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Aurora, Ill., Considers Citywide GIS Service Contract

The Aurora City Council is considering a $408,300 contract for satellite mapping services for departments throughout City Hall. The service would come through the California-based Environmental Systems Research Institute.

An aerial view of downtown Aurora, Ill.
(TNS) — The Aurora City Council is considering a contract to increase the use of global satellite mapping at departments throughout City Hall.

Aldermen are looking at a three-year, $408,300 contract with Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, California, for the Advantage Program, which would allow the city to "expand GIS throughout the organization," said Tim Shields, the city's Information Technology GIS manager.

"It's flexible, soluble and allows us to meet our needs," he told aldermen Tuesday night meeting as a Committee of the Whole.

One of the keys to the program is that the city would be assigned a strategic advisor to guide it through how global satellite, or GIS, mapping can be integrated throughout different city departments, Shields said.

He said it fosters collaborative planning, the incubation of ideas and innovation and gives the city access to consulting, training and premium support services, as well as management of how to use the cloud.

Shields said the program would help the city maximize its investment in GIS.

The city uses its GIS mapping ability now to create maps for everything from its senior snow shoveling program to better understanding census tracts throughout the city.

This system would allow more usage of such mapping throughout other city departments, Shields said.

The money for the contract was approved in the 2024 city budget as a decision package, which is a program or expense proposed at budget time for the City Council to decide on.

Shields said while the term would include 2024, 2025 and 2026, the city was able to negotiate the price at a 2023 level, for all three years.

"We are locked in at 2023 rates for the entire contract," he said.

Aldermen are set to vote on the contract at the Jan. 23 City Council meeting.

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