In this first segment of three, we’ll learn about the team that put this portal together.
PART I: The Government 2.0 Team
What are your interests and specialties?
- the two big buzz words in government – Social Media and Gov2.0. I’m really interested in these two concepts because they offer fresh new ways for citizens to interact with their government, and vice versa. They also go hand in hand with User Experience. Typically, governments haven’t paid much attention to user experience on their web portals or map portals. Social Media and Open Gov initiatives help shape how these platforms are developed and let the public’s influence matter more.
I’ve always been interested in map design and functionality. It’s fascinating to me how many different ways you can present the same piece of information to a user, depending on how you want them to receive it.
Since I’m not really a trained programmer/developer, I think it gives me a unique perspective when I take on a new problem that needs to be solved with a bit of programming. I’m not afraid of trying things that probably won’t work, but the unexpected results lead me in a new direction I wouldn’t have thought of unless the original idea had failed.
"Social Media and Open Gov initiatives...let the public’s influence matter more."
Could you describe the team that worked on the Brampton Maps project?
The team that worked on the Brampton Maps project consisted of a developer and myself -a designer and coordinator. There was other staff working on a complete deployment of MOSS 2007, setting up the foundation in which we implemented Visual Fusion. The developer had little mapping or GIS knowledge, and I come from a cartographic/GIS background.
A few key clients that we kicked off this initiative with were Works and Transportation department, and the Economic Development Office. We tasked them with creating Visual Fusion SharePoint lists to host the data they wished to present on the map, and developed new processes with them, to enable them to better manage the data. Now we’re set up to have non-GIS staff maintain spatial information in a web browser, in a streamlined way.
"Now we’re set up to have non-GIS staff maintain spatial information in a web browser, in a streamlined way."
How did you and/or your team become aware of Visual Fusion as a platform for visual mashups?
We discovered it through an article in the GISCafe newsletter (http://www.giscafe.com/). The newsletter landed in our InBox at the right time – we had just begun to investigate ways to integrate our current online mapping system with MOSS 2007, and Visual Fusion was the answer to every question we had concerning the integration of our GIS data and SharePoint.
"Visual Fusion was the answer to every question we had concerning the integration of our GIS data and SharePoint."
Tomorrow, PART II: Geospatial Profits from the Public, and Vice Versa...
*The opinions expressed are those of Matthew Pietryszyn and not necessarily those of the Corporation of the City of Brampton.
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