Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ESRI ArcGIS Server to Maximize Information Access

Aqua America, Inc., a publicly traded water and wastewater company headquartered in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, has selected ArcGIS Server as the basis of its enterprise-wide geographic information system (GIS). The enterprise system built on ArcGIS Server gives Aqua America and its subsidiaries expanded access to information while eliminating stand-alone information systems, reducing redundant software and streamlining GIS operations and administration.

Employees at Aqua America will use the system to access water and wastewater infrastructure data through a Web-based interface in the office or through an ArcGIS Mobile smart client in the field. ArcGIS Server complements ArcGIS Desktop, ESRI's flagship spatial data geoprocessing software, by giving Aqua America's nontechnical users easy, Web-based access to spatial data management, visualization, and analysis abilities. ArcGIS Server will benefit the company by improving asset management, decision making, short- and long-term operational planning, and support for field-workers. It will also provide a unified platform for operational awareness.

"Several of our state subsidiaries are starting to build their own GIS, and ArcGIS Server enables them to take advantage of technical expertise already available in our headquarters office, reduce duplication of effort, and create the same look and feel for GIS access across the organization," says Bill Ross, Aqua America's vice president of engineering.

"The move to ArcGIS Server makes it possible for us to create customized browser access for employees to interact with and extract information from the GIS. It also minimizes individual software license purchases," says Frank Grablutz, senior project engineer for Aqua Pennsylvania, the corporation's largest subsidiary. ESRI business partner GeoData Modelers, Inc, will assist with the ArcGIS Server implementation and customization.

Aqua Pennsylvania currently uses ArcGIS Desktop software to manage infrastructure that includes more than 4,300 miles of pipe and nearly 20,000 hydrants. According to Grablutz, Aqua Pennsylvania's GIS, implemented two years ago, greatly improved planning, scheduling, and budgeting processes for its water main renewal program. ArcGIS Desktop software was used to convert more than 900 infrastructure maps to a GIS format, which improved data management and map production and made it easier for mobile crews to access up-to-date GIS data and maps in the field. Aqua Pennsylvania's engineers are also integrating customer water-usage information and other data into the GIS to improve hydraulic modeling and planning.

Aqua America, Inc., provides water and wastewater services to approximately three million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and South Carolina. Aqua America is listed on the New York and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol WTR.



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