2017 Excellence in GIS Runner Up – Small Community

Excellence in GIS – Small Community (population under 50,000) – Good Government

Town of Lowell Municipal Online GIS

The challenge for the Town of Lowell was to build a system to display data to the individual departments and their employees, engineering, consultants, real estate and economic development interests in order to analyze town information effectively in the field rather than relying on old maps and data that was accessible only by technicians at Town Hall. Part of the challenge was to keep proprietary data protected, while leaving the option open to create an outward facing GIS map later. Acknowledging that great strides have been made in being able to view and utilize county and state level information, the Town wanted to build a system that allowed it to drill down to the municipal details to help make local decisions accurately and efficiently.

Working with 39 Degrees North, the Town was able to construct and deploy an interactive online GIS to allow field crews and technicians to view data and locations of utilities and assets on the fly, coupled with the ability to add data and comments from the field, allowing real-time updating to the system. The system will be viewable anywhere a data connection is available, protected but fully accessible to data technicians, field crews, decision makers, engineers and economic development interests.

The Lowell Town Council has been 100% supportive of using GIS to compile municipal data and move from a paper to digital system and now has the opportunity to utilize the program they have helped to create in making decisions for planning and zoning, development and re-development, and a real-time reference for any decision that has a geographic location in the community. The proper personnel and investment has allowed the small community of Lowell to capitalize on a product that, until very recently, has only been available to much larger entities with more robust budgets.

Greg White, Town of Lowell

 

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