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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Real Time Access with Accela Analytics

October 10th, 2011 by Susan Smith

The upcoming version of Accela Analytics government application for the iPad was right on target with the current discussion at Esri User Conference 2011 this year. Although it is not news that GIS maps are now available on all types of devices, Accela offers the next step with analytics for business analysis and management with Accela Analytics. “We are really empowering government workers, decision makers and team leaders so they can have access to data wherever they are,” said public relations director, Paul Davis. “With the forthcoming version of Accela Analytics we have put all those Esri overlay maps in.”

Accela Analytics for the iPad

Accela Mobile 311™ is a native iPhone/iPad app that enables citizens to request services or report incidents to local government, from wherever they are. It connects directly to an agency’s Accela Automation system and routes requests to the appropriate responders. Accela Mobile 311 is available directly from Accela for local governments to brand with their name/logo and offer to their citizens via Apple’s App Store.

Accela Analytics™ is a free, native iPad app that lets government professionals access and analyze the Accela Automation enterprise data behind their operations in an easy-to-use dashboard. The Maps Screenuses color-coded push pins and zoom/pan navigation to display activity by user-defined search criteria for permits or licenses, code enforcement cases, service requests, and more. More details available

Two releases shown at Esri UC: The latest version of the Accela Analytics iPad app for government (now featuring multiple Esri overlay maps and also an extension of support for iPhone). It is a free app available for download from the Apple App Store.

The new Accela Mobile 311 white-label iPhone/iPad app for local governments available directly from Accela.

From a citizen standpoint, it is not only making it easier for citizens to request services or incident reports from their government but also makes it easier for the government to field these requests. Even though there are a lot of 311 applications coming out now, Accela aims to prioritize and route requests as well as to do trends around the requests to see how they might handle it better in the future.

Chuck Spink, senior product marketing manager at Accela, answered some questions about the new release of Accela Analytics as well as Accela Mobile 311.

GISWeekly: What do you find government customers are most interested in with the Accela Analytics application?

Chuck Spink: First is the ability to present charts & graphs showing trends and activities within the agency and the departments of each agency, that’s the kind of info that is really important for an agency to really accurately assess what’s happening and helping them deal with things that are happening in their community, things like resource planning, staffing all the things that a dept. head or decision maker in the government will be interested in. what we found specifically is that charts and graphs are relied on heavily by agencies to make those types of decisions about how to deploy resources based on trends and activities going on in the agency.

The second thing they really use the maps pretty heavily and maps are used to show for example locations that might need attention. As you can imagine we can have color coded pushpins that show activity based on department on the map so if there is a concentration of push pins or a concentration of certain types of incidents that happen it’s really obvious for an agency to be able to identify areas that need attention and be able to respond accordingly.

GISWeekly: Having trends and specifics available in the field is pretty exciting. How do you think the product may be a game-changer for different agencies?

Chuck Spink: First of all I want to expand on the concept of having trends and specifics available in the field. I want to clarify the data is available to anybody who needs this information to make a decision. Whether or not their normal job is to be out in the field like an inspector, or it’s a department head that may work in the office often times but may either be meeting with agency staff or attending a city council meeting or planning commission meeting. We’re talking about the global workforce and the entire agency workforce which is becoming more mobile, even though your job isn’t as an inspector in the mobile workforce.

Imagine that part of your job is to be able to access information and use this information to make an important decision about what your department is going to be doing. Specific example: say you’re a department head and you’re at a city council meeting. Historically you would prepare for your city council meeting by going to your staff, and saying ‘these are the topics on the agenda, I’d like you to give me stacks of graphs and charts and spreadsheets on this information so if these questions come up during the city council meeting I can thumb through all this information and find what I’m looking for to answer questions.’

With Accela Analytics you don’t have to worry about that, because you have real time immediate access to information from your agency that you can slice and dice depending on how you need it.

GISWeekly: Do you intend to extend this to the business market?

Chuck Spink: We currently don’t have any vision of extending it to the business market. One thing we do have access to: many agencies track things like applications for business licenses and so there are business possibilities and information from businesses that are used within the app. But as far as extending it so businesses are consumers of the information, that’s not currently something we’re heading towards right now.

The landscape is changing pretty dramatically. The days of a huge IT department that essentially dictates the kind of hardware and software the agency uses is being replaced by a global workforce that has a collection of devices, sometimes iPads and iPhones, sometimes other devices. We’re seeing that trend now and think that it will continue.

GISWeekly: What time savings and accuracy savings are you predicting for this app?

