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Johnson County, Kansas--myAIMS Web portal.

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A. SYSTEM

1. NAME OF SYSTEM AND ESIG CATEGORY FOR WHICH YOU ARE APPLYING

2. A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR AUTHORIZING SUBMISSION
OF THE SYSTEM APPLICATION

3. ONE PAGE OR LESS SUMMARY OF WHAT THE SYSTEM ACCOMPLISHES AND WHY
IT IS EXEMPLARY

4. THREE USER TESTIMONIALS

B. JURISDICTION

1. NAME OF JURISDICTION

2. POPULATION SERVED BY THE ORGANIZATION/AGENCY

3. ANNUAL TOTAL BUDGET FOR JURISDICTION

4. NAME, TITLE, AND ADDRESS OF CHIEF ELECTED AND/OR APPOINTED
OFFICIAL

5. NAME, TITLE, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE, FAX, AND EMAIL FOR CONTACT
PERSON FOR SYSTEM

C. SYSTEM DESIGN

1. WHAT MOTIVATED THE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT?

2. WHAT SPECIFIC SERVICE OR SERVICES WAS THE SYSTEM INTENDED TO
IMPROVE?

3. WHAT, IF ANY, UNEXPECTED BENEFITS DID YOU ACHIEVE?

4. WHAT SYSTEM DESIGN PROBLEMS WERE ENCOUNTERED

5. WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THIS SYSTEM FROM OTHER SIMILAR SYSTEMS?

D. IMPLEMENTATION

1. WHAT PHASES DID YOU GO THROUGH IN DEVELOPING THIS SYSTEM?

2. WERE THERE ANY MODIFICATIONS TO THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM DESIGN?
WHY? WHAT?

E. ORGANIZATIONAL

IMPACT

1. WHAT USER COMMUNITY DOES THE SYSTEM SERVE AND HOW?

2. WHAT ARE THE ULTIMATE DECISIONS/OPERATIONS/SERVICES BEING
AFFECTED?

3. WHAT WERE THE QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE IMPACTS OF THE SYSTEM?

4. WHAT EFFECT HAS THE SYSTEM HAD ON PRODUCTIVITY?

5. WHAT, IF ANY, OTHER IMPACTS HAS THE SYSTEM HAD?

6. HOW DID THE SYSTEM CHANGE THE WAY BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED WITH
AND/OR SERVICE DELIVERED TO CLIENTS?

F. SYSTEM RESOURCES

1. WHAT ARE THE SYSTEM'S PRIMARY HARDWARE COMPONENTS?

2. WHAT ARE THE SYSTEM'S PRIMARY SOFTWARE COMPONENTS?

3. WHAT DATA DOES THE SYSTEM WORK WITH?

4. WHAT STAFF RESOURCES WERE REQUIRED TO IMPLEMENT THE SYSTEM?

APPENDIX A


A. System

1. Name of system and ESIG category for which you are applying.

Name of system: myAIMS Web Portal Category: Enterprise System

2. A letter from the executive administrator authorizing submission of the system application.

Attached

3. One page or less summary of what the system accomplishes and why it is exemplary.

The Johnson County Automated Information Mapping System (AIMS) was established nearly 20 years ago on the premise that Geographic Information System (GIS) resources and data should be shared between organizations and jurisdictions to take advantage of economies of scale. In response to demand for value-added on-line services and more efficient access to County data, AIMS developed the concept of the myAIMS portal. myAIMS is a portal through which partners and users of AIMS services can securely access data and applications through a web browser. The portal ties together many disparate applications and resources to offer a central access point for AIMS clients. This portal supports AIMS' strategic initiatives of increasing the availability and sharing of government data through efficient means in a highly available environment. The portal also enables AIMS to allow access to data and applications that cannot be provided in an unsecured public setting.

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The myAIMS portal currently supports over 400 unique users. There are over 150 county-internal users from 18 departments and over 250 non-county employee users. These users represent more than 16 cities, 30+ engineering firms, 5 school districts, and 6 local utility companies.

