Government Technology

Horry County, S.C., and Fontana, Calif, Win 2008 Exemplary Systems in Government Award

September 8, 2008 By

URISA's Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Awards recognize exceptional achievements in the application of information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. URISA today announced the winners of this year's ESIG Awards.

Enterprise Systems Category

Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization. This year, thirteen submissions were received for consideration within the Enterprise Systems category.

2008 ESIG Winner: Geospatial Incident Management System -- Horry County, South Carolina

This system is exemplary for its multi-jurisdictional scope, spanning both the county and its constituent cities, and for the strong governance, infrastructure and commitment to spatially enabled systems that were put in place. By bringing the municipalities in, and by designing the system to use regional and national applications as well, this system is ahead of its time.

The initial attention to the building of the required infrastructure (109 miles of fibre-optic cable) was the foundation that made this project so successful. It features phased implementation to meet the different needs of target audiences and the development of standardized database schemas. The county also proactively approached municipalities with governance agreements to make certain that data creation, storage and maintenance functions would all take place under the same umbrella.

The system has benefited the emergency management agencies of the county and cities through streamlined, accurate and timely data to improve response and dispatching. A number of examples were given demonstrating how the system has impacted the county by comparing how business was conducted the "old way" vs. the "new way." Besides GIS, the system is compatible with the county's E911 CAD database, real estate database and aerial photography platform.

This is an outstanding example of the full process of implementing an inter-jurisdictional system, from planning, reaching agreements, building infrastructure, system acquisition and integration. While the short-term gains are impressive enough, it will be the longer term success that will really show the truly exemplary nature of this development. As such, the Horry County Geospatial Incident Management System is a worthy recipient of the 2008 ESIG Award for the winning entry in the Enterprise Systems Category.

Distinguished Systems in this Category:

  • Illinois Virtual Tollway -- Illinois Tollway
  • Land Information Network (LandNet) -- Singapore Land Authority
  • WebPuff -- Automated Emergency Management Decision Support System - US Army Chemical Materials Agency

Single Process Systems Category

Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money. This year, ten submissions were received within the Single Process Systems category.

2008 ESIG Winner: Public Works GIS Viewer -- City of Fontana, Calif.

The City of Fontana built its public works GIS viewer in response to rapid development, new infrastructure requirements, budget constraints, the need for greater efficiency and effectiveness, and to preserve critical institutional knowledge.

By giving field staff direct access to the information they need to complete a task, efficiencies have been noted not only among the field staff but also among office staff who previously provided a great deal of support. Another benefit of the implementation included the realization that current spatial

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