Chuck Spink: As far as time savings, what we’re allowing is that agency staff will be more efficient in how they spend their time rather than spending a lot of time preparing and coaching department heads and decisions makers on information or collecting information and serving it to them in charts, graphs and other formats. What we do is provide a tool so they access the information when and how they need it. As far as accuracy, with the old way of carrying around binders full of printouts, the information becomes stale after you print it. Accela Analytics is current so you are assured you have access to accurate information.

Accela Mobile 311™ is a native iPhone/iPad app that enables citizens to request services or report incidents to local government, from wherever they are. It connects directly to an agency’s Accela Automation system and routes requests to the appropriate responders. Accela Mobile 311 is available directly from Accela for local governments to brand with their name/logo and offer to their citizens via Apple’s App Store.

Accela Mobile 311 -

GISWeekly: Describe the process of submittal for agency customers.

Chuck Spink: There are dozens of 311 products for mobile devices. We have our Accela Mobile 311 product for agencies that use Accela Mobile 311 and use Accela Automation for the backend integrate into our end to end solution so that for members of the community that want to submit something to agency, that submittal automatically get integrated with their Accela Automation database. Any business logic configuration that the agency has set up to handle their business process is already taken care of so for a high level use of Accela Mobile 311, it is an alternative to many apps out there and is much more convenient for the agency. As far as the process goes, Accela works with the agency to create an agency branded version of 311. So for example, Salt Lake City is one of our customers and they have a Salt Lake City -branded version of this – SLC 311. They have decided they want members of the community to do things like report abandoned vehicles or request other services that might be needed. Accela will work with agencies to come up with agency branded versions that would be posted in the app store and anyone in the community can go to the app store and download it for free. This enables them to become much more involved in their community and helps them to address issues that need to be addressed.

And as far as the process goes, it is straightforward, very simple, members of community aren’t interested in figuring out a complicated app, they want the information and want to submit it to the agency as quickly as they can. We’re leveraging the capabilities of the devices, such as the iPhone. There is the ability to take a photo, to have integration with to display your location on a map and geolocate your position on the map to identify the address where you are.

You can enter addresses manually. The photo can immediately be attached to the corresponding record to provide additional clarification on a location. An agency may allow you to anonymously submit this, hit a button that is submitted to the agency, a case can be created, a pushpin shows up on a map and you have automatic access to that submittal in the future when you access it from your iPhone, and any change in status is reflected.

GISWeekly: What time savings and accuracy savings are you predicting for this app?

Chuck Spinks: There are time and accuracy savings on both the agency and consumer side.

Top of the News

Leica Geosystems announces the release of the new ALS70 family of airborne LiDAR systems. The new product line, consisting of ALS70-CM City Mapper, ALS70-HP High Performance and ALS70-HA High Altitude models, covers the entire range of LiDAR mapping applications, and represents a significant advancement in the state-of-the-art for airborne LIDAR.


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Esri have partnered in the implementation of a fully cloud-based geospatial portal. USDA’s prototype portal, Enterprise Spatial Mapping Service (ESMS), is built with Portal for ArcGIS, managed by Esri, and hosted on the Amazon cloud within USDA’s secure environment.

Stephen Lowe, geospatial information officer for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Enterprise Geospatial Management Office, and Esri product and Professional Services teams designed the prototype’s geospatial interfaces with a focus on search and discovery, managed service hosting, and web service publishing of USDA-owned data. The portal introduced GIS productivity services for provisioning and consumption of web map services and the capability to geoprocess, display, and analyze data. The private cloud GIS makes the central repository for authoritative content accessible to users within the department as well as other public agencies. ESMS provides a platform to

  • Quickly create maps and apps using templates and web mapping APIs.
  • Form groups to collaborate on projects or common activities.
  • Share maps and apps with private groups or the entire organization.
  • Embed maps and apps in custom web pages or blogs.

Coulomb Technologies announced it will partner with TomTom for an industry-first partnership to extend ChargePoint Network driver services into electric vehicles (EV). The partnership will help to fuel EV adoption by reducing range anxiety, extending driving range and maximizing the EV driving experience by bringing charging station location, navigation and reservation services right to a driver’s dashboard. A demonstration of this technology partnership will be shown at the Plug-in 2011 show in the Coulomb Technologies booth #121, July 18 – 21 in Raleigh, NC.