The myAIMS program embraces the concept of more efficient and effective government through innovation, collaboration, and cooperation. In AIMS' experience, the level to which this program has been implemented has not been recognized in any other county government. The program far exceeds any statutory requirements or resolutions enacted at any jurisdictional level. This program represents a successful and proven model by which other county governments should benefit from.

The program leverages the benefit of existing services while offering opportunities to efficiently integrate new ones. The benefit of the program, in both measurable revenue and immeasurable benefits, far outweighs the insignificant cost to administer the program.

4. Three User Testimonials

Testimonial 1:

Diane Wicklund, Principal Planner Johnson County Planning & Development

"Use of the myAIMS online system allows our department (Johnson County Planning and Development Department) to access many information sources in a centralized location necessary for conducting business that would not have been possible without the myAIMS system. Using myAIMS, we're able to securely research information on land records and make informed decisions in a very efficient and effective manner. The ability to do this in the past was non-existent or required numerous hours of research through disparate, antiquated records systems. Access to myAIMS saves us an immeasurable amount of time and allows us to provide a significantly higher level of public service. Our staff uses various aspects of myAIMS on a daily basis. The Johnson County Planning Department uses myAIMS several times a day in order to assist our staff in making land use and zoning decisions, which is critical to our Department mission. Moreover, because the system is user friendly and always accessible, our Department is able to provide citizens with more accurate information in a much shorter time frame then before the system was in place. In particular, the aerial views (over several years) and parcel dimension data are extremely helpful in our decision making process. Our staff is able to make better informed decisions and recommendations on public matters because of the myAIMS system."

Testimonial 2:

Fred Sherman, Community Development Director City of Gardner, KS

"The use of myAIMS by the City of Gardner staff has been most useful in being able to obtain information about land records, property information, utility, and other infrastructure needs. I find that my staff utilizes the myAIMS service almost daily. I'm amazed at the many applications I find myself and my staff utilizing with the different components of the myAIMS system. The connectivity to many of the various functions within the Johnson County information system--be it tax records, utility data, or access to the digital images of buildings and structures from the Appraisers' database, is an invaluable resource of data and information. We have become very dependant on its ease of use and reliability. It is difficult to envision being able to go about our daily job and tasks without the use of the myAIMS system. We are constantly referring citizens, realtors, and other folks that need basic data and land information to the use of public AIMS mapping web site. The City of Gardner does not have the staff or resources to implement a fully functional in-house GIS system. The AIMS staff has constantly improved the functions and offerings within the myAIMS service by responding to needs and requests of users like the City of Gardner. The myAIMS service allows for a smaller community like the City of Gardner to be able to utilize and reap the benefits of a fully-functional GIS system."

Testimonial 3:

Paul Null Johnson County Records and Tax Administration

"The myAIMS website allows members of the RTA office quick access to a wide variety of land record data. This data now gathered in one central location allows the RTA staff access for research and makes our office procedures more efficient which allows our office to better serve our customers, the taxpayers of Johnson County.

Located within myAIMS, the "parcel spatial history" maps were instrumental in eliminating the paper exchange between the RTA and the Appraiser offices. The "parcel spatial history" maps show the before and after status of parcels involved in property splits and recently recorded plats. Now instead of cumbersome paper flow between the two offices, the data exchange is provided electronically. This was a major step in our office goal of becoming a paperless office.

The use of the myAIMS system has increased our office productivity and increased our public service to our customer base, the taxpayers of Johnson County."

B. Jurisdiction

1. Name of Jurisdiction

County of Johnson, Kansas

2. Population served by the organization/agency

The population of Johnson County, KS is 570,000

3. Annual total budget for jurisdiction

The total 2006 budget for Johnson County is $671,500,000. The AIMS 2006 annual budget is $1,263,000 including personnel, operating, and capital expenditures.

