Unlike other open data portals that only deliver datasets, the OGP provides access to various datasets as well as mapping and analytical tools and more than a dozen apps that make municipal information easy to understand and use. For example, the City’s Property Tax Estimator helps residents estimate and understand property tax increases. This app saved the City approximately 40 hours of staff time during its first tax season. The What’s Happening Around Me (WHAM) app helps residents and visitors find information about their local area (e.g. community events, recreational facilities, festivals, road closures, crime reports, land development, businesses and service requests).
Going forward, the OGP will facilitate two-way engagement between citizens and the City around specific issues or initiatives. Through the OGP, participants can create an account with the City, sign up for events, follow the initiative and build open data apps that are shared back with the City. Maple Ridge held an Economic Development Initiative last year that encouraged students and citizens to participate in a Code-a-thon event. The City will also leverage the portal to support its new Youth Engagement Initiative, which focuses on empowering youth.
“Open government is about making government accessible to everyone and engaging the public in finding solutions to their community’s problems. The City of Maple Ridge has displayed innovation and leadership in this area by using GIS technology with deep impact in such a short time,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada.
Since its launch in October 2017, the OGP has received approximately 40,000 pageviews and processed more than 3,500 downloads, increasing municipal efficiency and empowering the community to use the City’s open data.
About the City of Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge is one of the fastest growing cities in British Columbia. The community boasts one of the most diverse natural settings, with the Fraser River to the south, the Golden Ears Mountain to the north and a series of rivers and parks that allows citizens to escape to nature within minutes of their home. This is a great place, by any measure. For more information visit mapleridge.ca.
About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 16 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2015, Esri Canada became a Gold Standard winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and in 2016 was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. More information can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.