Trimble announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire privately-held PeopleNet, a leading provider of integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems for effective fleet management. PeopleNet provides fleets with software and hardware solutions that help manage regulatory compliance, fuel costs, driver safety and customer visibility. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive upon close and will be reported in Trimble’s Mobile Solutions segment. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Spatial Energy, the leading source for digital imagery, content hosting and solutions for the energy industry, announced an extension of their distribution agreement with Microsoft Corp.’s Bing Maps to integrate Bing Maps Services into Spatial on Demand – energy-specific online database and enterprise imagery management solution.

At this year’s Esri 2011 conference, Esri Germany and AED-SICAD have signed officially the comprehensive Platinum Partner Contract within the frame of the global ESRI Partner Network (EPN). AED-SICAD is currently the only Esri business partner with Platinum Status outside of North America. Among 1800 business partners world-wide, Esri has signed up currently only 9 Platinum Partners.


Esri acknowledged the achievements of more than 140 domestic and international organizations with the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards ceremony at the annual Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California. The SAG Awards acknowledge innovative and intelligent applications of geographic information system (GIS) technology.

Organizations from around the world honored at the Esri UC span industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities.

Esri heralded the winners of the Storytelling with Maps competition at the 2011 Esri International User Conference (Esri UC). Chih Cheng Chang, director of the application system division at RiChi in New Taipei City, Taiwan, won first place for Best Web Map. Dr. Thanos Doganis, director of R&D at Terra Ltd., with Terra Mapping The Globe Ltd. in Athens, Greece, won first place for Best Mobile App.

Chang’s web map shows natural resources data, including hydrology, water resources, geology, and soil, and introduces professional GIS-related information to a general audience. Terra’s free mobile app for the iPhone provides points of interest, including hospitals and pharmacies on duty, for numerous cities in Greece. The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges comprised of Jean McKendry of the American Association of Geographers; Frank Biasi of National Geographic; and Allen Carroll, Deane Kensok, and Damien Demaj of Esri’s ArcGIS Online Team.

DigitalGlobe will announce its second quarter financial results after the close of regular market trading on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.

The company will provide a live webcast of its earnings conference call over the Internet at 3 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. EDT) on August 2, 2011. The live webcast and archived replay can be accessed at, and will be available as a replay shortly after the call. An audio replay of the call will be available for 30 days. The conference call replay numbers are as follows: United States — (800) 642-1687, International — (706) 645-9291. The access code is 7935-3714.

MAPPS, the only national association for private sector geospatial firms, elected three new members to the association’s Board of Directors and re-elected five others. The MAPPS Board also elected a slate of officers to serve the association for 2011-2013.

Richard “Dick” McDonald, PLS, CP, Director of Geospatial Services of T3 Global Strategies Inc., Bridgeville, PA assumed the office of President. McDonald has been a member of the MAPPS Board for six years, including roles as Secretary and President-Elect. He has been the chairman of a number of committees and task forces, including the MAPPS-FEMA/DoD/DHS Liaison Committee and Underground Utilities Task Force.

The MAPPS membership elected Claire Kiedrowski, CP, President of Kappa Mapping Inc. Bangor, ME; Jim Page, PhD, CEO of James W. Sewall Company, Old Town, ME; and Tim Stagg, Vice President, Federal Programs of AeroMetric, Easton, MD as new directors of the MAPPS Board. Eric Andelin, CP, GISP, Group Manager of Woolpert, Inc., Garland, TX and Mike Tully, CP, President of Aerial Services Inc., Cedar Falls, IA, were re-elected to terms on the Board.

Other officers, elected by the Board of Directors, include Robert “Bob” Hickey, CP, Vice President Marketing/Business Development of Photo Science, West Chester, PA, as President-Elect and will succeed to the office of President in 2013. Hickey served as the MAPPS Treasurer the past two years.


Cadcorp has appointed Dr. Martin McGarry as managing director.

The appointment was announced recently by CEO, Mike O’Neil. “It is a logical progress for both Martin and Cadcorp,” he explained. “Martin has nine years’ service with the company and in that time has done an excellent job as Sales and Marketing Director and more recently as Operations Director. It was always the intention that Martin would take over the role of managing director. As Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, I continue overall management of the company which we founded 20 years ago. I have every confidence in Martin’s abilities to continue to build on our success.”

New Products

CoreLogic has released its U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends, a report that provides data on housing sales, valuation, negative equity, shadow inventory and foreclosure activity and trends. In addition to data on non-distressed sales, distressed sales and month’s supply of distressed sales, the report provides previously released national, state and top 25 cities data for the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI), negative equity, 90+ delinquency, pre-foreclosure filings and auction filings as of April 2011. The full CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends report is available here.

SuperGeo Technologies is delighted to announce that its Mobile Cadastral GIS 3.0 (Android version) is now officially released worldwide.

