GIS On the Third Screen at Westmoreland County PA
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GIS On the Third Screen at Westmoreland County PA

Dayton, OH, March 5, 2007 - The Information Services Department at Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania has been continually migrating desktop software applications and enterprise IT systems to web-enabled platforms to enable greater use by county departments and the public. Now, the County’s IS Department has begun the next migration: taking some of these same enterprise systems and databases to a mobile handheld platform.

Phil Svesnik, Westmoreland County CIO, believes in creating applications with modular software development tools that allow for rapid deployment without the risk of continuously tracking and managing traditional code. Mr. Svesnik indicated the County implemented the strategy to use C.A.S.E. tools to develop any internal applications more than fourteen years ago. That strategy has paid off well by allowing applications to be generated more accurately, quickly and cost effectively while providing ease of maintenance since there is no code to maintain.

Freeance Mobile is a continuation of that strategy. Mr. Svesnik states with this type of technology his existing staff can build mobile applications to the County’s work force without massive retraining across a wide spectrum of technologies needed to deliver mobile applications. Utilizing Freeance Mobile, the IS Department has started building a pilot application that integrates enterprise databases with existing GIS Web servers and pushes these custom applications to BlackBerry handsets.

Randy Strong, the County’s GIS Manager, will lead a "build it how they need it" mobile development project for different departments and municipalities throughout Westmoreland County. Departments targeted for mobile applications include public safety, code enforcement and land property appraisal.

Freeance Mobile allows Randy and his team to plug and play to their existing ESRI servers and integrate this with custom forms that are directly linked to Microsoft SQL Server and Postgres SQL databases at the County. Mapping applications and database forms for BlackBerry handsets can be created in a matter of hours by the GIS/IS Department, put in the hands of the County’s mobile workers and then adjusted on-the-fly as requirements are fine tuned.

The new mobile GIS and enterprise database applications allow field workers to access live mapping data and enterprise databases. They also make it possible for desk bound office workers to bring up Web based GIS sites that shows live mapping created in the field by workers using Freeance Mobile applications. The County is also integrating low cost Bluetooth enabled GPS pucks with the Freeance Mobile applications to improve the accuracy of GPS points, which establish the location of records and forms used in the field.

The County used the following software to create these applications: Freeance, Freeance Mobile, ESRI's ArcIMS, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. For more information on how other cities and counties nationwide are creating on-demand mobile GIS applications, please contact TDC Group at (866) 832-4768.

About Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Westmoreland County is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area with a population of 369,993 (2000). The county seat is Greensburg. The County’s Information Systems Department provides support for hardware, software and technology to improve constituent services and streamline business processes. Their overall mission is to protect the County's information assets and to provide County departments with essential solutions to accomplish the growing demands of County government and to create an effective and cost efficient working environment.

About Freeance Mobile Software

Freeance Mobile is innovative, easy-to-use location software for efficiently making mobile applications. You can now make your GIS available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is hassle-free software for users and IT administrators alike. Designed for the ESRI and BlackBerry environments, Freeance Mobile is a well-balanced approach combining off-the-shelf simplicity with customizable applications.

For more information, visit
Patrick Kiggins - Email Contact
Phone: 866-832-4768 x 7226