4. Name, title, and address of chief elected and/or appointed official

Annabeth Surbaugh

Chairman of the Board

111 S Cherry, Ste 3300

Olathe, KS 66061

913-715-0500

913-715-0440

annabeth.surbaugh@jocogov.org

5. Name, title, address, telephone, FAX, and email for contact person for system

Jay Heermann

AIMS Director

111 S Cherry, Ste 3500

Olathe, KS 66061

913-715-1536

913-715-2222

jay.heermann@jocogov.org

C. System Design

1. What motivated the system development?

The goal of the myAIMS portal was two-fold. First, it was paramount to offer a comprehensive solution to organizations that previously had no access to the information available in these systems or were constrained to outdated data or by physically visiting the county facilities to get the information or document they were after. Besides having access to a powerful set of tools for conducting their individual business functions, the tools are supported by accurate data from the source that is either real-time or near real-time. An entity is no longer at risk of accessing information that is outdated or potentially modified.

Secondly, by taking advantage of inter-local collaboration and economies of scale it was important to minimize the redundancy in the development of similar systems at each unique organization as well as tie together disparate applications. Most cities, while bound by geographical boundaries, provide very similar core services. This is even more evident in a constrained geographical area or across the geographic information services being offered.

The myAIMS portal is available to all governmental organizations within Johnson County including the public school districts and utilities. In addition, organizations with a legitimate business case (e.g. engineering firms, appraisers, etc.) are allowed to access the myAIMS portal services as well. To encourage collaboration, participants are requested to share pertinent data (e.g. utility line locations) back to the AIMS program. This data is then implemented back into the system for all participants to access.

The myAIMS portal is simply a webpage presenting links to the various applications available to an individual. Once that individual logs in they are presented with a customized webpage of applications for which they are authorized to use. Each individual has their own login username and password. This unique username identifies the user, the organization which they are associated, and applications they are authorized to access. An important feature of the myAIMS portal is that all applications use a single sign-on meaning the individual's applications or services are integrated to use a common user database. This allows users to go from application to application without being prompted to continuously log in using varying user accounts. The individual applications are also built with a common look and feel to promote usability and user experience. Users are also able to administer and track their own account information from the portal.

The use of individual user accounts in myAIMS allows AIMS to deliver specific services over the internet that would not otherwise be available. Through AIMS' public internet mapping site, sensitive information like utilities locations or ownership information can be delivered in a secure, controlled environment. This adds a significant value beyond common public information sites.

2. What specific service or services was the system intended to improve?

The myAIMS portal was established to meet the needs of the users accessing AIMS data and services. The system was not developed to improve on a single service but to streamline the delivery of many services provided by AIMS. The program not only provides a common portal with a single point of entry through which users can access multiple systems but also a comprehensive set of services relevant to entities doing business in Johnson County. This is now an "out-of-the-box" data solution for the myAIMS users. The program allows for a much more comprehensive use of value-added data rather than just being provided raw data.

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The portal also is also integrated with a common payment gateway as a webservice for processing credit card payments for purchases and subscriptions. This gateway is tied directly to the AIMS billing and invoicing system making tracking and auditing payments extremely efficient.

3. What, if any, unexpected benefits did you achieve?

Besides serving internal county staff, the myAIMS portal is being distributed to virtually every local market with a need to access the various data sources served by Johnson County. This has taken the myAIMS system beyond just an enterprise system to a collaborative regional shared system. The portal has gained a great deal of product recognition and acts as a catalyst for other local non-county organizations to participate in the AIMS program. New data sets from external organizations are now continually being added to the various applications served through myAIMS. These advances represent a truly successful, collaborative GIS as data is being exchanged in both directions from the local level up through the federal government through this portal.

The myAIMS portal also delivers data to a much wider audience than with the previous environment. This increases the visibility of the errors or inaccuracies in the data and promotes data integrity through the reporting and correction of those inaccuracies. This has significantly increased collaboration and reduced redundancies between county departments as well as some external organizations.

4. What system design problems were encountered

There were no significant system design problems encountered once a solution was decided upon. Some solutions were eliminated early on in the planning stages for various reasons including lack of scalability and reliance on internal user accounts.

5. What differentiates this system from other similar systems?

The simplicity and scalability of this system is what sets it apart from other more complicated, less scalable systems. We can integrate virtually any new web based application and distribute it to an internal or external entity in a matter of minutes. Because the entire system is browser based with content driven by a relational database, it is extremely easy for a small group like AIMS to maintain and administer.

D. Implementation

1. What phases did you go through in developing this system?

The development of the system went through a standard software development lifecycle including plan proposal, research, data design and modeling, system development, testing, implementation, and finally maintenance and administration.

