Here at Sanborn we are a leading national GIS consultant, and wanted to share some knowledge about which different mapping tools government entities – specifically city and metro organizations, use for their GIS needs.
Mapping tools vary widely from one platform to another. Some tools are considered true “GIS” (Geographic Information Services) platforms, while other tools provide the critical GIS data that GIS platforms consume. Some GIS platforms have the ability to make maps available publicly online, whereas others do not.
So with that, we wanted to get into our list for the top 5 GIS mapping tools used by cities to create and display their public and internal mapping information.
Our list of the 5 GIS mapping tools every city should be using –
ArcGIS Online – The most popular mapping solution for larger cities and Metro area planning, ArcGIS Online is a fairly expensive and complex piece of software. ArcGIS allows for creation and administration of cloud maps (both publicly and internally). Most local government planning offices rely on a GIS Specialist – or if large enough, they have their own GIS department to coordinate maps using ArcGIS Online. At Sanborn, we have been working with ArcGIS Online since the inception of the product, and typically deploy ArcGIS Online as a consultant alongside larger government entities that have exposure to GIS. ArcGIS Online makes it possible for cities to display data publicly in a fairly easy-to-use manner.
MapGeo – With a Google Maps-like interface, MapGeo solves the problem of publicly available web maps. Whether or not you have a GIS team, a subscription to MapGeo means your cities site will be set up by professional cartographers to help curate your municipality’s content holistically, within a highly configurable platform.
As our native mapping platform here at Sanborn, MapGeo is a true GIS platform that integrates with your ESRI databases, and there is a great user community of cities and towns across the country. MapGeo has responsive customer support representatives, and like ArcGIS Online, MapGeo has the ability for users to login to the platform for permission-based access. MapGeo incorporates many different mapping technologies (such as Google Maps APIs and Carto open-source infrastructure), to deliver a seamless experience that is both people friendly and GIS-centric.
ArcGIS Pro – As a backoffice powerhouse, ESRI ArcGIS Pro is an enterprise suite of GIS platform that works in conjunction with the other tools in this blog. Solving government challenges with ESRI technology is something that we specialize in here at Sanborn as a GIS consultant. To learn more about the interesting ways local governments can use ArcGIS Pro, check out this video below and subscribe to “The Mapping Channel” on YouTube – where we bring you some of the best thinking in the world of geospatial technology.
Giza – As an imagery data governance platform, Giza is used by many state and local governments to manage and administer their imagery data. Giza is an aerial imagery data governance platform that allows you to track imagery usage and create heatmaps to manage your imagery program. Giza allows you to provision as many user-specific links and track usage for unlimited users.
Hexagon Metro HD – A single source of truth for high-definition Metro imagery — Hexagon Metro HD has become increasingly popular as the go-to imagery source for metro government entities by providing high resolution, orthogonal imagery data. Hexagon has a Content+ (Plus) imagery subscription offering that could be potentially more cost-effective than traditional imagery collection.
Check out our 2022 Imagery Provider Comparison guide for more information about providers like Hexagon.