Tag: Capital Improvement Planning

Introducing the Cost Analysis Widget in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS


Ever wanted to use a web app to sketch in new infrastructure assets and automatically estimate the cost?  Then you’re in luck, because that’s what the Cost Analysis widget available in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS helps you do! Today Cost … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Online, Electric & Gas, Local Government, Portal for ArcGIS, Water Utilities, Web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check out GeoPlanner for ArcGIS at the 2017 Esri User Conference!


You’ll have many opportunities at the 2017 Esri User Conference to learn about GeoPlanner for ArcGIS and how it can help you plan, design and test scenarios.

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, ArcGIS Online, Local Government, Mapping, National Government, Oceans & Maritime, Portal for ArcGIS, Public Safety, risk assessment, Services, State Government, Telecommunications, Transportation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New GeoPlanner Course – It’s Free!


Interested in learning more about GeoPlanner? Interested in green infrastructure planning in GeoPlanner? Esri Training recently released a new course that will introduce you to green infrastructure concepts and how to use GeoPlanner’s analysis tools to discover patterns and phenomena in data.

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, ArcGIS Online, Local Government, National Government, Portal for ArcGIS, risk assessment, State Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Started with 3D in GeoPlanner

GeoPlanner App Icon

GeoPlanner helps you design, test and collaborate on scenarios in 2D and 3D so you can make better decisions about the future of your community. GeoPlanner enables you to plan and test ideas in what-if scenarios.

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, ArcGIS Online, Local Government, National Government, Portal for ArcGIS, risk assessment, State Government, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benefits of the Local Government Information Model for Water Utilities

Why should a water, wastewater or stormwater utility adopt the Local Government Information Model?

Easier Deployment

One of the biggest benefits of a water utility adopting the Local Government Information Model is that it makes deploying the ArcGIS for Water Utilities maps and apps easier, faster and cheaper.  The further you deviate from the Local Government Information Model, and in particular it’s geodatabase schema, the harder it will be for you to implement the maps and apps that are part of ArcGIS for Water Utilities. It will also be hard and time consuming to upgrade your ArcGIS for Water Utilities implementation when we release updates.

Changes you make to the Local Government Information Model schema may necessitate extensive modifications of the maps documents, and changes to apps (web apps, mobile apps, ArcGIS Desktop, etc.) that are part of ArcGIS for Water Utilities.  So the closer you stay to the core Local Government Information Model, the easier your initial deployment will be and the easier it will be to migrate your ArcGIS implementation to new releases or to deploy updates to the maps and apps.

It’s also important to note that when we say “adopt” the Local Government Information Model we don’t mean that you necessarily have to use it as is (or more appropriately – as downloaded).  You probably will need to configure the Local Government Information to meet the needs of your organization.   But the key thing to keep in mind is you should only be making changes to accommodate the true organizational needs of your utility. For example, instead of changing the field names to the field names you’d like to use in your organization, modify field and map layer aliases.   Bottom line, don’t reinvent the wheel, just make changes that are required to meet specific business needs in your organization.

At the very least you need to change the projection to the appropriate coordinate system and set up the domains to reflect the assets in use at your utility.  Small utilities or utilities that are new to GIS may choose to take the Local Government Information Model as is, while larger utilities, mature GIS implementations, or GIS implementations that are integrated with other enterprise system will undoubtedly need to make more significant configurations or extensions to the schema to reflect their organizational needs.  

Water, Sewer and Stormwater Data Modeling Best Practices

The Local Government Information Model incorporates many best practices for water utility GIS.  One of the most important best practices is how to represent a water, sewer or stormwater system in GIS.  

For years Esri had downloadable data models for water, wastewater and stormwater utility networks.  Those data models were the first freely available water utility GIS data models.  They were stewarded by Esri, but built by the user community and became the industry standard.  Globally thousands of water utilities have built their GIS around Esri’s free data models.  

The Local Government Informational Model is the next iteration of Esri’s water, sewer and stormwater data models.  In essence we’ve modernized the data models to reflect how water utilities have been deploying GIS over the past few years and we’ve also modified the schema to fit the requirements of the ArcGIS for Water Utilities maps and apps.  As water utility GIS continues to evolve Esri will regularly maintain the Local Government Information Model to keep introducing new best practices into the user community and functionality into our apps.

Comprehensive Data Model

There is no doubt Esri’s water, wastewater and stormwater data models were an incredibly valuable starting point for water utilities to get their utility networks into GIS.  Since the original data models focused primarily on a data structure for the assets that comprise utility networks, we received feedback that many utilities wanted more guidance on how to model operational data (workorders, service requests, customer complaints, main breaks, capital improvement projects, etc.) and base data (roads edge of pavement, road centerlines, elevation data, parcels, etc.) in their GIS.  The Local Government Data Model solves this problem because it includes a complete schema for typical water utility base data and operational data.  

