. City employees and citizens want to use your maps. And they appreciate great maps, which you can implement with ArcGIS for Local Government.
- Support and sustainability. Esri provides ongoing support for the maps and apps. Esri, and its growing network of key partners, is committed to the support and development of this implementation pattern across software releases. The collection of maps and apps, extensions to and improvements in the data model, and new apps will continue to be developed and delivered over time.
- Community. When you begin to implement ArcGIS for Local Government, you become a member of a community of your peers in other local government organizations, who share the same needs, values, and challenges. You can collaborate on training, share best practices, and provide feedback and input to Esri and its developer partners. Contributions by users and partners will also greatly enrich the offerings included in ArcGIS for Local Government.
- Synergy. The use and adoption of a consistent information model minimizes redundancy. This means that maps and apps can be developed once and shared across the user community, thus increasing collaboration and efficiency.
How are the maps and apps organized in ArcGIS for Local Government?
The map and app templates that are included support functions for a number of departments across local governments. They are organized into a set of modules – i.e., organized around common functions and departments.
Each module covers a core set of the actual work tasks performed by key staff (e.g., by data compilation staff, executives, mobile workers, elected officials, first responders, etc.) and by citizens. The current list of ArcGIS for Local Government modules includes:
- Land records
- Planning and development
- Public safety
- Public works
- Water utilities
In the future, ArcGIS for Local Government will include modules for public health, facilities management, and fleet management – to name a few.
To implement ArcGIS for Local Government, you choose which of these modules, and the maps and apps within each, that you want to implement. Then, you load your datasets into the system, and your selected maps and apps come to life for your staff and for citizens.
Why is Esri developing ArcGIS for Local Government?
Esri’s goals are quite simple. We are extending the ArcGIS platform to include a series of industry-specific maps and apps to reduce the cost and time it takes to deploy ArcGIS. In addtion, we'd like to also minimize the risk associated with the development of custom applications for truly organization specific needs.
ArcGIS for Local Government allows you to focus on your specific organizational needs. This will save time and money on each deployment of ArcGIS and the cost and time it takes to deploy future ArcGIS releases will also be reduced.
Listed below are a series of questions that will help you learn more about ArcGIS for Local Government.
What is a module? How does it support the work of government?
What basemaps are included in ArcGIS for Local Government?
Why is the Local Government Information Model Important?
How does ArcGIS for Local Government relate to the Community Maps Program?
Does ArcGIS for Local Government incorporate relevant content and cartography standards?
Can ArcGIS for Local Government be deployed on-premises and in the cloud?
Does ArcGIS for Local Government cost extra?
Will ArcGIS for Local Government be supported and maintained?
Can ArcGIS for Local Government be localized and used in my country?
A module is a series of maps and apps that are built upon the common information model of data, services, and cartographic designs. These maps and apps are designed to align with the work performed by various departments.
For example, the land records module includes an editing and data compilation map (i.e., an ArcMap map document plus focused add-ins) along with an optimized data model, which is applied using specific workflows by data compilation staff to compile and validate land parcels and related records.
This is shared with local government staff as a Parcel Editing map. Data entry staff open and use this map and workflow to compile and create their land records fabric.
In turn, this land records fabric comes to life as a foundation layer in a variety of applications, including:
- A Value Analysis Dashboard for the assessor to do revenue projections and budget planning, as well as to track sales, foreclosures, appeals, etc.
- A Citizen Parcel Viewer for public access to basic land records information.
- A Tax Map Book generator to create the Tax Map book and keep it up to date.
- A Mobile App for viewing parcel information in the field.
- And so on....
Users can align the maps and apps around their specific business needs and choose how they’d like to implement ArcGIS for Local Government. They can implement an individual map or app within an ArcGIS for Local Government module, an entire module, or the complete ArcGIS for Local Government system.