While some of the services offered through the portal took much longer to reach full maturity, the development of the myAIMS portal framework took less than six months from proposal to implementation.

2. Were there any modifications to the original system design? Why? What?

The original myAIMS portal was initially intended as an internal county application. Shortly after it was implemented, the value to external clients was quickly realized and the user control was expanded to include several hundred new users. This was attainable only because of the success of the security design and it's scalability.

The system has undergone some other minor changes since implementation but has not had any significant modifications to the original system. An example of minor modifications was the addition of an expiration control that blocked access to a service once a specific date was reached. This was an important change for integrating subscription based services as well as allowing a preview period for an organization to test a service.

E. Organizational Impact

1. What user community does the system serve and how?

The user community served is comprised of staff from Johnson County, 19 cities, over 30 engineering firms, 5 school districts, 6 local utility companies, as well as the general public needing access to the various services offered through myAIMS. Of the more than 400 active users, approximately 150 are Johnson County staff while approximately 250 are non-County staff.

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The system serves a multitude of users in numerous ways from supporting AIMS' internal operations to users at the state level involved in handlinq tax appeals to users at the federal level involved in the cleanup of former military lands. There is not a single user community that is targeted but the development of the myAIMS portal has worked to target any number of markets where processes can benefit from the data and geographic services. Appendix A describes some of the significant applications being served through the myAIMS portal.

2. What are the ultimate decisions/operations/services being affected?

The ultimate decisions being affected are too numerous to mention since the system allows access to such a diverse cross section of public and private service delivery. The system is used from everything to logging planning and code inquiries, to supporting tactical approaches in emergency situations, to locating subsurface utilities, to purchasing spatial data for use in land planning. There are more than 75 business processes that are directly affected and enhanced by having access to the myAIMS portal.

Some of the significant overall features are as follows.

* Access to protected land records information (e.g. ownership and sales information) securely from remote locations.

* View property characteristics including recent and historical aerial imagery and front elevation photos.

* Query multiple county data stores from both a geographic and non-geographic interface.

* Request large format, high quality cartographic maps without the need for desktop GIS software on the user's computer.

* View subsurface utility lines and infrastructure for gas, water, electric, sewer, and stormwater utilities.

* Search and view scanned documents such as utility as-builts, recorded plats, and property transfer documents.

* Integrate map images via webservices into documents and applications that are not map-centric.

* Encourage collaboration through the monitoring and administration of decentralized datasets (e.g. master addresses, street centerlines, etc.).

* Provide access points to many other county and non-county information resources (e.g. identify utility company contacts, tax information, etc.).

3. What were the quantitative and qualitative impacts of the system?

The success of this program has been phenomenal. Besides the quantitative measures that are gathered from web usage statistics, the acceptance rate and response from individuals and organizations has far exceeded expectations. Organizations that had neither the access to this information or the resources to develop their own access now are able to efficiently access this information from their desk. The myAIMS portal has become the industry standard in Johnson County for organizations accessing geographic and county relevant information. AIMS has documented cases where the resources of other organizations have been redirected towards other efforts instead of focusing on building redundant applications and data sets accessible through the myAIMS portal. These efficiencies, while difficult to measure quantitatively, are readily apparent by the willingness of entities to adopt and leverage these services.

Internally, the County has minimized it's licensing fees for desktop GIS software by eliminating numerous seats of software that were no longer necessary due to the internet delivery of services through myAIMS.

Smaller cities have embraced the technology as a means to deliver information within their organizations without having to incur the capital outlays common with developing GIS and IT solutions. In most cases, these cities have never had any access to this type of information in the past. In some cases the myAIMS portal has helped play a primary role in some cities decisions to rely solely on Johnson County AIMS for their GIS services.

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In 2005, over 400 active users logged more than 43,000 successful logins to the myAIMS portal. This was a 65% increase over 2004 usage. Currently, the system logs about 185 user logins per day. This resulted in more than 7 million requests against the services offered through the myAIMS portal. Besides the benefits of distributed information, the program promotes continued revenue growth for Johnson County in terms of data sales and license fees. Users now get better services for the fees they pay for the data.

