Last Wednesday we had a visit from Daniel Elroi and David Pimblott of NorthSouth GIS. We got their attention through a blog post we wrote about a month ago. In January 2008, NorthSouthGIS wrote a document titled “The Port of Los Angeles Port Police GIS Strategy Project”(DM#: 348668). This document outlines steps to implement a world-class Enterprise GIS at the Port of LA, including specifics such as which software suites to use and skills to look for in new hires. We are very interested in the progress the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) is making toward the development of their GIS program. POLA is much larger than the Port of San Diego (POSD), but has many of the same obstacles and objectives. Today, we held a meeting where Daniel and David met with key representatives of various departments at POSD. Port Employees representing Information Technology, Land Use Planning, Engineering, Environmental, Harbor Police/Dispatch, and Homeland Security were there. For all who were present, the meeting was an opportunity to discuss the future goals and possibilities of the POSD GIS program. Before Daniel and David started their presentation I took the opportunity to describe where we are in the process of creating a truly Enterprise GIS. Below are my notes and videos on the current GIS functionality available to everyone on our internal network.
Our current full blown enterprise systems at the Port are Docs Management and SAP. Creating an Enterprise GIS System will help create a common operating picture from a geographic perspective across the Port from General Services to Real Estate and from our interns clear up to our CEO. There is no longer a costly piece of software, minimum hardware requirements or years of technical experience blocking access to basic GIS functionality. Our goal now is to understand the workflow of Port Employees and how this system could be best utilized to them be more efficient and accurate. One important point about this system that should be mentioned is that the Enterprise GIS System is currently only an internal product. Only those who have access to our other Enterprise systems, DM and SAP, have access to this system. This system is not being shared with any outside organization.
[Play video one] This is the PortGIS Resource Center. You will be able to get here from a clear icon on the internal homepage. The PortGIS Resource Center is the central gateway to access GIS information at the Port of San Diego. From here you can access web mapping applications designed specifically for various tasks and departments. At the PortGIS Resource Center IT staff will also have a streamlined method to help end users (you) through the process of installing software. Users can also send us an email or check out the GIS blog. All of the GIS web applications are still in Beta, meaning they can’t be counted on to be up and running all the time, but they are of a high enough quality to expose users to their capabilities.
[Play video two] This GIS web application is called PortGIS Explorer. At this site a user can access our high resolution aerial photos and the tidelands mapbook, which represents our overall geographic interests at the Port of San Diego. A user can navigate to see precisely the information they need. They can turn on and off layers and create images to include in reports and emails. They can learn specific information associated with the geographic features on display allowing them to answer questions like: “Who is the Master Tenant at this location?” They have the capability to measure distances between two or more points and measure areas. Questions this might help users answer are: “How long is the runway on the Midway? Or, what is the area water between the Navy Pier and the Broadway Pier?” We also have included a link to utilize Google Streetview. This tool allows users to access ground level images from within the GIS environment.
[Play video three] The second GIS web application is called PortGIS Projects. It is a full port effort to work through our large development effort which effect land we manage. This application includes the full functionality of the PortGIS Explorer application, but it also includes georeferenced maps from important documents. The ability to measure distances or compare these plans to the tidelands mapbook will create a common operating picture as departments move forward. Currently we have maps submitted from Destination Lindberg, the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan and the Old Police Headquarters and Park Project. If you would like to include a map from a report it is as easy as clicking on the “Add a Map” link and attaching it to your email.
[Play video four] The last GIS web application I’d like to introduce is called PortGIS Utilities. This web application is intended to be the central clearing house for our utilities data. The particular utilities included are: Electrical, Fire, Natural Gas, Fuel, Molasses, Oil, Sanitary Sewer, Storm Drain, Tallow, Telephone, Water, Chemical, Fiber Optics and Communication Lines. It is built upon the familiar PortGIS interface and is live data, meaning as our Engineers update this data it is updated in this page. Not only have we included the linework on the map, but Halcrow has also helped us to integrate the extent of our record drawings PDFs. These PDFs can be accessed from inside the PortGIS Utilities Web application. Instead of our engineers working with a file system to structure their data, the data will now be spatially indexed so they can find it more easily. It also will allow our engineers to share this data with the rest of the Port. General Services and Port Police are very interested in learning how to access this information quickly and efficiently.