Local government employees from North Carolina were honored earlier this month at the 2023 North Carolina Geographic Information Systems Conference with the G. Herbert Stout Award.
The award recognizes a city, town or county for a GIS application that benefits the organization by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing productivity.
“Herb Stout believed in the power of GIS technology to impact the lives of citizens,” said Tim Johnson, Conference Chair and NC Geographic Information Officer, “He was passionate about the need to gather practitioners from local government and elsewhere at this conference to share information and learn from each other.”
This year’s award winners and their projects are as follows:
Person County – Road Sign Work Order Solution
Person County submitted a 4-phase plan to improve the workflow of repairing road signs. The plan reduced the amount of staff time needed to process reports on road sign issues and complete repairs. The county’s GIS staff utilized the Citizen Problem Reporter tool within their GIS software, already in use by the county.
The tool enabled GIS staff to customize reports that would be sent to General Services and Public Works employees to create a work order dashboard. These were sent to field staff automatically by email so the repairs could be made more efficiently.
The new work order system has resulted in more issues being correctly routed to the appropriate agency, fewer unnecessary trips and redundant purchases, and expedited road sign repairs reported by first responders, mail and delivery drivers, and private citizens.
MapForsyth and the Kernersville Police Department – Forsyth CARES (Community Assistance Registry for Emergency Services)
Forsyth CARES allows citizens to voluntarily provide information regarding themselves or a family member who may have special needs so that emergency services and first responders can be made aware in an emergency situation. The data is made available to 911 centers across Forsyth County.
Forsyth CARES is a project created as a multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency collaboration that includes:
- Town of Kernersville (Police, Fire, Information Technology and Communications)
- Forsyth County Emergency Services (911, EMS, Fire)
- Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
- Forsyth County Communications Department
- City of Winston-Salem (Police, Fire and Communications)
Staff from each of these first responder locations had access to a dashboard developed by MapForsyth, the county’s GIS department. Data regarding cognitive conditions, visual or hearing impairments, known health conditions, medications and a person’s emergency contacts are all available on the dashboard.
This information can be relayed to emergency services personnel to assist in de-escalation; issuance of Silver, Amber and Ashanti alerts; finding next of kin; or knowing how to find a missing person based on their known vehicle information, physical characteristics, or favorite frequent places.
About the NCGIS Conference and the N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCCGIA)
The NCGIS Conference, held every two years, offers opportunities for professionals and students of GIS and computer mapping technology to network and learn about advancements and new applications for GIS software. It is sponsored by the NCCGIA, the N.C. Geographic Coordinating Council, and Carolina URISA.
The NCCGIA is part of the N.C. Department of Information Technology. Its mission is to advance the use of GIS technology as a tool for better decision-making in North Carolina. It accomplishes this by coordinating statewide geospatial initiatives through the NC Geographic Information Coordinating Council (NC GICC) resulting in cost-effective ways to create, access, and apply geographic data and technology.