Portsmouth, Ohio, has made getting maps and utility information much easier by implementing a Web-based GIS portal. Utility workers, engineers and residents can now access up-to-date sewer, floodway, zoning and parking information from virtually any location.

"This particular solution allows us to put all of our data that we've had in different sources together in one source, which is now an Oracle database," said city CIO Michael Penn. "It's a mountain of data we have right now and it's a lot easier to deal with when it's all in one place."

The Nitty-Gritty

Portsmouth began harnessing GIS technology in 1997, when the city hired Penn. "The current mayor had an idea that he'd like to see GIS implemented, and he brought me onboard; we got a start on it," he said. "We'd been doing digital maps within the city for a long time, and it's just been until recently that we had the idea to put everything on the Internet and make it available for pretty much everybody."

Now Portsmouth uses AutoCAD Map 3D, Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise software and Oracle Spatial database technology to display digital design data.

"If you think about it, Oracle is basically in the center -- that's where all the data is stored," said Mark Christian, product marketing manager for Autodesk. "The sewer lines, the cadastral data, zoning data -- all types of information like that -- is stored in the Oracle database."

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Jessica Jones, Contributing Writer  |  Contributing Writer