District of Squamish Wins Esri Canada’s Award of Excellence in GIS
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District of Squamish Wins Esri Canada’s Award of Excellence in GIS

Technology fills gaps in business systems, increases efficiency and supports community’s rapid growth

VANCOUVER, Esri Canada User Conference – November 18, 2015 – The District of Squamish is a fast-growing municipality between the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in British Columbia. As people strive to live a balanced and more affordable lifestyle, the District has seen its population grow by 27% since 2006 to more than 19,000. To support this rapid growth, the District implemented ArcGIS, Esri’s enterprise geographic information system (GIS) in 2011 and has since used the technology to replace legacy systems and address various business challenges. For this outstanding work, Esri Canada today presented the District of Squamish with an Award of Excellence in GIS.

“It’s remarkable how the District of Squamish has taken such big strides in improving their business operations using ArcGIS,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “With limited resources and only two GIS professionals on staff, they’ve been able to leverage the latest GIS functionalities – from Web mapping to mobile to 3D modelling – to achieve significant efficiencies and effectively meet their growing community’s needs.”

To manage the significant increase in land development applications, the District created an app that has automated the workflow for managing applications through the approval process. The app uses ArcGIS for Server to store, map and serve up development applications while Geocortex software by Latitude Geographics was used to design and automate the process. The app allows staff from the District’s planning, building, engineering and operations departments to view all recent development activity on a parcel of land, as well as search and update development applications. Through the app, the District is able to conduct benchmarking and provide more timely and detailed reports to senior managers and City Council for better decision-making. The District has also used Esri CityEngine to create a 3D model of its downtown core that will make it easier to review potential redevelopment options and enhance community planning.

“GIS technology has enabled us to increase our efficiency, reduce our costs, and allow us to respond more quickly and creatively to businesses,” said Dan Griffin, GIS Supervisor, District of Squamish. “It has also allowed for greater benchmarking and collaboration. This award highlights our ability to perform better with limited resources. It’s really exciting.”

Their GIS resources, which were previously focused on supporting engineering operations, have now become a shared service for the District’s various departments. To meet the growing need for business apps, GIS staff members leverage ready-to-use templates in ArcGIS Online. The templates have allowed them to develop and deploy apps within days, instead of weeks, and produce numerous Web and mobile apps to improve the management of operations such as utility inspections, water conservation, active transportation, emergency operations, cemeteries, wildlife management and public art.  The District has also created public mobile maps that display parks and trails and business licenses. As well, through the District’s interactive mapping site, the public can access and analyze municipal datasets, and produce their own maps and reports.   

About the District of Squamish
Squamish, B.C. is a vibrant, youthful, active and growing community located at the northern tip of Howe Sound, 45 minutes north of the City of Vancouver in the scenic and outdoor-centric Sea to Sky corridor. With one of the fastest population growth rates in B.C., this picturesque mountain town offers some of the world’s best rock climbing hiking, kite boarding, wind surfing and mountain biking, all within a 10 minute radius. Squamish has a thriving arts and culture scene and is host to such major annual events as Squamish Days Loggers Sports, RBC GranFondo, Test of Metal and the Squamish Valley Music Festival. Squamish is also home to the largest congregation of wintering bald eagles in North America. For more information, visit squamish.ca.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and has been named to the Branham300.  Information about the company can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn


For media inquiries, please contact:
District of Squamish: Christina Moore, Communications Manager, 604.815.5025, Email Contact
Esri Canada: Email Contact




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