Cedar Falls GIS Needs Assessment

Cedar Falls, Iowa

This project objective was to conduct a comprehensive GIS Needs Assessment for Cedar Falls of existing data, which was being maintained in various formats by different departments, and create a unified and central GIS program for the various city departments to use.

The growing City of Cedar Falls, Iowa was seeking a solution to manage the geospatial data being maintained in various formats by different departments. The city of more than 41,000 residents did not have a centralized GIS program, and much of the existing information that needed to be converted consisted largely of hard copy maps and miscellaneous CAD files. What GIS data layers Cedar Falls did have needed to be consolidated into a single geodatabase for easy management and maintenance.

SAM (formerly Midland GIS Solutions) was hired by the City of Cedar Falls to conduct a comprehensive Needs Assessment of existing data and provide a detailed action plan for the city to move forward with a citywide GIS program. We were selected because of our experience in consulting and GIS development services for cities and utilities throughout the Midwest.

Our team scheduled a series of meetings with city personnel and stakeholders to first conduct an on-site review of current hardware and software being utilized by the city. We then reviewed existing spatial data and took an inventory of all hard copy maps, existing GIS and tabular data and CAD files. Following the data inventory process, we reviewed the city’s procedures for collecting and maintaining land-based information. This process allowed us to better understand daily processes and workflows as well as different mechanisms to track work orders, maintenance procedures and management of equipment and facilities. All of this information was reviewed and analyzed to better understand the most effective way to develop a comprehensive GIS program.

A final report was presented to, and accepted by, the City of Cedar Falls to move forward with their GIS project. Based on the recommendations included in the Needs Assessment report, the city made the decision to utilize a web-based and mobile solution to manage their GIS data and selected our firm to develop an Integrity™ website. The city’s existing data has all been converted into an enterprise geodatabase so that authorized personnel can view, edit, manage and maintain valuable geospatial and utility data in a centralized environment.Cedar Falls, Iowa

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