Keeping a Community Safe During Emergencies
I feel lucky to have a very rewarding job. IT in city government is often buried behind the scenes, but today we frequently find ourselves the limelight, because we can provide services that are genuinely useful.
In Edmonton, the second largest city in the province of Alberta, one of the most visible ways we are helping citizens and visitors is by enabling them to travel by bus using mobile devices versus quickly outdated paper maps. In 2009, we began offering Transit on Google Maps, putting trip planning right in the palms of users' hands. When users search for a destination, they see a Google map showing the transit trip, departure times, bus stop locations, transfer information, and walking route details. And, Google Maps supports multiple languages, so it's easy for international users.
I've also been using Google Docs and Google Sites to make multiple types of documents—planning calendars, presentations, meeting minutes—available to internal users or to the public. We have a collaborative learning partnership that brings in high-profile speakers to promote employee development in project management, business analysis, and other topics. I was able to organize the entire event, from working with speakers to organizing venues, by staying on track with internal and external parties through Google Docs.
I also use forms in Google Docs to create surveys. We can tailor our IT services based on the responses. We no longer spend time trying to figure out where a document or form is, and which version is the latest, so we stay more productive.
For me, Google Apps and other Google tools like Google Maps make my job easier but they also cut costs, not just in up-front software licensing, but also in lower labor overhead. Our time savings and productivity ultimately result in the ability to maximize taxpayer dollars and make Edmonton a better place to visit and live.
- Visualize location based data and engage citizens with interactive maps.
Meet the Government Transformers
Access information anytime, anywhere.
Work as a team in real-time across boundaries.
Save time to focus on core government initiatives.
Promote open government for broad participation and collaboration.
Dramatically lower total cost of ownership.
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