Dermot O’Kane, Head of Sales, Esri Ireland; Michael Walsh, CEO, Waterford City & County Council; and Jon Hawkins, GIS Projects Leader, Waterford City & County Council
Esri Ireland, the market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has annouced that Waterford City and County Council has implemented Esri’s digital mapping software to help improve the delivery of local government and public services to more than 116,000 citizens in Waterford.
Esri’s GIS solutions are helping to digitally transform Waterford Council, by moving it away from many paper-based processes and leading to numerous efficiencies and benefits. The technology is being rolled out across many areas of the organisation, to help the Council to manage the wide range of services it delivers. These include housing, planning, finance, property management, roads, environment and customer service.
Esri’s digital mapping platform integrates with Waterford Council’s systems, transforming the way it manages numerous functions, such as housing and planning applications. Employees in the planning department have used the digital mapping platform to make faster and more informed decisions on 4,400 planning applications to date - based on easy access to accurate and complete information covering the entire county.
The mobile functionality of the technology is also transforming how the Council manages social housing throughout Waterford. Employees can now collect data in the field using smartphones and tablets with information immediately accessible in the main office, enabling it to complete double the number of housing inspections carried out each year.
Additionally, the mapping platform helps Waterford citizens to have a more active role in their social housing application. Applicants for choice-based lettings can now view the location of properties they are interested in, as well as nearby amenities, all from online.
Waterford Council is benefitting from far greater efficiencies by digitising these previously paper-based processes. For example, the environment team have used the technology to complete more than 1,250 litter quantity and pollution surveys, removing unnecessary administration and the duplication of data to achieve an 80% time-saving.
Waterford Council is also creating a number of publicly accessible interactive maps to make local information readily available and boost tourism in the region. Last year, approximately 790,000 overseas and domestic tourists visited Waterford, contributing more than €160 million to the local economy.
The maps developed by Waterford Council showcase attractions and upcoming events throughout the county, helping to attract more tourists to the area. One such series of maps explores the Waterford Greenway, a 46-kilometre off-road cycling and walking train along the old railway line from Waterford city to Dungarvan. Visitors can use the map on or offline to easily view car parks, bike hire shops, toilet facilities and highlights along the route, as well as viewing the local weather forecast.
Dermot O’Kane, Head of Sales, Esri Ireland, commented: “It’s great to see Waterford City & County Council embrace GIS throughout the authority. Councils across Ireland can leverage digital mapping to light up the data in their organisation - making information easily accessible for both their own staff and the wider public.
"While staff can make better decisions, complete tasks faster, study patterns and plan accordingly, the people of Waterford are also benefitting through improved access to local information and rich story maps highlighting the fantastic activities and attractions found across their county.”
Michael Walsh, CEO, Waterford City & County Council, said: “Waterford City & County Council is a local authority with responsibility for delivering local government and services to local businesses, citizens and visitors to Waterford. Esri’s GIS system has become a really important tool for us in terms of the effectiveness, the speed and hopefully the quality of decision-making within the Council.”
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