Ah Mardi Gras! For anyone living in or a native of a city that cherishes the 150-year-old tradition of marching bands, colorful floats, and revelry; you know there is nothing else quite like Mardi Gras season and Mardi Gras day – which is today for all of you who may not already know.

For this very special day, we thought it would be great to show a quick example of how GIS benefits the world of State and Local Government’s when it comes to throwing a big celebration like Mardi Gras. You see we have been so delighted to have the opportunity to work with the City of New Orleans. With them, we set up ArcGIS Server 10.1 in the cloud, stood up the Local Government Information Model (LGIM), deployed three ArcGIS for Local Government applications, and established data transfer routines to keep their data in the cloud current.

For this Mardi Gras season, the city leveraged ArcGIS Online to illustrate the parade routes for Mardi Gras. Visitors to the city’s website can view these routes by weekend and by day. Parade routes are color-coded to identify the route and times the parades begin.

nola mardi gras map

Internally the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is tracking the front and end of the parades at all times using GIS technology. This helps better coordinate the logistics that go into managing the event, allowing for better flow and fluidity, and creates a safer environment for all enjoying Mardi Gras in the Crescent City. And of course helps free up some folks that would probably rather spend a little time having a slice of some good ole Randazzo king cake – which I highly recommend of you ever make your way to the beautiful City of Nola.