The innovative State of Maryland continually strives for change including using science to help drive policy during crucial decision-making processes. Since 2007, the State began applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an enterprise solution for challenges and needs within its many communities. They advanced using GIS to map services, resources, and opportunities so they could measure outcomes and performance and use the data collected to discover patterns, problems, and find solutions.
Today Maryland’s Enterprise GIS system, MD iMAP ( http://imap.maryland.gov), is used by almost every Maryland State Agency in one way or another. This Enterprise GIS system provides geospatial data and services for government agencies, provides public facing applications for the citizens of Maryland, as well as maintaining data that is consumed by private entities such as GIS, real estate, architecture, engineering, and environmental professionals.
Currently managing Maryland’s GIS infrastructure is the Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT)/Geographic Information Office (GIO). They provide map services, custom applications, open data, training and support to all who use the MD iMAP Platform.
MD iMAP uses the ArcGIS Platform to support mission critical functions within its many agencies; including, Emergency Management, Public Safety, Health and Human Services, Housing, Environment, Transportation, Education, Business, and Planning. The DoIT GIO Team hosts all MD iMAP services through ArcGIS for Server, uses ArcGIS for Desktop for analysis and data management, and works in ArcGIS Online for collaboration to create unique web mapping applications.
They rely on ArcGIS to provide real-time services across state agencies when responding to an event such as a hurricane or a planned statewide celebration. The DoIT GIO Team are able to post accurate, real-time information to their website to keep citizens informed and aware of what is happening around them during the emergency. For example, Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) OSPREY applications are emergency management and public safety situational awareness viewers that allow the public and state agencies to quickly view information such as power outages, hospital statuses, open shelters, weather feeds and alerts, population distribution statuses, critical infrastructure, and more.
Maryland state agencies that work with GIS use MD iMAP services on a daily basis. If those services went down for an extended period of time, they would not be able to perform their jobs. The impact could be very large, especially for the emergency management and public safety community.
“As a measure to be more proactive than reactive in maintaining a resilient and robust MD iMAP, we decided we needed a monitoring system. Without one,” Matthew Sokol, Senior GIS Analyst for the Maryland Department of Information Technology/Geographic Information Office, admitted, “it’s likely our customers would be reporting issues with services before we knew about them.”
After looking to find the best monitoring system, the GIO Office decided on Esri Partner - VESTRA Resource, Inc.’s GeoSystems Monitor which allows the DoIT GIO to monitor their ArcGIS for Server map services, ArcGIS Online services, OGC services, database services, as well as many other components. They decided on GeoSystems Monitor because of the comprehensive dashboard view, its alerting capabilities, and the wide scope in the types of services that could be monitored including the components behind the services.
“On the server side, being able to monitor Disk Space, Memory and CPU usage across all of our servers is vital to keeping the system running at an optimal level,” said Sokol.
“GeoSystems Monitor allows me to better respond to issues in our system and provide the best possible customer support. Through its email and text message alerting capability, I know about critical system issues anywhere and at any time. Maintaining the MD iMAP Enterprise GIS is one of our office’s primary functions. GeoSystems Monitor enables us to provide the level of service that our customers and agency leadership expect from an Enterprise GIS,” Sokol stated.
“One of my favorite things about GeoSystems Monitor is the dashboard level view of my systems. It’s a simple way to see how the system is functioning at a high level and if there are issues that need my attention. The level of customization is important because not every service is the same. Most importantly, it provides us an intangible benefit of good customer service to our end users,” added Sokol.
For more information, contact Matthew Sokol, GISP, Senior GIS Analyst, Maryland Department of Information Technology, at firstname.lastname@example.org or VESTRA Resources, Inc. at email@example.com / http://www.vestra.com