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Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Johns Creek GIS Department

Project Goal

The City of Johns Creek DataHub is the culmination of a 6+ year project to build a first-class GIS to serve city staff needs and decision-making as well as empower citizens, entrepreneurs, and businesses through data. This project began with a multi-year effort to manually rebuild core data (i.e., parcels, streets, address points, business locations, stormwater assets, zoning cases). These datasets were exposed through interactive web applications and are now in the DataHub and available for download, linking through APIs, and they are also utilized in dashboards. This holistic exposure of data is helping to drive a deeper level of understanding across departments within the City while also providing a common framework for conversations with and among the pubic.
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Business Problem Solved

Data is the lifeblood of any city or entity. Without high-quality data, decisions are often made based on intuition or as a reaction to a perceived issue. Prior to the DataHub, the only way to acquire data from the City was through an open records request and a signed licensing agreement. This arduous process stymied growth, wasted staff time, and made utilization of City-produced data difficult. Staff across departments had very few tools for sharing information. With the DataHub, we have a common platform that serves the most pertinent information across the enterprise and out to the public. This level of transparency helps drive understanding and power economic development in our entrepreneur and business communities.

Technology Implemented

The City of Johns Creek utilizes the full spectrum of Esri-based GIS technology. ArcGIS Desktop software helps us create, maintain, and develop new data and maps. ArcGIS Server software helps us deploy data and maps to users via the web. The ArcGIS Online cloud infrastructure helps us empower staff in the field to utilize our data and web services, but it’s also the backbone of the DataHub itself. The DataHub is completely housed within ArcGIS Online, as are all but one of the data layers we share to staff and the public. The ArcGIS Online software-powered DataHub enjoys the full breadth of Esri’s technical expertise from cutting-edge capabilities within the platform to high availability on the AWS platform.

Development Team Biography

Nick O’Day is the Senior GIS Manager and the head of the GIS department. He has been with the City since October 2010 and has worked in the GIS industry since 2002.

Jessica Vargas is the GIS Analyst at the City and just celebrated her one-year anniversary with Johns Creek after several years in the private sector.

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