City of Roswell: A Case Study – Creating and Maintaining a GIS Enterprise

City of Roswell: A Case Study – Creating and Maintaining a GIS Enterprise


The bustling City of Roswellhas seen its population increase substantially over the course of the last twenty years, becoming the eighth largest city in the State of Georgia. Although rooted in a rich and proud history, the City has eloquently grown and transitioned into a modern, culturally-diverse community without losing its historical identity. The City of Roswell also boasts 13 parks with over 900 acres of active and passive parkland and facilities, and a top tier ranking as one of the safest cities to live in the United States according to City Crime Rankings. Having been chosen twice by “Atlanta Magazine” as the best place to live in the Metro-Atlanta area, creating and delivering on high expectations has become the norm for Atlanta’s booming neighbor to the north. These expectations from internal staff and the public alike drove the organizational need for a rejuvenated and solidified GIS enterprise.

Project Details

The City of Roswell selected Geographic Technologies Group (GTG) in 2015 to perform a full GIS Strategic Plan for the organization. This process began with stakeholder and departmental interviews to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and realities of the organization and each department. After analysis and compilation, organizational findings and departmental needs assessment were then presented back tothe City of Roswell. As is often the case with organizations lacking a formalized governance model, the City lacked communication, collaboration, and coordination pertaining to GIS operations. The primary means to efficiently and systematically remedy these common pitfalls, however, were already in place. The hiring of a dedicated GIS Manager, Mr. Patrick Baber, the existence of an Esri Enterprise License Agreement (ELA), and a newfound partnership with GTG put the City of Roswell in a position to find quick success.

Migration to Esri’s Local Government Information Model (LGIM)

The first step towards a true GIS enterprise for the City of Roswell involved breaking down existing departmental data silos. Multiple departments within the City had been creating, maintaining, and using GIS data for years before GTG was brought into the picture. To the credit of the staff, the work that they were doing was tremendous. In fact, it was their efforts that put this initial phase on the path to success. While the LGIM provides the ideal data model for storage, consumption, and sharing, it cannot create organizational data. To take full advantage of the LGIM, and the data already existing in various departments throughout the City, a data mapping document was created in preparation for migrating the City’s existing GIS data into the centralized, easily-accessible LGIM housing environment. This process was coordinated with key staff from the City of Roswell, including the GIS Manager, to ensure that all parties were aware of the new centralized data locations.

Training, Education, and Knowledge Transfer

As part of reorganizing and revamping the preexisting GIS state, proper training, education, and knowledge transfer were critical. Through these on-site formal training sessions and casual lunch-and-learn events, staff at the City of Roswell were able to confidently and excitedly grasp the new age of GIS for the City. Through increased data availability, accompanied with modern GIS techniques and tools, staff quickly began to realize the numerous opportunities that were now available. Just in year one of the plan, these engaging dialogues have already led to incredible GIS advancements internally (City of Roswell Staff) and externally (Public).

Public GIS Viewer

One of the biggest priorities for the City of Roswell was to provide citizens with an accessible, user-friendly portal to view, query, and interact with GIS data. The Public GIS Viewer has put the appropriate GIS data directly into the hands of the citizens, effectively reducing the number of incoming calls occupying staff time. Through this public-facing application, users also have the ability to mark-up and print out map exhibits. Also available on-the-go, the Public GIS Viewer scales and functions on mobile devices as well.

Parks and Recreation: GreenCityGIS

The Recreation and Parks Department in the City of Roswell has greatly benefitted from the GIS transition, as numerous applications have been deployed to meet their specific needs through GTG’s GreenCityGIS solution. This department specific solution includes a customized GIS Viewer tailored to park assets, infrastructure, and resources. Esri’s Collector Application for ArcGIS was also deployed enabling staff to collect, update, and maintain departmental GIS data. On the public side, citizens are able to benefit from the newly available Story Map and Park Locator application that detail the numerous opportunities available throughout the City of Roswell’s park system.

Police Department: SafeCityGIS

During the GIS Strategic Plan, the Police Department at the City of Roswell mentioned that improvements could be made to their traditional GIS operations. In an effort to further evolve the already award-winning Police Department, GTG helped implement SafeCityGIS. The City of Roswell SafeCityGIS initiative included Vantage Points Public Safety Analyst (PSA), Vantage Points Mobile Viewer, and Vantage Points Dashboard. This cutting edge software suite has given the department access to advanced crime analysis, incident mapping, pattern sequencing, and new crime probabilities.

Over the course of a year, City staff worked collaboratively with the team at GTG to produce a GIS solution tailored for their City’s needs. By engaging with the many facets of GIS, the City of Roswell has become a modern example of a gold-standard enterprise GIS implementation.

Categories: GIS

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