Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

City of Ventura

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Project Goal

The City of Ventura Extension (COVE) to ArcView 3.3 was designed to enable non-GIS users to interact with their data. The extension took advantage of the network deployment capability of ArcView 3 so no software was installed on the user’s computer, and a user log was created to comply with licensing. The user interface could be configured to allow data layers and other extensions to be loaded without having to search for them. The COVE DataFlow extension, a series of Avenue scripts (that ran every night) provided even more functionality. The scripts queried multiple enterprise databases for frequently used data, geocoded the records using address or parcel, then wrote out shapefiles for query and display in the GIS. The COVE project included other task specific tools designed for Map Production, shapefile editing, address editing, Lidar display and querying, geocoding, etc. Most of the COVE and DataFlow functionality has since been rewritten in Python for use in ArcGIS Enterprise.
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Business Problem Solved

The COVE project improved staff productivity by making enterprise data available via the GIS and provided simple tools for staff to access that data. Between 1987 and 1999, GIS was still a black box for most staff, and there was little interaction between the GIS and enterprise systems. GIS was too cumbersome to use without extensive training, and the data most staff were interested in was not yet accessible via the GIS. In 1999, a course of action was set in place: modify the ArcView interface to make it usable with minimal user training, develop nightly queries into the many enterprise systems, and geocode the data and make it accessible via the GIS. Over time the project turned the GIS into the primary information access point for most staff. As more systems were purchased, more queries were written and scheduled to extract and display pertinent data. Users could click on a point and gain access to quick information as well as the original source document as needed.

Technology Implemented

The original COVE project utilized Avenue scripting language to create custom user interfaces with the ArcView 3.3 software. It was later migrated to ArcGIS 10.1 for Server and 10.4.1 and employed Python and ArcGIS Viewer for Flex.

Development Team Biography

Roger Adams, GISP, Systems Analyst II (GIS) has a MS in geography and has been working in the mapping industry since the early 80’s, starting out in surveying, then providing GIS services for the defense industry before working for the City of Ventura.
Don Taylor, Systems Analyst II (GIS) has worked in the public sector providing data analysis for the County of Ventura and GIS services for the Ventura County Fire (where he developed the Ventura tools for wildfire mapping) before working for the City of Ventura.
Incidentally, both members of the team started working for the city on the same day - March 8, 1999.

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