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Smart Cities: 6 characteristics to look for in a GIS platform


Is your city considering or in the process of becoming a Smart City? Go through this checklist to know the 6 essential capabilities that a GIS technology platform must have to help your city make a smart transition.

1- Customization

Look for an integrated customizable solution that works with an Local Government Agencies (LGA), Municipal Planning Organization, or agency’s framework. This means you are in complete control of what is shared and how feedback is received.

2- Relevant Information and Usability

Make sure the platform provides intuitive and user-friendly access to data. In the past, data overload has been an issue. Government employees would have to expend a lot of time and energy weeding out the useful information from the noise. Likewise, the public may be looking for specific information and be forced to comb through all the available data layers to obtain the information they seek.

3- Improved Productivity

Pick a platform built for all users. Avoid the scenario where one employee has to become expert at accessing the data or answering the same questions from multiple constituents. This way you can avoid frustration by constituents trying to find an answer and not finding a person who can help. With the right technology partner, there is no GIS expertise required to implement and tailor a solution.

4- Security

Focus on a secure solution. The platform used should be secure and follow established encryption guidelines.

5- Reliability

Make sure the platform is reliable so you can be assured of access when you need it to. Make sure the data is updated in real-time and that the updates are delivered seamlessly, ready for you to start using immediately.

6- Maintenance

Look for a platform that is easy to maintain. Data integration used to be a huge effort when it came to maintenance. Each agency or department was required to have dedicated servers to contain the data and run the platform. This allowed for greater likelihood of platform interruption if one of the servers went down. It also had a budgetary impact for additional staff and equipment needs to keep the platform running, during a time when every penny is counted and stretched as far as it could go.

With the right platform, you can transfer the maintenance stability and costs to a single vendor so your agency can do what it does best.

No matter where your city is on the transition timeline to becoming a smart city, your use of this checklist is either a first step or a continuing step forward.

Use this checklist to help your team learn what 6 characteristics to look for in a GIS platform.

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