Esri to Showcase Dedicated Snow Solutions at the APWA North American Snow Conference
By Donny Sosa
I appreciate the strategic timing of the upcoming APWA North American Snow Conference: it takes place as the snow thaws—when state and local governments across the country are assessing their performances in post-mortem meetings and grading their overall winter preparedness. I’d wager that the departments who received respectable marks have a GIS-based approach to snow fighting in common. This is a great time of year to ensure the unprepared are triumphant in 2017.
The advances in geography-based winter management have come a long way. Ten years ago, the concept of a GIS-powered winter operations center hadn’t been formed. Within the last five years, however, many Esri partners stepped up—as they usually do—and innovated solutions that communicated and interoperated with ArcGIS. They multiplied the winter management options available to local and state governments, creating snowplow tracking systems, data collectors, real-time dashboards, and many other extensions to enterprise GIS. For the first time, these enabled cities and states to go on the offensive against snow. Cities hired our partners to create robust, map-driven winter operations centers before the season threatened citizen safety and disrupted commerce. The fruits of those winter fortification projects were impressive: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) identified the potential to save several millions of dollars thanks to a GIS routing tool made by Esri partner GeoDecisions. Iowa DOT reduced its salt output by 10 percent with help from Esri partner Latitude Geographics.
These are just two examples, and they inspired Esri to evolve the ArcGIS platform into a more dedicated snow-fighting machine. These projects drove our development of focused GIS solutions for winter—data and apps bundled and tailored for cities of any size and on any budget. And the great part about these solutions is that they’re preemptive; departments don’t have to wait until next winter to get started. Bundles are easily configurable. They come equipped with apps to collect data in areas typically hit hard by snow to help you plan next year’s operations. They’re designed with collaboration in mind, so you can strategically coordinate with other departments to plan snow farms, predict staffing needs, and regulate equipment and material use.
In other words, ArcGIS bundles give you an unprecedented advantage that custom one-off implementations can’t offer. They’re quick to deploy and scalable throughout your organization and across the ArcGIS platform.