State GIS Projects Recognized with Esri’s Special Achievement in GIS Awards

August 4, 2021

It was terrific to see so much exciting state GIS work highlighted during the Esri Users Conference this year! Of special note were Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award Winners among NSGIC's membership:

Arizona State Land Department and several other counties in Arizona - AZGeo is the state of Arizona’s geospatial solution to duplicative (non-authoritative) datasets, inefficient workflows and collaboration platform challenges. It provides a centralized access point for authoritative data, cross jurisdictional collaborative space, GIS tools and functionality to under-served and/or resource challenged entities, custom applications, and much more to citizen’s and GIS professionals in Arizona. Kudos to NSGIC members Jenna Leveille and Shea Lemar!

State of Arkansas, Parks & Tourism Dept - At the onset of COVID-19, the GIS program leveraged all available GIS tools and technology to collect, analyze, and report data to make reliable data-driven decisions at the highest level of state government. The COVID-19 Impact Analysis Dashboard enabled their agency to make critical decisions regarding staffing concerns, PPE and supply distribution, visitor and staff safety, as well as monitoring the impacts of revenue and expenses.

Georgia’s Secretary of State, Geospatial Information Office (GIO), and many other state agencies - Kudos to NSGIC member Susan Miller!

Kansas Department of Health and Environment - KDHE GIS supported the statewide planning process for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Following CDC guidelines, they downloaded population estimates at the county level for racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals 65 years and older, individuals with disabilities, individuals that are underinsured or uninsured, individuals living in congregate settings, and individuals attending colleges or universities. They also reached out to several statewide certification boards and professional organizations to compare those estimates with licensing and membership databases. Data was aggregated into an interactive dashboard providing subtotals of the priority groups based on the counties selected in the map. Additionally, PDF maps were created, as well as a custom web app that summarized the results of a statewide hospital assets survey conducted by the Kansas Hospital Association. Those products informed the immunization team’s decisions on vaccine distribution while doses were limited.

Commonwealth Office of Technology and Kentucky Health Dept, Kentucky Emergency Management, Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet - The Kentucky Emergency Management GIS/IT Workgroup has supported the Kentucky COVID-19 response effort since early March 2020. Geospatial technologies are used to visualize the distribution and rate of cases, track response-related assets, monitor health care facilities and the infrastructure they depend upon, and observe economic trends. GIS has allowed the workgroup to communicate effectively and efficiently with leadership and with the general public.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Maryland Department of Information Technology

Missouri OA/ITSD - Office of Geospatial Information and Department of Health and Senior Services - The Missouri Office of Geospatial Information (OGI) partnered with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to create and maintain over 50 new internal and public-facing information GIS applications for Missouri's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Besides reporting COVID cases, applications were developed for local public health orders, school closures, testing locations, and unemployment due to COVID. Requests were diverse, from creating a new PPE ordering system, to a daily team health report for all state employees, to identifying beds in long-term care facilities when patients were ready to be discharged from the hospital, but not ready to return home yet. Kudos to NSGIC members Tracy Schloss and Colin Duewell!

Montana Department of Environmental Quality - In 2019, Montana DEQ set out to develop an entirely new approach to Enterprise-level GIS. The goal was to establish GIS access for all DEQ employees and implement a broad governance structure to enable expanded use of GIS to meet program and departmental needs. This required alignment of senior leadership and the management team across all program areas to achieve a common vision.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Crisis Track

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Office of the Chief Information Officer - Operations Dashboard was utilized by the state to inform citizens with COVID-19 case information, and later the state’s vaccination efforts. As the dashboard evolved, the team utilized Experience Builder to streamline upgrades. In December 2020, the team was given one week to develop a vaccine dashboard mockup. The final product was released to the public in January 2021. The last release in May 2021 displays showed both case and vaccine information in a consolidated dashboard. Most of the case data were updated automatically throughout most of the pandemic, yet some data was entered manually daily via a separate application. The dashboard has been well received. NebraskaMap was utilized to provide a “one-stop shop” for other COVID-19 resources being produced within the state. Kudos to NSGIC member John Watermolen!

Utah PLPCO (Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office) - Revised Statute 2477 (Mining Act of 1866) is a federal law that authorized construction of roads across public lands. This law helped settle the West. Congress repealed R.S. 2477 in 1976, and enacted the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), preserving all R.S. 2477 rights-of-way. Today, the state and counties have to rely on R.S. 2477 to establish ownership of routes that have been used continuously for ten years prior to 1976. PLPCO’s GIS team assists the Utah Attorney General’s Office in RS2477 litigation by providing research and support. They were able to create a fully immersive site visit for attorneys and judges that is completely virtual. In 2020, this platform was successfully demonstrated as evidence in the federal court during the Bellwether trial. The success of this program led them to develop a public facing application called Access Map 360° to explore Utah’s public lands.

State of Wyoming Game and Fish

Note: More information can be found on the Esri 2021 SAG web page.