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Make sure to join us next Thursday AM for the South Region General Meeting to be held at the 2018 GIS of Alabama Conference in Orange Beach Alabama.  

We have a great lineup of speakers including Kelly Tomkins from the City of Foley.

City of Foley Map Viewer, Data Hosting, & Scalable Growth

When the City of Foley’s GIS first came to be, it was a bottom-up, pieced-together effort with limited knowledge of best practice and baseline skill level to guide integration. The result has been a complicated editing environment, with data externally hosted at the county, duplication of data, and a “kitchen sink” viewer. The viewer isn’t easily or readily updated: edits are made in a versioned environment, requiring reconciling and posting, synchronization with the server, and then a nightly replica to the viewer platform. No live edits are made and updates can only be seen with a varying wait period, at least overnight, sometimes longer as there are occasions where the replication update does not run successfully. The challenge presented is a need for a centralized and controlled data environment, with live editing, straightforward data maintenance and sharing, all while maintaining best practice and keeping within a limited budget.

Our current goal is to simplify the process and GIS environment as a whole for the city, while regaining full control within our own data center. The path towards this goal has involved a series of failed communications, trial runs, budget restrictions, contracts falling through, and stagnant repetition of information sharing. Currently there is no final resolution, however we are on the path to promising breakthroughs. Using the current interface we already maintain, partnering with a third party to integrate initially, we plan on hopefully working towards a scalable GIS platform that will serve the city effectively, not only as the Foley continues to grow, but as technology progresses as well.

Kelly Tomkins has served as GIS Specialist for the city of Foley since 2016 and is the current URISA Alabama South Region Director.