Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to replace disparate databases with ArcGIS Server

March 12, 2009
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District provides wastewater services for 28 municipalities in a 420-square-mile service area covering 5 southwestern Wisconsin counties. Serving these municipalities requires MMSD to continue developing spatial inventories and applications that meet internal and external needs for planning and design. In an effort to meet these requirements, the utility has begun developing an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) using ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology...

• Utility's new geodatabase will improve customer service, business, design, and mapping efficiencies

REDLANDS, CA, Mar. 9, 2009 -- Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) provides wastewater services for 28 municipalities in a 420-square-mile service area covering 5 southwestern Wisconsin counties. Serving these municipalities requires MMSD to continue developing spatial inventories and applications that meet internal and external needs for planning and design. In an effort to meet these requirements, the utility has begun developing an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) using ESRI's ArcGIS Server technology. The aim is to improve mapping and organizational efficiency as well as bring added value to MMSD business operations.

Utilities around the world rely on ArcGIS Server to manage and improve planning and internal workflows, communicate vital issues, build mapping applications, publish and distribute maps, and connect stakeholders in the office or the field via GIS Web applications and services. ESRI simplifies the process of applying ArcGIS technology to projects with readily available data model templates.

"One of our guiding objectives for GIS at MMSD is to eliminate silos of data while providing cost-effective access to this data by all users," says MMSD project manager Don Nehmer. "The ArcGIS Server technology allows achievement of this objective."

MMSD began using ArcGIS Desktop software in 2003 for department-specific solutions. When the district decided to move into the ArcGIS Server environment, it chose HNTB, an infrastructure management firm, to help facilitate a multiphase implementation plan including the development of a business data model. The MMSD business data model focuses on existing data inventory and application user needs and includes the design of three tiered enterprise geodatabases maintained in an Oracle environment.

To populate the new geodatabases, a data conversion process will take more than 600 existing GIS datasets and inventory them into a number of different formats including shapefiles, CAD, MicroStation, and Oracle tables. Data such as aerial, boundaries, water quality, real estate, and watercourse will be categorized into thematic groups, then consolidated into one of the three geodatabases.

"Historically, information regarding water quality, water quality improvements, and physical features of water were located in separate departments at MMSD," says Nehmer. "Consolidation of this information took time, money, and executive sponsorship to change priorities. Now, all staff can access and output this information from their desktops without the help or sponsorship of other staff. The staff has the information it needs to make better and faster decisions, which was another of our guiding objectives."

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities.

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