Designed for cadastral position and measurement, Mobile Cadastral GIS 3.0 now integrates with GIS, GPS, and e-compass technologies to assist field surveyors in quickly recognizing their current location as well as the correct cadastral information.

With Mobile Cadastral GIS 3.0 that considerably enhances the interface, map display function, and query speed, users can define the data source and cadastral information to meet their needs. Besides the cadastral query function, the records of waypoint and GPS track provide field surveyors with real-time information. Moreover, field surveyors can check these data as the track reference and analyze them in a desktop computer.

Hemisphere GPS announced the release of a new Earthworks® excavator grade control system for small to medium-sized contractors. The simple and affordable Earthworks X100™ displays bucket position relative to desired grade. This instant feedback improves the operator’s accuracy and efficiency when digging foundations, trenching, cutting a slope and in many other excavation applications.

Optech Incorporated is pleased to announce that it is now broadcasting on its own YouTube channel, OptechGlobal.

OptechGlobal will showcase Optech products and their applications, as well as intriguing examples of data products, workflows, and most importantly, success stories from Optech clients and end-users

Designed for a college curriculum, Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS: A Workbook helps students use organized workflows, spatial analysis, and visualization to make decisions about real-world issues including crime, hazards, hurricanes, demographics, and urban planning. This second edition from Esri Press provides scenario-based lessons to promote the development of GIS skills and critical thinking capabilities.

Leica Geosystems announces major enhancements to its superior line sensor workflow Leica XPro. Users of Leica XPro 5.1 can now benefit from the conceptual changes within the workflow to double the processing speed and to deliver Info Clouds that include – additionally to Point Clouds – spectral and time information.

Research and Markets has announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd’s new book ” Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change” to their offering.

Remote Sensing plays a key role in monitoring the various manifestations of global climate change. It is used routinely in the assessment and mapping of biodiversity over large areas, in the monitoring of changes to the physical environment, in assessing threats to various components of natural systems, and in the identification of priority areas for conservation.

This book presents the fundamentals of remote sensing technology, but rather than containing lengthy explanations of sensor specifications and operation, it concentrates instead on the application of the technology to key environmental systems.

eSpatial has released an upgrade to eSpatial OnDemand GIS.

A free 14-day trial of eSpatial OnDemand GIS is available at:

Available for both customers and users of eSpatial’s 14-day free trial, the upgraded version of eSpatial OnDemand GIS includes the following enhancements:

  • The ability to embed dynamic maps from eSpatial OnDemand GIS into webpages.
  • Mass-assignment of records (like features) to users.
  • The creation of thematics based on query results.

The GeoSystems Monitor has been developed to meet the applications monitoring challenges presented in complex IT environments by providing a simple, easily-customizable software environment that GIS/IT professionals can quickly configure to monitor this broadening array of applications.

VESTRA’s GeoSystems Monitor provides real-time information on the status of your Enterprise GIS. The GeoSystems Monitor generates this information by monitoring the applications (points) that reside on your servers.

Blue Marble Geographics announces the release of the latest version of the Blue Marble Desktop v2.3. With this release come many new & exciting features that will allow users and managers to expand their usage of the Blue Marble Desktop within their respective organizations. Version 2.3 adds key functionality enhancements that grant users the ability to edit and share custom coordinate transformation work both in the Blue Marble Desktop and with Esri’s ArcMap via the Geographic Calculator Extension for ArcMap. Additional features include six new vertical datum models, a new MetaData Editor and LiDAR processing tool, and other map data viewing enhancements.

Around the Web

GISCafe Today Blog

Geographic Information Systems Help Scholars See History July 26, 2011, The New York Times


