Wood Buffalo Empowers Employees with a Geographic View of Operations

ESRI-Based Common Operational Picture will Provide Municipal Staff with a Powerful Decision Support System
Wood Buffalo, AB – September 14, 2011 – Spanning over 68,000 square kilometers, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is Canada's largest municipality by area.  To keep track of its numerous dispersed assets and understand how they relate to one another, ESRI Canada today announced that the municipality will deploy a Common Operational Picture (COP) application built on ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology.  The system will provide staff with a real-time, comprehensive view of municipal operations and access to enterprise geographic data for effective planning.

“As Canada's largest hub for oil sands production, our municipality is experiencing fast growth,” says Justin Ngan, GIS Supervisor, Planning & Development, Wood Buffalo.  “There are numerous projects taking place all over the area and various concerns that need to be managed.  Having a clear picture of where our assets are will help our staff to make sound plans and decisions quickly.  GIS allows us to integrate our databases into an online map that will help us improve productivity and increase collaboration across our departments.”

Employees will use the COP application, powered by ESRI's ArcGIS technology, to view and manage various information including public works construction projects, water and sewer rehabilitation, land purchased or sold by the municipality, land released by the province and new residential subdivisions completed.  They will use the COP for emergency management to locate forest fires as well as project accommodations that house oil and gas workers in the field.  The municipality will also integrate its remotely sensed or LiDAR data, and systems used for utility network management, asset accounting, enterprise resource planning, permitting and taxation with the GIS.

“Managing data geographically breaks down information silos and maximizes the value of municipal data,” says Alex Miller, president, ESRI Canada.  “Municipalities such as Wood Buffalo typically maintain numerous information systems, which may contain different types of data on the same asset.  In using GIS to integrate their systems, they'll eliminate data redundancy and enable users to view all known information about their assets.  This opens up new ways of analyzing data that could lead to better insight on how to effectively manage their resources and operations.”
To enable its enterprise solution, the municipality signed up for ESRI Canada's Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) program, which provides unlimited access to ESRI technology at a fixed cost. “The ELA allows us to open valuable geographic data to everyone, including the public, at a substantial savings.  Not only do we receive enough licenses for every employee, we now also have access to the entire suite of ESRI's world-class technology to develop numerous applications that will improve citizen services,” says Ngan.

For more information on ESRI's ArcGIS technology, visit esricanada.com/products/arcgis.


About the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Located in northern Alberta, Wood Buffalo is Canada's largest municipality by area and has a population of more than 103,000.  The oil sands have made Wood Buffalo one of the fastest-growing communities in North America, and the municipality has experienced a steady growth rate of 9 per cent per year for the past seven years.  More information is available at woodbuffalo.ab.ca.

About ESRI Canada
Founded in 1984, ESRI Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from ESRI, Telvent, Cityworks and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the top 250 Canadian IT companies and top 25 IT professional services providers in Canada by the Branham Group.  Information about ESRI Canada can be found at esricanada.com.

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