In part II of the of City of Brampton client spotlight, Matthew Pietryszyn*, GIS Coordinator, describes the benefits of empowering non-GIS users with the ability to contribute to a mapping system, and the importance for that system to be quickly deployed and integrated, and easier to use than GIS for Everyone alternatives.
PART II: Geospatial Profits from the Public, and Vice Versa
This project is run by the GIS Services section of Brampton. As a geospatial expert, how do you characterize the difference between Visual Fusion and some other online mapping options that are available to mapping departments?
The main difference between Visual Fusion and more traditional GIS web mapping applications is the performance and overall appeal of the application’s user interface. Visual Fusion offers a beautifully designed interface that responds quickly to user interactions. The biggest difference internally is how quickly you are able to deploy new Visual Fusion applications, whether they are large or small scale.
Typically web GIS applications take months to design and deploy – with Visual Fusion you can have a new application built in days, or even hours, integrated with virtually any data source inside, or outside of your organization.
"...with Visual Fusion you can have a new application built in days, or even hours..."
How would you describe the purpose/audience for this application?
The interactive map is meant to accompany the information found throughout the City’s website, providing a seamless integration between the information in the web pages, and what is discovered through the maps portal.
The main audience for Bramptonmaps.ca is the Citizens of Brampton. The purpose is to deliver the most current and accurate spatial and service information to them, in an intuitive user interface.
Another audience that we will be focusing on is the Business Community, including Real Estate Agents and Land Developers. Our vision is to build a secure, external environment where Businesses can interact with the city through a web portal, and get relevant, value added information through their authenticated user accounts.
"The purpose is to deliver the most current and accurate spatial and service information to them, in an intuitive user interface."
What are some of the benefits your community has seen as a result of Brampton Maps?
The biggest benefit to the community has been the access to current information. Before Visual Fusion, we were limited to what we could show on our interactive map due to the number of skilled GIS employees at the City. Now, we can deliver much more information because any City employee can maintain a simple SharePoint list, and have their data appear on the map in “real-time” without coming to the GIS Services section to move it to production.
Some other benefits include Zoning Bylaw information at your fingertips and current road closures and construction information.
In the past, citizens would need to visit the Planning counter at City Hall to get zoning information about their property. Now they can do a property search on Brampton Maps, and get access to zoning bylaw information about and around their property (http://www.brampton.ca/en/Business/planning-development/zoning/Pages/ZoningOnline.aspx).
Current road closure and construction information on the map helps citizens understand the development happening around them, but also allows them to make decisions for efficient travelling throughout Brampton (http://www.brampton.ca/en/Info-Centre/Pages/InteractiveMaps.aspx?lat=43.7299&lon=-79.7405&zoom=10&selectedfeeds=RoadWorksGroup).
"Before Visual Fusion, we were limited to what we could show on our interactive map due to the number of skilled GIS employees at the City."
Tomorrow, PART III: Communication, Priorities, and the Future…
*The opinions expressed are those of Matthew Pietryszyn and not necessarily those of the Corporation of the City of Brampton.
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