Over the years, an observation we’ve made is that water utilities struggle with how to model and manage schemas for datasets that aren’t their utility networks or operational data – simply put managing base data can be a challenge for water utilities. For example we’ve seen a lot of utilities struggle with managing roads, parcel, buildings, etc. in their enterprise GIS, especially when these datasets are coming from other organizations or departments.

This is a particular issue for water utilities that serve multiple units of local government such as authorities, county wide utilities, state wide utilities and private companies.  A good example of this is a water authority whose service territory includes three counties.   The water authority needs parcel data that is maintained by the counties.  County A, County B and County C all use different schemas for their parcels.  So the water utility had two choices – leave the parcels in 3 different data layers and use them as is – which makes analysis, map creation and integration with other systems at the utility that need parcel data (such as a customer information system) difficult.  Or invest time to extract, transfer and load (ETL) the parcels into a common schema so they can be used as a single seamless layer across the service area.  The Local Government Information Model can now serve as the common schema in this example.
Easier Data Sharing

We describe the Local Government Information as a harmonized information model – meaning designed to accommodate typical GIS needs across local government.  If organizations that commonly share data all adopt the Local Government Information Model, it will greatly reduce the time and resources spent establishing a common schema and migrating data to these schemas – thus allowing water utilities to focus on the maintenance and management of their authoritative data.

For example a private water utility may serve two municipalities.  If the water utility and both municipalities all adopt the Local Government Information Model then they can all very easily exchange data.   When the water utility needs road centerline and edge of pavement layers from the municipalities than the utility can just import the new data without having to manipulate the schema and will have seamless layers for their service areas.  The same logic applies to the water utility sharing data with the municipalities – when the water utility updates the location of their upcoming capital projects, the utility can share that data back with the municipalities and the municipalities can use it without any schema manipulation.

Best Cartographic Practices for Water Utility Maps

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, the Local Government Information Model includes geodatabase schema, map documents and specification for services necessary to deploy the ArcGIS for Water Utilities and ArcGIS for Local Government maps and apps.  

The map documents highlight
best practices for displaying water, wastewater and stormwater data in the context that each map is designed to be used.  For example the map documents included with the Mobile Map Template have best practice cartography for displaying water utility GIS data in the field in both a day and night time use map.  The same goes for the map document included with the Infrastructure Editing Template – this is a best practice map document for editing water utility data with ArcGIS Desktop.

Looking to the Future

The specification for the services (map, feature, geoprocessing, etc) necessary for the ArcGIS Water Utilities maps and apps are also part of the Local Government Information Model.  So if other local government entities in the service area of water utility embrace the Local Government Information Model, ArcGIS for Local Government and start to publish services, then water utilities can consume those services for their maps and apps.  In this scenario the water utility may no longer have to import some data into their own geodatabase and can just consume the services right from the organization that is the steward of the data.

We hope you’ve found this exploration of some of the benefits water, wastewater and stormwater utilities will experience when adopting the Local Government Information Model helpful.  We encourage your feedback on the information in this blog, the Local Government Information Model or ArcGIS for Water Utilities.

Posted in Water Utilities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ArcGIS 10 Water Utility Template Updates Webcast Recording Now Available

The recording of the November 16 2010 ArcGIS 10 Water Utility Template Updates Webcast is can be viewed here:


As was requested during the webcast, we’ll be posting the most popular questions we received and answer to the blog shortly.

We’d like to also take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the live webcast and remind you to fill out the post webcast survey email.  Feedback from the water, wastewater and stormwater GIS user community directly drives our actions. 


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ArcGIS 10 Water Utility Template Updates Webcast

On November 16th at 1:00 PM EST we’ll be giving a
webcast that explores the ArcGIS 10 updates to the Water Utility
Templates.  You can sign up for the
webcast here: http://events.esri.com/info/index.cfm?fuseaction=showSeminar&shownumber=14102

During the hour long webcast, we’ll be focusing on changes
between the 9.3.1 versions of the Templates and the ArcGIS 10 Templates, highlighting
some of the new functionality of ArcGIS 10 that we are leveraging with the
Templates, talking about installation and configuration of the Templates and
demonstrating the Templates in action.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Water Utility Templates,
they are free downloadable configurations of ArcGIS for use in the water,
wastewater and stormwater industries.  So
even if you aren’t using the Water Utilities Templates now, this webcast will
give you an overview of what they are, how they can benefit you and how you can
configure them for your organization.

Posted in Water Utilities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group

We’ve created a LinkedIn Group for the Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group so we can share more details about our first meeting and answer any questions.  Here is a link to the group – http://linkd.in/bum9lz

Going forward we’ll be using this LinkedIn group to plan future SIG meetings and hope it becomes a useful forum for water, wastewater and stormwater ArcGIS users in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As we’ve previously announced, the SIG’s first meeting is at the ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference December 1st in Philadelphia, PA. More information about the MUG Conference and the SIG can be found here – http://bit.ly/bZGvCX

We’d also like to announce that we’ve selected our first user presentation for the December 1st SIG meeting.  Joe Spollen will be presenting on “A Day in the Life of a Water Company GIS Analyst”.  During this presentation Joe will share his experience using ArcGIS Desktop and Server applications at a large private water utility to maintain water distribution system data, create and share maps, support capital planning and other common daily tasks for water utility GIS users.

