Corangamite Shire Council
Staff delighted when Western Victoria council moved quickly to adopt Web-based GIS.
- Shire covers approximately 4,600 square kilometres in South West Victoria.
- Primary industries include agriculture and tourism.
- Improve location-based query capability for council staff
- Boost efficiency of map publication and software maintenance
- Self-service map access and query increase productivity.
- Even some of the least tech-savvy staff were able to use the solution on day one, with no training.
- GIS officer can now work at a more strategic level.
- Map upload and access times have improved significantly, enabling spatial what-if analysis in nearly real time.
Home of the famous Twelve Apostles limestone formations and the “unofficial dairy capital of the world,” Corangamite Shire is known as a place to tour and relax. At the shire council offices, however, the pace of business is brisk, and IT/GIS Officer Ben Stephenson wears many hats to support the various engineers, planners and customer support and financial staff. As more staff members seek location-based data visualisation to make decisions, the council is letting them self-serve, with the web-based Spectrum® Spatial Analyst solution from Pitney Bowes®.
With so much on his plate, Stephenson takes every opportunity to hone the efficiency of the GIS function. He’s an expert at using Pitney Bowes MapInfo Pro® to create maps for any need. But in the past, publishing and updating those maps wasn’t as efficient as Stephenson would have liked. Users weren’t enthusiastic about the former client/server GIS user interface, either. In some cases, they tended not to use the system, thus missing out on its potential benefits.
When his Pitney Bowes® account manager introduced him to Spectrum® Spatial Analyst, Stephenson immediately saw the potential of the web-based tool. And he had little trouble convincing the council to approve the purchase. “Spectrum Spatial Analyst is vastly superior to what we had, in terms of ease of use, ease of maintenance and responsiveness,” he says.
Migrating to Spectrum Spatial Analyst went smoothly: It took Stephenson only five days to transfer all of the council’s required data sets into Spectrum Spatial Analyst. Stephenson also integrated Spectrum Spatial Analyst with the council’s CRM, property rating, finance and asset management systems.
To ease the adoption of the new software, Stephenson arranged training sessions for the users. He was pleased to find that some of the least tech-savvy staff did not require any training and were able to use Spectrum Spatial Analyst from the first day they had access to the system.
“Spectrum Spatial Analyst is vastly superior to what we had, in terms of ease of use, ease of maintenance and responsiveness.” Ben Stephenson,
Corangamite Shire Council
Now, when staff have a query, rather than requesting it from Stephenson in GIS, other staff members can self-serve, too. Customer service staff, who fielded nearly 39,000 calls last year, are now eager to use Spectrum Spatial Analyst to instantly find the location of community services, rubbish collection routes and so on. Stephenson spends only one or two days a week maintaining the system, which leaves him more time to focus on GIS strategy, as well as his many other responsibilities.
Since deploying Spectrum Spatial Analyst, Stephenson reports that upload and access performance have improved considerably: “It takes about 30 seconds to update a map, and with a simple refresh of their browsers, users have the new data displayed in front of them.” Beyond the obvious benefits to field staff, who need to access up-to-date maps throughout the day, rapid spatial data analysis impacts other staff as well. At a recent planning meeting, Stephenson received a last-minute request to present a certain map layer. “Previously, I would have had to restart the server and make sure I wasn’t interrupting any other users,” he says. “With the Spectrum software, I was able to update the layer on the fly, so that everyone got what they wanted.”
Corangamite was the first local council in Western Victoria to deploy Spectrum Spatial Analyst; but for Stephenson, it didn’t take a leap of faith. “Pitney Bowes has done a very good job of incorporating feedback from GIS administrators,” he says. “You need only to look at the Li360 community to see that they’re listening to the customers.”