Horry County, South Carolina and a Day in their Life with Tim Oliver & Mike Sweeney

Tim Oliver of Horry County, South Carolina walks through the county's mission critical GIS system.

Jun 28th, 2014

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00:01We've seen many different parts of the ArcGIS platform.

00:05But what does it look like when all these parts come together into a real-time, completely integrated enterprise organization?

00:14Horry County, South Carolina, does just that.

00:18They bring it together into a mission-critical system that has to work, and it does work.

00:23So please welcome Mike Sweeney from Esri and from Horry County, Tim Oliver.

00:34In local government, there are only two kinds of data, spatial and financial.

00:39And even those two come together.

00:41In Horry County, we consider GIS to be mission critical.

00:45Our call to action is, it has to work.

00:48Everything that we do is defined by geography - public safety, 911 dispatch, the assessment process, building permits.

00:58The economic and financial future of the county is maintained and understood by the spatial connection.

01:05A staff of seven and myself maintain and support the GIS infrastructure for the county.

01:11Today, tightened budgets, a tech-savvy consumers, both citizens and employees...

01:17...and always having to be ready for a potential hurricane...

01:21...place demands on us to continue to push the envelope and provide GIS solutions.

01:27So you might ask, What's a typical day like in an organization that's so invested in GIS...

01:34...maintaining the foundation datasets, and continuing to deploy maps and apps for operational purposes?

01:42Well, my day starts at home.

01:44I check my iPad and I log in to our services monitor.

01:47I can log in and I can see the statuses of the services and the web maps that provide the foundation for operations.

01:55I can see if there's problems.

01:57I can identify those problems and refresh the maps and services from the monitor.

02:02So that before I get to the office, I know what I'm going to be faced with or what my staff is going to be faced with...

02:08...and we're ready for operations to begin.

02:11Then I log in to the Esri app, and I check active 911 calls to see what my drive to work is going to be like.

02:18 I can open up those incidents, see what the data is behind them.

02:22I can actually open up the traffic cameras and see what the traffic is like between my house and the office.

02:29Now that I know what my drive is going to be like, it's off to work.

02:34The foundation datasets that are so critical for that GIS-has-to-work philosophy...

02:41...parcels, streets, and centerlines, and address points are maintained by the IT GIS staff.

02:49Our 24-hour turnaround time is critical.

02:52If it's not in GIS, the assessment process can't begin, building permits can't be issued, and 911 calls can't be dispatched.

03:04So I have a great team back in Horry County.

03:06Unfortunately, they couldn't be with us here today.

03:09But why don't we check in with Matt and Justin and see what a typical day for them is like back in Horry County.

03:16Hey, Matt. Hey, Justin. Say hello to 14,000 of my closest friends.

03:23Hey, Tim. Hey, y'all.

03:25[Inaudible] in sunny San Diego to everyone, but somebody has to be here in Horry County to hold down the fort.

03:30So basically, my day begins and it ends with parcels.

03:32I'm currently finishing up a COGO, as you can see, for a subdivision I'm trying to get through into production.

03:37We maintain roughly 250,000 parcels and any edits require a 24-hour turnaround.

03:42So imagine keeping this data up to date is not only important for the public...

03:46...but it's all very important for several other county departments.

03:49After I finish this subdivision, I was planning on going back to working on the migration of the parcel fabric.

03:54But with tropical storm Chantal on the way, we'll be preparing for that.

03:57So, typically, this is a day in the life of a Horry County parcel technician.

04:01Hey, mom. I made it to the stage.

04:03I know you're watching live, so thanks for giving me the spatial gene. See you soon. Back to you, Tim.

04:10Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

04:15I know you'll have things covered for me when I return this Friday.

04:19That parcel data, it's critical for operations.

04:23Our tax assessor, Dana Fogner, is currently working on the reassessment process for next year.

04:29She needs to be able to analyze that parcel data with delinquent tax data and foreclosure data...

04:36...to see if the trends between delinquent tax and foreclosures carry on to property values for next year.

04:43Because what does that impact?

04:45It impacts the revenues for the county.

04:47So it's critical that the assessor's staff can use the GIS and also understand datasets not normally enabled by GIS.

04:57In a phone conversation with the director of storm water, Tom Garigen, we're discussing next year's aerial imagery...

05:03...and impervious surface acquisition project.

05:05That's important because it provides the foundation for his storm water fees.

05:09Last year, $4.5 million worth of revenue came in, and that revenue helped spawn the aerial imagery project...

05:17...and the impervious surface and planimetric data acquisition.

05:21But those building footprints that are required also help code enforcement and the assessors.

05:26They now, through change detection, can look at properties that may have missed the assessment...

05:30...or buildings that were constructed without building permits.

05:33So GIS has to work for storm water, but the benefits reach far beyond that one single department.

05:41Well, it's only a month into hurricane season, and already we've been visited by Andrea, and you heard that Chantal is on its way.

