Table of Contents

Vol. 24
Issue 1

Project Management

San Mateo County
Standardizes on GeoMedia

GIS Net Surfing

News to Use

The Harlow Report -GIS

Volume 24 • No 1 •   2001
ISSN 0742-468X •  Since 1978
On-line Since 2000

San Mateo County, CA
Standardizes on GeoMedia

    Intergraph and Farallon Geographics teamed to deliver GeoMedia GIS solution This was in direct response to an announcement by San Mateo County, California, that they have standardized on Intergraph's GeoMedia® technology for its countywide GIS initiatives. After completing a comprehensive evaluation of leading vendors' enterprise GIS software, the county selected GeoMedia, GeoMedia Professional, and GeoMedia WebMap to support its GIS requirements.

    To help with the integration, the county selected Farallon Geographics Inc., a certified Intergraph business partner, for GIS implementation, professional services, and training. The county chose GeoMedia to help establish a centralized data management work flow. With GeoMedia WebMap the county can access data and distribute it widely to county personnel while improving data sharing and communication.

But what about a DBMS and CAD package?

    The county is integrating the GeoMedia products with Oracle8i and AutoCAD as they develop and manage an enterprise wide database and GIS basemap system. The county’s entire cadastral and planimetric landbase, consisting of parcels, right of ways, streets and highways, elevation contours, hydrographic features, and other data, will be housed in an Oracle8i Spatial database. So what is Farallon Geographics up to? They are assisting the county with an enterprise GIS implementation. This will range from setting enterprise GIS data maintenance and work flow standards and procedures to developing and installing spatial databases.

     Also, Farallon is providing countywide product training and is building Web-based applications that will provide easy access to the county's wealth of GIS data and support a wide range of county department work flows and business operations.

     "Based on our evaluation of GIS vendor software, Intergraph's GeoMedia products provided the most open platform and flexible data integration and customization tools for the variety of disciplines required by the county," said Mike Jackson, principal civil engineer with the San Mateo County Public Works Department. "We also selected Farallon Geographics to implement our GIS because of their customer-focused approach and GIS integration expertise." I don’t know about you, but when Michael Jackson speaks, I listen.

     "Farallon worked closely with Intergraph and San Mateo County during the GIS software benchmark and testing program," said Tim Eckard, president of Farallon Geographics. "We are providing GeoMedia, Oracle Spatial, and WebMap implementation and systems integration expertise for the county-wide GIS implementation. San Mateo County's unique interdepartmental cooperation is a key factor in their success so far."

So what do we have here?

     This is a gutsy move by San Mateo County. They are taking on two high risk projects at the same time: GIS, and Web enabling the results. There are not many places that will take that kind of a risk. However, without risks, you end up with mediocrity.

     A quick look at IT trends, and it is easy to see that the applications have to be web enabled. Adding the GIS portion should enable any citizen or contractor to do business with them without leaving their trusty computer workstation. The potential to improve service is tremendous. But let’ s not forget the cost saving side.

     Counties love paper, and they love tedious procedures. Or so it seems. But, what if you can get rid of the administrative overhead? Imagine the cost savings. For example, there is little technological reason that a developer should have to send someone to the County courthouse to retrieve land records, infrastructure maps, permits and licenses. That should be done from his office, not the county’ s office.


     This is a risky project. But with the help of Farallon and Intergraph, San Mateo should fare well. If the politicians stay out of this venture for a while, it has an excellent chance of leading the way for local government computing. This all assumes the lights stay on long enough to finish the project.

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The Advanced Information Management Group, Inc.

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