In today’s rapidly advancing technological era, municipalities are turning to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to unlock its hidden potential to streamline their operations and enhance efficiency. For example, the City of Waterloo Iowa, successfully replaced cumbersome paper-based processes with a GIS-based digital workflow for sidewalk inspection and maintenance.
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Conducting sidewalk inspections was a complex endeavor that involves a combination of field and office-based tasks:
- communicating with property owners
- managing contractors
- working with multiple datasets
For decades, the City of Waterloo relied on a paper-based system, involving numerous forms to record various details of the sidewalk condition, repairs needed, location, and contact information of property owners. The lack of visualization capabilities made it difficult to track inspections. Additionally, manual data entry from paper to computer systems was a time-consuming and error-prone process. However, the city recognized the urgent need for change to improve efficiency, reduce paper usage, and save valuable staff hours.
GIS: The solution
To address these challenges head-on, the City of Waterloo partnered with a GIS specialist to develop a tailored GIS solution, heavily relying on the capabilities of ArcGIS software. This collaboration empowered city staff to record maintenance needs directly through a user-friendly software application, eliminating the need for multiple paper forms. Inspectors can now effortlessly generate accurate cost estimates and print reports for property owners easily. The implementation of GIS technology brought about a profound transformation, revolutionizing the entire sidewalk inspection and maintenance process.
GIS’ value to the city
- Accuracy: The introduction of GIS significantly enhanced the accuracy of sidewalk inspections and maintenance data. Additionally, by eliminating manual data entry and streamlining information flow, the city greatly reduced the risk of human errors that were common in the paper-based system.
- Efficiency: The new GIS solution enabled seamless coordination between field and office-based tasks. Inspectors can efficiently record data in real-time, eliminating the need for redundant paperwork. Also, this improved workflow led to faster turnaround times, resulting in more timely repairs and improved public safety.
- Elimination of Human Error: With the old paper-based system, errors were inevitable and correcting them required significant manual effort. However, GIS technology automated various aspects of the process, reducing the likelihood of errors and freeing up valuable staff hours for more critical tasks.
netEffx can help you use GIS
The City of Waterloo’s transition from a paper-based system to a GIS-powered solution for sidewalk inspection and maintenance showcases the immense value that GIS can bring to municipalities.
At netEffx, we pride ourselves on having a team of expert GIS technicians at the ready to help your company unlock new levels of efficiency and success. With our exceptional skills and deep understanding of Geographic Information Systems, our technicians can provide invaluable support to your organization. Additionally, by leveraging our expertise, you can streamline your processes, optimize resource allocation, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.
If your organization is seeking a transformative solution to improve operations, streamline workflows, and embrace digital innovation, GIS could be the perfect fit. Take inspiration from the success of the City of Waterloo and explore the potential of GIS, and trust in our team to harness the hidden potential of GIS and revolutionize your efficiency like never before.