05:48So it's important that we're prepared for potential hurricanes.

05:53Even though Andrea was only a day-long rain storm, it gave the county's KYZ website...

05:59...and embedded mapping application, bringing it front to center.

06:03With three and a half million visitors annually, residents and visitors need to know what to do if an evacuation order is issued.

06:12This application helps them determine whether or not they're in an evacuation zone...

06:16...which route they're required to take out of town, or if need be, which shelter is the closest to their location.

06:23It's given Maria and Carissa an opportunity to check out the embedded map application...

06:27...and see if there're any changes that need to be made for this hurricane season.

06:32It's a matter of public safety. GIS has to work.

06:39Well, it's lunchtime.

06:40Gives me the opportunity to check out the public-facing parks app, and I can decide whether to walk downtown...

06:45...and check out the local cuisine.

06:47Maybe today it's fried mac and cheese or take the healthy alternative and the river walk down and check out the view...

06:55...from the boardwalk to see if that's an enjoyable afternoon.

06:59While the tourists all come to the beach, it's this small town quality of life that attracts businesses and residents to the area.

07:01...CityWorks, InterGov, Thompson Reuters, Motorola, and OnBase all as one through the GIS spatial connection.

07:07It's our opportunity using this application to promote economic development for the region.

07:14The final solution that we, as a county, are moving toward from an operational standpoint is a new ERP system.

07:20In discussions with Sheila Butler, the CIO, we've discussed how important this GIS foundation has been...

07:27...to our being able to analyze our line of business applications and see them as one through GIS.

07:34This executive dashboard solutions template allows us to see all of our line of business applications...

07:51It's critical that it gives us the ability to analyze and understand county operations from one single entry point, the GIS.

08:03The fire chief, Fred Crosby, has decided that the iPads and GIS are critical to his managing...

08:08...over 1,200 square miles in Horry County, 43 fire stations, and 400 plus career and volunteer fire fighters.

08:17How does he plan to do that?

08:19He first ordered 43 iPads, one for each station to be assigned to the primary apparatus with each of those stations.

08:27And then, he informed all of his fire fighters they needed to download the Esri app on their personal device...

08:34...smartphone device, and then request from the IT GIS staff an ArcGIS Online account for our organization...

08:41...so that they could access the active 911 calls and the preplan information that's stored in GIS.

08:48For them, it's important that not only do they have the incident information at hand, but more importantly...

08:54...what are they going to be faced when they get there?

08:56Are there hazardous materials?

08:58Are there building floor plans that they need access to?

09:01What does the site look like?

09:03So it's important and it's critical that GIS work for them as first responders as they look after the public safety for Horry County.

09:13Technology and Esri have changed the way we respond to emergencies.

09:17In 2009, a forest fire burned 20,000 acres and destroyed 70 homes.

09:23The GIS team, they couldn't keep up with the paper map requests.

09:26Before the maps rolled off the plotter, they were outdated.

09:30In 2013, the Windsor Green fire destroyed 26 homes - 26 buildings consisting of 110 condominiums.

09:38The GIS response was entirely mobile and web based.

09:42Within 30 minutes after arriving at the on-site EOC, damage assessments were completed using the iPad application...

09:50...and real-time updates were made to the ArcGIS Online web application, showing the assessed values...

09:57...the damaged structures, and photos associated with those buildings.

10:03GIS has to work for emergencies.

10:06It's the only way we can provide first responders and decision makers with the information that they need.

10:13Well, you might ask, Where to next?

10:15Well, there are three things that are affecting the direction that Horry County is moving.

10:19They are mobility, big data, and regional projects requiring the local government information model to manage incidents.

10:28We're doing that through an HTML5 application that you're seeing on the screen now.

10:32This works on all devices, and what you're seeing right now, real time, are active 911 calls going on in Horry County.

10:35Based on its incident type and its location, I'm now provided with traffic cameras and other associated information.

10:41We can scroll through them, see what's there.

10:43But what's more important about this application is it's not just dots on a map.

10:48If I touch this traffic accident, I'm going to get additional information.

11:00If I tap on the vehicle fire, must be out in the middle of nowhere...

11:05...but all of these information had actionable intelligence behind them, providing first responders...

11:12...with the information they need before they arrive on scene.

11:16If it had been a commercial structure fire, hazardous materials, hospitals, day cares, and nursing homes would display.

11:23If it's a school bomb threat, the floor plans of the schools would be available for first responders.

11:29So, that's been a quick look at a day in the life of an organization that's invested in GIS.

11:35What makes it work? I think it's two things.

11:38One, the philosophy that it has to work with GIS.

11:43It's the only option.

11:45We have to demonstrate the value of GIS to our end users and make it work for them.

11:51Secondly, it's the people.

11:53We've had a saying on our hallway walls now for several years that I think really makes Horry what it is.

12:00It says, It's not a job. It's a mission carried out by people with fire in their eyes. Thank you.

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