City wins Best Challenges Award

Guelph’s geographic information system work recognized

Guelph, Ont., May 4, 2021 – The Ontario Urban and Regional Information Systems Association has recognized Guelph’s leadership in geospatial and information services (GIS) with a 2021 Best Challenges Award in the Best Public Sector GIS category.

“The City of Guelph is honoured to accept this award,” says Sasha Einwechter, the City’s Information Technology general manager. “This recognization means a great deal to us—it acknowledges the hard work that our GIS team does every day and the City’s commitment to improve services through greater use of technology and data.”

The award, presented earlier today at the virtual BeSpatial Annual General Meeting, is given to an organization that has demonstrated the use of GIS in improving effectiveness and efficiency in enhancing business solutions and decision-focused support through analytics, applications, technology and visualization for public sector operations.

Alex Brossault, GIS and Data program manager, and Michael Bartholomew and Chris Sambol, GIS analysts, accepted the award on the City’s behalf. This is the second win in this category; the City received an award in 2016.

Einwechter explains that GIS, due to its popularity among departments, is the most widespread enterprise software used at the City compared to other computer systems.

“GIS is integral in understanding the location and characteristics of our corporate infrastructure, particularly underground services such as water mains and sewer pipes. Its use also allows departments to work collaboratively, efficiently, and effectively to deliver City services.”

At the City, GIS benefits include:

  • more collaboration (web apps)
  • enhanced productivity (quick/easy access to information, dashboards/reports)
  • increased data access/accuracy (central GIS database linked to other systems, field access/collection, standard operating procedures)
  • preventative maintenance/modelling
  • improved decision making (development, storm management, emergency preparedness)
  • compliance management (ON1call, road/sidewalk/sign inspection/maintenance)
  • enriched public information (Report an Issue, web apps, OpenData, dashboards)

About the URISA and the Best Challenges Awards

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a geospatial and information-focused association that is recognized as the premier non-profit organization for the geospatial and information community in Ontario. The Association promotes information sharing and interoperability with other relevant professional organizations, government organizations, private industry and educational institution. Each year, BeSpatial – The Geospatial and Information Community recognizes hard work, creativity and dedication in the GIS field in both the public and private sector through its Best Challenges Awards.

Media Contact

Sasha Einwechter, General Manager
Information Technology
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2485
[email protected]