The City of Fairfield (Fairfield) faced several challenges in building a functional Enterprise GIS. It managed data across multiple departments, using fragmented, disparate technologies. There was also limited communication with potential external GIS partners.
Fairfield needed an enterprise-wide strategic GIS designed to meet the needs of all its stakeholders. Since location could be used integrate many departmental datasets, including Public Works, Planning, Police, and Economic Development data, it was determined that a GIS-based web application could ease access to critical economic and asset information.
Fairfield requested Farallon to review data and processes, speak with selected staff members, and to make GIS technology recommendations. Fairfield possessed software from Intergraph, Bentley, Oracle, and ESRI. Farallon reviewed and evaluated the city’s diverse GIS applications, information and workflows, in-house staff expertise, and departmental business objectives. The project team built a business case for enterprise GIS that optimally met technical, administrative, budgetary requirements.
Farallon considered several key factors in making their recommendations:
- Fairfield’s diverse in-house GIS expertise and capabilities
- Existing geospatial and attribute information flows and procedures
- Fairfield IT staff competencies and expertise
- The GIS needs and collaboration drivers for Fairfield’s primary external partners (eg, Solano County and the Fairfield Suisun Sewer District)
- The need for early GIS results that would demonstrate the ability of the enterprise GIS to better achieve the business goals of city executives, managers, and technical staff
Farallon recommended that Fairfield develop an enterprise geodatabase using ESRI’s ArcSDE and Microsoft’s SQL Server software. This design supported traditional GIS users within the public works and police departments, as well as new business users in other departments. After presenting the enterprise GIS design, Farallon implemented a geospatial portal that allows all city staff to quickly create notification lists and summary reports for any property within the city.
Before the geospatial portal, doing property queries or making address labels and mailings for property-related notification tasks was a tedious and time-consuming task, averaging a minimum of several hours per request. Using a property review and notification GIS web portal, city employees can click on a property, get instant property assessment information and, for notification, automatically generate a buffer zone around that property to generate mailing labels in less than 20 minutes.