Autodesk technology makes information access easier for employees, residents in 11 B.C. municipalities

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Vancouver, B.C., September 24, 2002 -- Autodesk Inc. is working with eleven British Columbia (B.C.) municipalities to help improve service delivery of government services to residents and city workers through its Internet/Intranet mapping technology.

Municipalities utilizing the benefits of this new technology include the City of Nanaimo, City of New Westminster, City of Vancouver, District of North Saanich, City of Victoria, City of Penticton, City of Vernon, Corporation of Delta, City of Prince George, City of Castlegar, and the Township of Esquimalt.

With the implementation of Autodesk MapGuide web-based mapping software, which uses geographic information systems (GIS), the municipalities receive up-to-date geographic data such as city maps and land zoning information quickly-via a centralized Internet/Intranet portal.

Autodesk MapGuide allows municipal workers to enter information that can be queried and displayed into a map format that users can access simply by logging onto the Internet/Intranet.

Whereas paper maps were time-consuming and quickly outdated, the use of electronic maps ensures that if one portion of the map changes it can be immediately altered with a few keystrokes and applied to every map affected by the change.

With Autodesk GIS, residents may now have 24/7 access to a range of useful government services and information. B.C. municipalities can now publish city maps for municipal zoning requests and provide information about public facilities such as schools, libraries, halls, and recreation areas for users to access, including business hours and services provided. Future applications of the service identified by the municipalities include information on waste/recycling collection, garbage collection, speed limits, parking information, and street cleaning times.

For city employees, the use of the GIS software has streamlined information sharing procedures between departments, with the creation of a centralized web-based community that can be updated in real time. It also allows municipal workers to create specialized mapping applications such as monitoring traffic patterns, property tax assessment, municipal elections and infrastructure management.

"The ability to provide quick and easy access to information over the Internet has helped all levels of government respond to the needs of their constituents in an efficient and cost-effective manner," said Al Steel, General Manager, Canada. "We're excited to see the high adoption rates of GIS technology among B.C. municipalities and look forward to helping them maximize their investment."

Ed Kennedy, President of the Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC) added: "The use of satellite and mapping technologies in Canada isn't a new phenomenon, however bringing the benefits right down to the consumer, or in this case municipal residents, is an exciting development. We've just begun to exploit the endless possibilities this technology can provide, and with the proliferation of mobile devices it promises to become an integral part of our daily living in the very near future."

About GIAC
The Geomatics Industry Association of Canada (GIAC) is the only national business association dedicated to serving the geomatics industry in Canada. Originally formed in 1961 under the name Canadian Association of Aerial Surveyors, GIAC now encompasses the entire range of geomatics disciplines. Our members include almost 100 of Canada's leading geomatics service and technology firms, and approximately 80% of the active exporters in this sector.

About Autodesk
Founded in 1982, Autodesk Inc. is a design and digital media creation, management, and distribution company. The company serves a diverse portfolio of markets, including building design, geographic information systems, manufacturing, digital media, and wireless data services. For more information about the company, see www.autodesk.com.

BC Municipality Implementation Descriptions

* City of New Westminster (www.city.new-westminster.bc.ca) City staff use Autodesk MapGuide to assist visitors to quickly locate real-time zoning, building and mapping information-providing a one-stop source of information. Internally the application has helped improve access to mapping data and collaboration between departments and works as a tool for building permits, site/building information, electrical infrastructure (such as power poles, circuits and switches) and utility identification (i.e. fire hydrants and water mains).

* City of Nanaimo (www.city.nanaimo.bc.ca/citymap.asp) Visitors to the site can locate street addresses, garbage collection calendars, review school catchment areas, city parking lots, parks and trails, and search for common points of interest such as shopping centres, emergency services, ferry docks and hospitals. Internally, it has increased and improved data sharing and is used to locate zoning by-laws, housing plans, residential taxes, and city addresses.

* City of Vancouver (www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/vanmap) 'VanMap' allows both staff and the public to access information on street addresses, zoning, utilities, elections, City projects and construction, view corridors, and a variety of other layers. Staff have access to additional information on business licenses, assessed values, and other utilities. VanMap has become an integral part of technology used for municipal elections and for many other business processes in the City. Specialized MapGuide applications, such as for traffic calming devices are being developed and tested.

* District of North Saanich- District staff currently use Autodesk MapGuide for mapping information to confirm addresses, view aerial photography, confirm building locations and to copy and print maps. Over the next three months the District of North Saanich will be implementing additional tools, including the ability to access: property identification data, utility infrastructure, zoning boundaries and property tax information along with creating a new user interface to better suit the District's needs.

* City of Victoria- The City Planning Department began using Autodesk MapGuide in June 2001 to access a variety of property related information including assessment values and zoning maps. City staff also use Autodesk MapGuide at the front counter to help answer the public's various property related inquiries.

* City of Penticton- City workers now have access to information on parcel ownership, tax data, zoning, taxation, electrical and water billing, and utility location. The application has also helped improve and expand upon the library of aerial photos and mapping information for the City as it continues to develop the site internally.
BC Municipality Implementation Descriptions (cont'd)

* City of Vernon- The Engineering and Planning departments at the City of Vernon began to use Autodesk MapGuide in February 2002. Currently they are using and developing applications for city mapping, garbage calendar map, facility and heritage information as well as zoning, fire department and land use data.

* Corporation of Delta-The Corporation of Delta implemented Autodesk MapGuide in January 2001. Initial implementation required about six weeks. Engineering, Community Planning and Development, Parks and Recreation and the Fire Department all use Autodesk MapGuide in various ways to obtain fast and efficient access to land related information. For example, Engineering uses Autodesk MapGuide to locate utility infrastructure and obtain address information, Planning uses it for land information and orthophotos are used by many individuals.

* City of Prince George-The City first implemented Autodesk MapGuide in September 2000 as part of the City's service delivery strategy for providing more effective and efficient services. Now, virtually all City Divisions including Transportation, Utilities, Parks, Planning, and Fire use Autodesk MapGuide on a regular basis. Autodesk MapGuide has proven to be an enormous time saver and has contributed to streamlining a variety of processes including re-zoning notifications, service centre calls, field crew maintenance activities and front counter queries.

* City of Castlegar-The City of Castlegar is currently implementing Autodesk's MapGuide to better provide staff with the financial, legal, zoning, land use, and utility information that is critical for informed decision-making and timely response to public inquiries. Within the next year, the City will expand the role of its GIS to include MapGuide's internet applications that provide developers, real estate professionals, etc. with the property and land use information they often require.

* Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt-The Planning and Engineering Department began using Autodesk MapGuide in May 2002 to develop a GIS system-which at present includes road allowance topographic information, underground service information, colour ortho airphotos, and assessment and land title information. Zoning and land use data are being added in the near future and as data sources are added and additional internal users will be brought online and additional uses of Autodesk MapGuide will be developed. Access via the Internet is anticipated in 2003.

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