ArcGIS for Local Government includes a series of useful basemaps for your community along with tools to compile and create these maps. The basemaps are shared across the ArcGIS for Local Government modules and are essential building blocks for a variety of local government desktop, mobile, and web mapping applications.
ArcGIS for Local Government includes the following basemaps:
- General Purpose
- Imagery Hybrid with Reference Overlay
- Parcel Public Access
- Public Safety
- Mobile Day / Night
- Current / Future Land Use
These are multi-scale, continuous maps made available online and for mobile use. They are designed to be combined (i.e., mashed up with) with other map layers that represent operational information managed by a department and/or agency within local government and used by staff and citizens to produce online maps for their specific needs.
ArcGIS for Local Government is based on a harmonized information model of GIS datasets, web services, and maps that bring your operations to life for your staff and citizens. The harmonized information model is referred to as the Local Government Information model and connects silos of information in an organization and integrates processes across typical government departments. It helps local governments run their operations more efficiently, communicate more effectively, save time and money, and engage their citizens in more meaningful ways. In addition, it also supports data sharing between local governments and regional, state, and federal agencies.
The information model includes a series of essential foundation layers and operational information that support a range of key maps and apps within a local government. Its design reflects specific application requirements and the cartographic design elements necessary to produce rich, multi-scale basemaps and operational layers.
The maps and apps provided in each module are built on this harmonized information model. ArcGIS can be configured to support specific business needs in your organization by selecting and implementing specific themes that are part of this integrated information model.
Another goal of the common information model is that maps and apps developed by one organization can be adopted and applied by others – increasing collaboration and minimizing redundancy. There are possibly hundreds of apps within local government, and collaboration will be needed for us to work together to meet these needs.
The harmonized Local Government Information Model and the Community Maps Database share a common schema for the overlapping aspects of each database. In this way, content compiled by individual cities and counties can flow into and become a part of the community maps that are hosted and served as part of the ArcGIS system.
We will provide a way for Local Government users to opt into the Community Maps program as contributors and automatically load their data into the Community Maps database.
Yes. As a general practice, the ArcGIS for Local Government team evaluates relevant standards for each module (Land Records, Water Utilities, Planning, Public Safety, etc.) and incorporates industry and content standards in the data design and map production process whenever possible. For example, the parcel editing and publishing workflows, along with the accompanying applications, incorporate the FGDC Cadastral standard and are a physical implementation of those standards in the ArcGIS system.
In other cases, federal content standards have been incorporated into domain values and other feature classifications to support and promote data sharing.
Finally, ArcGIS for Local Government also incorporates content standards from the industry at large. You’ll find examples of this in the water utilities and public works maps where we’ve incorporated NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) standards for pipe materials, etc.
Yes. Today ArcGIS for Local Government can be deployed wholly on-premises or with some of the maps and apps in the cloud. Esri is building a robust cloud implementation of ArcGIS for Local Government that will be available with ArcGIS 10.1. These implementations help you leverage the ArcGIS for Local Government system and Esri’s cloud offerings; and align it with your technology platform goals.
No, the ArcGIS for Local Government maps and apps are freely available to ArcGIS users. If you’d like assistance implementing or extending any of the ArcGIS for Local Government maps and apps, optional implementation packages are available to help you. Please contact your Esri Account Representative for more information.
Yes, ArcGIS for Local Government is a supported by Esri. Users can contact Esri Technical Support for assistance and can also interact with the ArcGIS for Local Government team directly via the Resource Center. In addition, ArcGIS for Local Government will be maintained with future releases of the ArcGIS platform and upgraded when new releases of ArcGIS are available.
Yes. ArcGIS for Local Government can be localized and applied to meet the specific needs of agencies, users and workflows in your country. The patterns used to identify specific user requirements, organize an information model, develop a set focused maps and shared basemaps, and configure the ArcGIS platform form an approach that can be used in any country.
Esri is actively engaged with its global partners to localize and extend these capabilities so that they can be applied in various locales worldwide.