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City of Hamilton Revamps Online Engineering Records System Using Esri Technology

New SPIDER system significantly increases speed and accuracy of document searches

HAMILTON – April 30, 2015 – The City of Hamilton has launched a new online engineering records system that delivers significant efficiencies in locating information about the City’s public infrastructure. Called SPIDER (for Spatially Indexed Engineering Records), the system features an interactive Web map through which staff and partners can search more than 200,000 engineering records maintained by the City’s public works department. The City worked with Esri Canada to design and implement the system, which uses the latest Esri geographic information system (GIS) technology.


SPIDER replaces PRISM, the City’s homegrown plans and records management system. The new system provides role-based access to internal departments and external partners, such as utilities and engineering consultants and contractors, who can now conduct the following types of searches in addition to keyword or topic searches:

  • Spatial searches – users can draw a box on the interactive map to specify their area of interest. The GIS then pulls all engineering data including permits, inspectors’ reports and easement (right-of-way) records for that specific area.
  • Thumbnail searches – users can scan small images of engineering drawings (e.g., bridges, water and sewer networks) to quickly find what they need without opening each file.
  • Combined searches – users can search various public works data repositories with one query and view the results in tabbed form. With the legacy system, users had to submit separate queries to search each type of dataset.

“SPIDER makes it easier for our staff and partners to find the information they need to perform their jobs,” said Charlie Lauricella, geomatics supervisor, public works department, City of Hamilton. “It’s built on Esri’s scalable platform that provides far more functionality for integrating, mapping and analyzing data than our previous system. This will help us gain further efficiencies as we apply GIS to other projects and collect more data about our infrastructure.”

The new system is powered by ArcGIS, the world’s most widely used GIS platform. The City uses ArcGIS for Server to store, integrate and serve their datasets up through SPIDER’s map interface.  SPIDER was developed using ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based GIS solution that offers easy-to-use mapping tools and templates. Since it was launched in mid-April, SPIDER has received more than 1,500 visits.

With the success of the SPIDER system, the City is expanding their use of ArcGIS to support their street light replacement project, which will involve mapping all of the street lights in Hamilton and analyzing data to prioritize areas where street lights must be converted to cost-effective LED technology. The City has also developed several online mapping applications that the public can access to learn more about public works projects.

View a gallery of the City of Hamilton’s public works mapping apps at: hamilton.maps.arcgis.com. Learn more about the ArcGIS platform at: esri.ca/arcgis.

About the City of Hamilton

With a population of nearly 520,000, Hamilton is located at the western end of Lake Ontario in the Golden Horseshoe region. The City of Hamilton’s long-term vision is to make Hamilton the best place to raise a child, promote innovation, engage citizens and provide diverse economic opportunities. More information is available at hamilton.ca.

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography.  The company distributes the world’s leading GIS software from Esri, Schneider Electric, Cityworks–Azteca Systems, Inc. and other technology partners.  Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada.  Esri Canada has joined the elite rank of Canada’s Best Managed companies and has been named to the Branham300.  Information about the company can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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