In a previous article I went over some of the basics of ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS for Local Government, and GISi OneView. I got a little nostalgic thinking of that wonderful 90’s video game, Super Mario Bros. 3, and how both ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS for Local Government compare to the game. When I wrote that article, I originally was going to briefly cover how all of these things fit into a state and local government organization. As I began writing, I realized I needed a lot more room to write about what it means to have a truly optimal GIS implementation.

So what exactly does a truly optimal GIS implementation look like? It looks like a hybrid…


Ok, ok…not that kind of hybrid. But she is beautiful isn’t she?

A growing trend in how state and local governments are implementing Esri technology includes what we at GISi have termed “the hybrid”. The hybrid maximizes your organization’s investment in all of these technologies while harmonizing the convergence of them at the same time. In essence, you’re taking into consideration the needs of your organization and the individuals who will be using your GIS technology.

For years we have supported our clients by maximizing their investment with on-premise implementations of Esri’s ArcGIS for Server software. Clients ask us if their previous installation needs to be replaced with ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS for Local Government. The answer is not at all.

ArcGIS for Local Government and ArcGIS Online are not designed to replace this investment, but rather extend it. Combining ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS for Local Government, and GISi OneView can offer a complete picture. As a local government, you will be supporting constituents and internal workflows through targeted, focused applications as well as the veteran GIS users with traditional GIS tools that that are mobile agnostic. This is the hybrid. This is the model implementation of GIS for state and local government.

A perfect example of a hybrid implementation is a county government client of ours who, for several years, has had an Esri ArcIMS “all inclusive” viewer in place. Many users have complained about not being able to quickly find information and that the viewer was clunky and had way too many layers to turn on/off. Sound familiar? On the other hand, the site offered many useful tools that the client’s more advanced users appreciated and used. Things like buffering, measuring, redlining, and printing tools. Realizing they were missing the mark with their citizens and other non-GIS users, the client decided to capitalize on their Esri investment and implement the hybrid. Here’s what their hybrid will look like:

  • ArcGIS Online – The Maps & Apps Gallery will be the windshield into their GIS product offerings. The client has setup an ArcGIS Online architecture that will allow them to produce web map/app products very quickly. The gallery will offer users an intuitive way to access these products.
  • ArcGIS for Local Government – The client is starting with 3 targeted focused applications. With their citizens and other non-GIS users in mind, the client wants to provide access to focused applications for property lookups, polling location, and government services. For any of these apps, users can access from mobile devices and the only piece of required information is an address or their current location in the field.
  • GISi OneView – The client will be implementing GISi OneView to support their veteran users that require access to multiple layers and GIS tools. OneView, developed with HTML5/JavaScript technology, is mobile agnostic, which supports a major requirement for the client.
  • Others – The client also has a Pictometry lookup app to disseminate their oblique photography and an advanced property report tool available in OneView and their TaxView.

If a hybrid implementation is something you want to make happen, or if you just want to challenge me to a game of Super Mario 3, feel free to contact me anytime.

In my next entry I will be providing examples of clients who went from a 100% desktop environment to supporting web/mobile maps & apps in 1-week thanks to ArcGIS Online. Reminding us that the hybrid is not a 1-size fit all.

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