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Spatial Consultants

Case Studies

Case studies provide real world examples of where Spatial Consultants staff have applied GIS based technologies and practices to solve business challenges.

City of Kansas City

Business Challenge

GIS in Kansas City, Missouri, had developed within each department as the technology evolved to meet specific departmental needs.  Over time two major GIS platforms (Integraph GeoMedia and ESRI ArcGIS) emerged as the preferred technologies but exchange of data between them was very problematic and data interoperability was simply not an option.  This inability to share data on infrastructure and services between departments in a timely manner lead to a number of problems - such as emergency dispatch centres not being able to determine if a fire hydrant was actually supplied by the water network.

Solution Overview

The City appointed a GIS Officer within the CTO's department to GIS Hubcoordinate the development of spatial data quality requirements and supporting standards.  This necessiated an enterprise approach to data governance with responsibilities shared between city departments.  The city thoroughly investigated the use of Oracle Spatial as a standard database format which could be accessed by either GIS platform.  Departments would be able to maintain GIS data using their preferred GIS within a local Oracle database and data could then be published to a common Oracle Spatial hub/warehouse via customised Oracle Streams replication.  The approach identified the degree of interoperability that could be achieved as well as the compromises to native GIS functioanlity that would be required.  The Oracle toolsets also enabled some tasks to be facilitated though event-driven automated workflow, e.g. positional dependencies between spatial datasets could be established so that if a feature changed in one dataset - potential conflicts in related datasets could be identified and presented as tasks for review and correction.

Kansas City's GIS portal: http://www.kcmo.org/infotech.nsf/web/GISmain

Further Information

GITA Conference Paper 2004, authored by Graham Morgan and Gary Jurkowski, available at:

State of North Dakota

The Business Challenge

The State government of North Dakota in the northern United States comprises a large area that is administered by a number of state government departments.  The area is of interest for a number of reasons, some relating national defense issues.  A large part of the area is also prone to flooding around Devil's Lake and management of this risk would involve the coordindation of data from FEMA and from multiple departments; a solution was needed very quickly.

Solution Overview

NDGISThe government of North Dakota appointed a GIS Officer responisble for coorindinating the collection and dissemination for GIS data.  Working government departments, a spatial data sharing infrastructure was developed based upon ESRI's emerging 'geography network' concept and tools.  The architecture took advantage of the metadata facilities within the ArcGIS and ArcSDE product set which can be registered and accessed externally via the geography network directories.  Internally the state used the FME SpatialDirect suite to provide server based spatial data extraction, translation and download.  The solution was deployed on IBM WebSphere application servers and internal and external deployments being strictly separated as per state security policy

The North Dakota GIS website is available online at http://www.nd.gov/gis/.

The geography network metadata directories can be accessed at http://www.arcgis.com/features/index.html

Further Information

ArcNews Article on the Hub (part 1 or 2):

ArcNews Article on the Hub (part 2 or 2):

ESRI International User Conference 2002 abtract authored by Graham Morgan and Bob Nutsch:

ESRI Special Achievement in GIS Award to the State of North Dakota IT Department: