Savage, Minn., uses GIS-document management combo

Savage, Minn., has integrated a popular geographic information systems package with a document imaging system to give users quicker access to more information.

With the standalone GIS, users could access the bare details about a property, such as value, parcel identification number and zoning. Now that the GIS is integrated with the document management system, users can click on a parcel on the map and see all the documents related to it, including utility plans, building permits and other historical documents.

City officials combined ArcView GIS software from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., with the document imaging system from LaserFiche of Long Beach, Calif.

Blake Crandall, Savage's GIS technician, worked with officials from Crabtree Companies Inc. of Eagan, Minn., a LaserFiche reseller, to write code that would integrate LaserFiche software with ArcView.

The city had been running the two products separately for about a year and a half. 'I thought, these are both great applications,' Crandall said. 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could click on a parcel on the GIS and see all the information that relates to that property?'

Rowekamp Associates Inc. of Burnsville, Minn., wrote the code on the ArcView side, Crandall said.

The ArcView-LaserFiche tool is in limited use now, Crandall said. 'This is the first step. Now that we know we can do it, our goal is to get this on every desktop in the city government.'

Crandall and his team scanned most of the city documents in-house with a Ricoh 450 scanner from Ricoh Corp. of West Caldwell, N.J., and saved them in TIFF4, a standard archival format.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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