Q. We have a GIS. Does this replace it?
Municipal GeoPortal leverages and enhances your GIS. By publishing your spatial data and making it easy for everyone to produce maps and do basic map-based queries and analysis, you leverage the work done by your GIS staff, and you free up their time to do more advanced analysis and data management.
If you use server-based GIS software, like ESRI’s ArcGIS Server, your Municipal GeoPortal can incorporate those map services within the portal.
As well, we are able to host your ArcGIS Server and spatial database environment to save IT costs and effort, providing scalable and reliable hosting services for your GIS.
If you DON’T have a GIS, Municipal GeoPortal provides some of the key components and capabilities that a GIS would – along with its many other capabilities. We can also provide municipal GIS services – such as spatial data management and GIS analysis – to quickly round out your GIS requirements.
Q. How secure is my Municipal GeoPortal?
All aspects of the application and technology architectures have undergone stringent TRA (threat risk assessment) to meet government and industry standards.
Data Security: For data that need to remain within your IT environment, we have a “Distributed” architecture model that enables the interaction with those data to take place without your data leaving your firewall.
Jurisdictional: All data hosted in the Municipal GeoPortal are hosted in Toronto and never leave Canada.
User Access: Users ONLY access data they are permitted to use / see. Topics in the GeoPortal can be specifically set up with information targeted for specific groups and individuals. Data not accessible are hidden, so that users without access do not know they exist and cannot access them. The security model uses Windows Authentication in your environment, so you can control who has what access.
Reliability: The hosting infrastructure is built with fail-over and redundancy to ensure that any one component failure does not affect overall system availability. Data, software and systems are backed-up on a nightly basis and automatically transferred to another highly secure environment.
Q. How much does it cost?
With Municipal GeoPortal you leverage and use common, generic components that are already built. We designed Municipal GeoPortal to be affordable for any organization.
Save Money: Depending on your IT situation, if you host your business systems and / or GIS with the Municipal GeoPortal, there can be significant IT infrastructure cost savings. We can work with your IT Department to help them rationalize existing resources.
- If you are planning a GIS investment, Municipal GeoPortal is much less costly than ramping up your own GIS infrastructure – since there is nothing to buy or manage, and much of the spatial data you need are included.
- If you are planning to build a new municipal system, you can leverage the standards-based security model, user access manager, reporting tools, and portal – thus getting a significant head start while saving effort and money.
Rapid ROI: Efficiency and effectiveness are difficult to measure in the government context, however, they are two of the immediate benefits associated with a Municipal GeoPortal. When staff and management are better able to access and share information, decisions can be made with more confidence and in less time.
Q. Can I add data?
The Municipal GeoPortal tools are primarily designed to enable you to access data that already exist. However, each tool has the ability to be used to add and/or manage data as well.
GeoViewer: When tied to a business application, GeoViewer can be used to add new point feature(s) on a map layer. For instance, if you have a “311 event management” system, GeoViewer could be used to locate the event (such as a pothole, a missing street sign, a downed tree, etc.) within the calling application – enabling anyone using the system to quickly find the event and implement as required.
DataViewer: Users can add their own datasets for use within DataViewer; however, data that are already published are always read-only in DataViewer.
DocumentViewer: DocumentViewer can be used to add, update, delete content and modify the directory structure depending on your user account privileges and the "mode" that DocumentViewer is in. DocumentViewer is often called from a business application in such a way that only the appropriate related documents in a certain directory are accessible.
Business data and map layers within the system are published using our management tools, and it is part of the service provided. Clients do not publish their own databases or map layers directly.
Q. What is Cloud Computing/Spatial Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing: This video from Salesforce.com provides an excellent definition and is fun to watch. As well, Wikipedia provides a well referenced definition and details.
Spatial Cloud Computing: Visit the SKE web site for more information about the unique characteristics of spatial cloud computing. Those interested are also invited to join the Spatial Cloud Computing group on LinkedIn.
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