URISA Cartography Workshop
Date: August 4, 2011
Place: URISA Headquarters Office
Des Plaines, IL USA
An effective map portrays a place, delivers a message, or reveals a pattern with representational accuracy and visual clarity.  How to make that happen is the subject of this workshop, which gives GIS practitioners the practical information and techniques needed to create effective, successful maps in any display medium.
Open Source URISA Workshop
Date: August 4, 2011
Place: Denver Federal Ctr. W 6th Ave & Kipling Bldg #20
Foord Conference Room, Denver, CO USA
Free and open source software (FOSS) has been offering choices to computer users for a number of years. Over the past few years the open source choices in GIS have been broader and more capable than ever before. This workshop will focus on GIS open source software. It will give an overview of current developments from technical and management perspectives. Selected packages and their applications in various projects will be demonstrated and discussed.
Spatial Information Day
Date: August 5, 2011
Place: Adelaide Convention Centre
Spatial Information Day (SID 2011) and the South Australian Spatial Excellence Awards (SASEA 2011) will be held on Friday 5 August 2011 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.. The full day SID 2011 program will be followed by the SASEA 2011 dinner.
Data Quality Control and ArcGIS Server Cache Creation
Date: August 11, 2011
Place: USA
In many organizations the quality control process is a long procedure requiring many hours of dedication. In addition, the quality control process is often not centrally managed, resulting in repetition and inefficient practices. The ArcGIS Data Reviewer is an extension to ArcGIS Desktop that provides a complete system to help simplify the quality control processes. Using the Community Maps Template, we will explore how the ArcGIS Data Reviewer creates a more efficient quality control cycle by managing the quality control process. The seminar will conclude with an introduction to ArcGIS Server and map caching. Caching enables GIS users to deploy maps to their audience without having to worry about performance since cached services return a collection of images rather than a series of individual layers.
Applied Geoinformatics for Society and Environment 2011
Date: August 15 – 19, 2011
Place: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Nairobi, Kenya
The overall scope of this conference is to offer an interdisciplinary, international forum for sharing knowledge about the application of Geoinformatics with focus on developing countries. 

The content is twofold and participative. There will be professional training and workshops about current topics in the fields of Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics as well as reports (presentations) from the participants about applications and developments in their countries. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

International Image Trade Fair
Date: August 16 – 18, 2011
Place: Expo Center Norte
Pavilhão Branco, São Paulo, Brazil
The 19th edition of PhotoImageBrazil will present the latest in digital photography and related services connected with the sector, bringing together in one place the major manufacturers, importers of photographic equipment and accessories. At the same time will be held the Forum PhotoImageBrazil 2011.
Latin American Geospatial Forum 2011
Date: August 17 – 19, 2011
Place: Barra Windsor Hotel
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
GIS Development with an intent to expand its activities and programs in Latin American continent is expanding its network of conferences in Latin America and is developing a regional conference for geospatial industry. Though there is no dearth of conferences in this region too, but we at GIS Development believe the Latin American Geospatial Forum will contribute an intern ational platform for information exchange and meaningful dialogue between and amongst various stakeholder of Latin American Geospatial Industry.
7th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE7) incorporating WALIS Forum 2011 and the State NRM Conference
Date: August 23 – 25, 2011
Place: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Perth, Australia
ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation, principally for promotion of academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration. The purpose of the society is to promote international cooperation on the Digital Earth vision, and enable the Digital Earth technology to play key roles inter alia, in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of human being's living standard.

WALIS is a dynamic partnership of government agencies working with business, education and the general community to manage and promote the State of Western Australia's (WA) geographic information.  Established by the WA Government in 1981, WALIS is responsible for coordinating across-government access and delivery of the geographic information held by state Government agencies.  WALIS achieves this through committees and the WALIS Office.
The International Symposium on Digital Earth 7
Date: August 23 – 25, 2011
Place: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Perth , Australia
The ISDE is a non-political, non-governmental and not-for-profit international organisation, principally for promotion of academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration. The purpose of the society is to promote international cooperation on the Digital Earth vision, and enable the Digital Earth technology to play key roles inter alia, in economic and social sustainable development, environmental protection, disaster mitigation, natural resources conservation and improvement of human being’s living standard.
Date: August 31 – September 1, 2011
Place: Cable Center
2000 Buchtel Boulevard, Denver, CO USA
Our industry continues to morph at a rapid pace. In order to stay abreast of all the latest trends and technologies, it is essential to grow your knowledge base and networking reach. GIS is a strong industry in the Rocky Mountain region. Professionals, educators, students, and those just interested in learning more about GIS will gather at the 24th annual GIS in the Rockies Conference, to be held at “The Cable Center” in Denver, Colorado, August 31 – September 1, 2011 at our new location, The Cable Center in Denver.
2011 Geogathering Conference
Date: August 31 – September 1, 2011
Place: Broomfield, CO USA
The GeoGathering conference provides a solid venue for oil & gas gathering system and production line operators to share their experiences in applying GIS (Geospatial Information System) technology towards data collection, data maintenance and integrity management initiatives.  The goal of GeoGathering is to provide valuable insight into geospatial topics and the current challenges operators face.  Sessions focus on real-world experiences ranging from integrity management, regulatory requirements to data capture and GIS-based data analysis.  Conference attendees will have an opportunity to interact with others in the industry and participate in open forums. 


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Category: Accela

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