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North Shore City earns international recognition

North Shore City earns international recognition for new Internet
service

June 21, 2004

North Shore City Council's use of technology to improve customer service
has been recognised with an international award.

The United States-based Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
will present the council with a Special Achievement in GIS (Geographic
Information System) award in August.

The council launched the "GIS Viewer" service on its website,
www.northshorecity.govt.nz, last December allowing customers to access a
wide range of mapping information online.

ESRI selected North Shore City's website from more than 100,000 which use
this particular GIS product around the world.

North Shore City's GIS manager, Kumar Kannan, says GIS Viewer is the only
one of its kind in the Auckland region and attracts more than 500 hits a
day.

"Our customers only need an Internet connection and standard browser to
access the information. No special programs or software are required and
it's all free," he says.

"People can log on to create their own maps from the information available
and simply print it off on their local printer. You can choose from colour
aerial photos and customise maps plotting such features as boundary lines,
water pipes, manholes and hydrants.

"The property information we hold such as zoning, property values and
rates is now within easy reach for people," he says.

"Our objective is to keep GIS simple so anyone could use it, anytime and
anywhere."

Mr Kannan says the council wanted to develop a service that provided
customers with easy access to accurate information without having to trawl
through unwieldy maps at a council office.

"You've heard people talk about 'e-government', or electronic government,
well here at North Shore City Council our GIS Viewer service is putting
that vision into practice with electronic self service."

Kumar Kannan says that up to 11,000 maps have been produced in one day
with the service proving popular with house-hunters seeking information
about properties they are looking to buy. Real estate agents, surveyors
and lawyers are also high users of the facility.

ENDS

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