We’ll be sharing more of the agenda as we confirm other user presentations.

Posted in Water Utilities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leveraging ArcGIS.com for Water Utilities


If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore the recently launched ArcGIS.com I wanted to bring to your attention some of the benefits it has to offer to water, wastewater and stormwater utilities.  I also wanted to urge those of you have either public facing web or mobile applications or have published services to register them with ArcGIS.com.

Building the Online Community for Water Utility GIS

We are frequently asked by water utilities how they can engage with ESRI and the broader water utility GIS community.  These discussions often include how to begin sharing or better share GIS information (interchange, consume or publish) with other entities using GIS within a utility’s service area such as local government, state government, other utilities, environmental groups, etc. 

ESRI has always had a strong water/wastewater GIS community that has in person meetings and collaborates on things like best practice and datamodels.  For years we’ve had discussion forums on our website where you can share thoughts and ask questions to the user community (If you haven’t been to the forums lately take a look, we recently upgraded the forum functionality).

Last year we launched the Water Utility Resource Center which is focused on formally sharing best practices within the community.

Now we’ve launched ArcGIS.com, which enables water utilities to better share information with organizations in your service areas, utility stakeholders and with the broader GIS community.

Here are a few ways that water utilities can benefit from ArcGIS.com

Finding Content

You can search for web content such as map services, web GIS applications, mobile GIS applications and user groups as well as data that has been uploaded and shared by individual users. 

For example, if your utility serves the Philadelphia area you can use Philadelphia as a key word to search for Web Content.  Doing so returns a list of application and maps that other users have registered with ArcGIS.com.  The 2nd entry in this list is a detailed basemap service of the City of Philadelphia that you could use as a basemap in ArcGIS Desktop or a web mapping application published from ArcGIS Server.

Making a Map

You can make maps with ArcGIS.com using either content you’ve published or content you’ve found.  For example here I’m adding an internally published web mapping service of water and sewer workorders published with a basemap on ArcGIS.com. 

And now I have web application that’s ready to use with my workorder locations on top of the ArcGIS.com basemap.


Sharing Content

ArcGIS.com enables water utilities to share GIS content and applications.  For example I can share files such as layer packages or map documents, web mapping services, web mapping applications and ArcGIS Mobile Applications.

Files can be shared with the public or with groups.  A group is an effective way of sharing your content with limited numbers of people that you control.  For example you could set up a group to share a layer file of proposed capital projects with the GIS managers at other utilities and local government in your service area. 

Web mapping services you add to ArcGIS.com can be discovered and used by other organizations to create web mapping mash ups or used in ArcGIS Desktop.  So if you’ve published a map service of your capital projects than other organizations in your service area can mash up that service in their web applications.

You can add web mapping and mobile GIS applications, making them easily discoverable for those who would benefit from using the applications, such as when you want to gather volunteered geographic information from the general public.  Adding your applications to ArcGIS.com showcases the good work you are doing to the broader water utility community and can helps make GIS more visible at your utility. 

Help Build the Community

Since ArcGIS.com is truly a tool for the water utility user community we’d like to ask those of you who have content that can be shared to spend a few minutes (that’s all it takes) sharing it on ArcGIS.com so we can all collectively benefit.


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Benefits of Capital Improvement Planning with GIS Webcast

Date:  Tuesday, January 12, 2010   
Location:  ESRI Seminar on the web    
Time  1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  EST

Water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities are encouraged to join us for a free webinar exploring the new, freely available ArcGIS Water Distribution Capital Planning (CIP) Template.

See the New Water Distribution CIP Planning Template in Action

Learn how you can implement this free, downloadable template by watching a demonstration of the template as part of a typical water utility workflow. You’ll see how to use and customize geoprocessing models to gain better insight into how your water network is performing and what assets you should consider replacing or rehabilitating. You’ll also see how you can use your existing GIS data to estimate CIP project costs and cost out main extensions.

Learn About the ESRI Water Utility Resource Center.

Whatever your GIS experience, you’ll want to know how to download and leverage our free templates including the recently released CIP template. Plus, hear how to share knowledge with your peers and ESRI’s Water Team.

Find Out How Water Utilities Benefit from Using GIS in CIP

Discover the benefits of GIS-supported decision making for CIP and geodesign for project costing.

Get Your Questions Answered

The ESRI team that created the CIP template will answer your questions on how you can modify and customize the template to fit your utility’s needs.


Register – http://events.esri.com/info/index.cfm?fuseaction=showSeminar&shownumber=13106

Posted in Water Utilities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment