It not only erased questions about whether a department could afford to start using GIS but also allowed us to move a lot faster and deploy more licenses--especially on laptops.
Redlands, CA (PRWEB) February 18, 2009
In February 2008, Jefferson County, Kansas, with a population of 19,000, joined hundreds of governments that have signed ESRI enterprise license agreements (ELA) to better deliver geographic information system (GIS) software throughout their organizations. Jefferson County chose the Small Municipal and County Government ELA, designed for governments serving up to 100,000 residents.
With the ELA, the county secured unlimited amounts of ESRI ArcGIS software and began to more widely deploy GIS. The appraiser's office, planning and zoning department, road and bridge department, and emergency management and law enforcement staff had been using GIS but wanted to expand applications to improve operations. The health department began using GIS for the first time.
"The ELA opened up a path for us to move GIS into departments like health and the register of deeds, which wanted it but hadn't been able to implement it," says Chris Schmeissner, Jefferson County GIS coordinator and IT director. "It not only erased questions about whether a department could afford to start using GIS but also allowed us to move a lot faster and deploy more licenses--especially on laptops."
In government, Schmeissner believes GIS should be the portal into all database information. "All our work has spatial content, and people seem to understand and learn so much more quickly and easily when they see things spatially, instead of seeing a spreadsheet full of numbers," he notes.
In addition to enhancing communication and workflow across the organization, access to unlimited ArcGIS software gives the county IT department improved flexibility for application development. "Before we had the ELA, we didn't have as much freedom to develop and test applications," Schmeissner says. "Now our efforts are streamlined, and we are much more nimble."
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