Akld City picks spatial running mate

Auckland City Council expects improved customer service, asset management and decision making down the track now that it's selected a partner for its 'spatial IT' strategy.

Auckland City Council expects improved customer service, asset management and decision making down the track now that it's selected a partner for its "spatial IT" strategy.

Colorado-based Silverfern Global, which was chosen from 10 hopefuls, will work with the council to decide how to use spatial IT -- the use of global satellite positioning, geographical and remote sensing technology -- to improve and augment the council's activities, says council IT and communications manager Ian Rae.

A series of models for spatial IT development will be identified and those deemed to be most beneficial will be further assessed, with Silverfern's help, before the final path is chosen, Rae says.

Auckland City has been using spatial technology since the mid-'90s, when GE Smallworld geographical databases were installed for land, water, drainage network and city planning, with an interface to property data held in the council's textual database. Last year AMIS, an infrastructure planning tool, was added, along with other features. From June it has been possible to move financial data about council assets from AMIS to the council's SAP financials system.

Among the ultimate benefits of a co-ordinated spatial IT strategy will be improved customer service, better decision-making capability regarding infrastrucutre asset management and greater ability to understand and model the impact of proposed environmental changes, Rae says.

As its name suggests, Silverfern Global does have a Kiwi connection: the principal heading the Auckland city contract is a New Zealander, Martin Walls.

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