ULI’s newly formed Virginia Real Estate Technology Committee was host to its first technology topical meeting on January 17th.
Ron Butcher and Michael Edwards from the Timmons Group’s Asset Management team demonstrated how local government is using map-based asset management systems to better handle their infrastructure systems and the public’s need for information. Through online portals of various municipalities, Edwards walked VTREC through real world applications for utility, planning, and building inspection divisions, showing how the integration of map-based information is quickly becoming a game-changer for these jurisdictions.
While cataloging and visualizing location-based data isn’t new, a whole new world of efficiency and communication is now poised to emerge with the backbone systems (ESRI) in place. As an example, building permit applicants can submit plans through a portal instead of going to city hall, which automatically kicks off a workflow process where all affected city or county departments work on a single version of a plan. Operational silos are disappearing as data is organized by real-world location rather than governmental department. More importantly, determinations are now being made in seconds and minutes, rather than days and weeks.
Ron and Michael were quick to point out that, because people don’t like to change the way they work, implementing a system like this takes time. But this kind of software is already being used successfully in cities across the country, supporting its value to staff on both sides of the process.
As rapidly as GIS systems are evolving, this topic is one that VTREC will be returning to regularly. At our February meeting, Borden Edgerton from Federated Lighting will present on 5G technology, what it is, and what it means for our industry. For meeting information and interest, please contact Robert Gray or Dave Anderson