In addition to recognizing the minimal costs of the program, it is important to note that the myAIMS program has become an integral part of AIMS' ability to recover a substantial portion of the AIMS operating expenses. Through the myAIMS program, AIMS is able to generate revenue beyond what was typically experienced before the myAIMS program. The overall cost of AIMS' software licensing fees has also declined due to the efficient distribution and decreased demand for expensive desktop GIS software.

4. What effect has the system had on productivity?

In 2005, an online survey was offered to the existing users of the myAIMS portal. The survey was completed by nearly one quarter of the user base. The survey results revealed that approximately 3.9 hours was saved by each user each week. In that same survey, over 85% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the myAIMS applications improved the efficiency with which they do their job and access to myAIMS applications enabled them to make better decisions.

AIMS consistently receives feedback and recognition for the myAIMS portal. Each organization accessing the system can document it's own experience for productivity savings. Because so many of the functions of the services in myAIMS are geared towards specific business processes, it is futile to document every process that is made more efficient by using myAIMS. For example, through the integrated credit card processor, AIMS has collected over $100,000 in fees for data and services. The ability to do this electronically in an automated manner has lead to a significant cost savings and time savings on AIMS' internal operations. Another example is an automated population estimator based on a user defined geography that not only estimates a more accurate population but takes a matter of seconds compared to several hours when done using the previous method.

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5. What, if any, other impacts has the system had?

The myAIMS portal sets a standard to measure new and innovative services against. It was the first mechanism for an organized internet delivery of AIMS services. New applications and services must meet the same level of expectation as is currently being delivered through myAIMS. Collaboration and communication between organizations is now critical to developing new services. This results in a higher level of service from county government all they way down to the public.

6. How did the system change the way business is conducted with and/or service delivered to clients?

Most notably, efficiency has been significantly improved through the myAIMS portal. Survey results, user testimonials, and feedback all reveal that the services offered through myAIMS greatly enhance the ability to efficiently respond to client requests.

It is also clear that better decisions are made on the basis of having access to a far more diverse set of data and analysis tools. Requests for information are now handled in seconds by numerous entities all accessing the same data and applications. Prior to myAIMS, only a few departments could respond to client inquires and usually only in a limited and inefficient manner.

F. System Resources

1. What are the system's primary hardware components?

The entire myAIMS portal is built on accepted industry standards using the internet to facilitate access to many services that were previously proprietary or restricted to internal County users. Use of common internet browser technology minimizes the end user's need to spend valuable resources installing and managing software. No custom viewers, software installations, or security configurations are required to access the services through the myAIMS portal.

The modular design of the portal allows for efficient user administration as well as rapid integration of various services or functionality into new services (e.g. common parcel information window accessible from various applications).

Sensitive data such as user information, credit card information, etc. is delivered through secure internet technologies as necessary.

The tabular data supporting the program is stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2000, while the spatial data is stored as feature classes in ESRI's ArcSDE 9.1. These platforms are the industry standard for relational and spatial database storage.

2. What are the system's primary software components?

The entire myAIMS portal is built on accepted industry standards using the internet to facilitate access to many services that were previously proprietary or restricted to internal County users. Use of common internet browser technology minimizes the end user's need to spend valuable resources installing and managing software. No custom viewers, software installations, or security configurations are required to access the services through the myAIMS portal.

The modular design of the portal allows for efficient user administration as well as rapid integration of various services or functionality into new services (e.g. common parcel information window accessible from various applications).

Sensitive data such as user information, credit card information, etc. is delivered through industry standard secure internet technologies as necessary.

The tabular data supporting the program is stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2000, while the spatial data is stored as feature classes in ESRI's ArcSDE 9.1. These platforms are the industry standard for relational and spatial database storage.

3. What data does the system work with?

The myAIMS portal primarily enables access to data stored in Microsoft's SQL Server 2000. The portal utilizes a customized user data model as the backbone of managing all requests for access. Key components of the portal like the payment gateway and invoicing system also use data models designed specifically for their function.

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Applications of the portal use both relational data in a tabular format as well as geographic data stored ESRI ArcSDE 9.1 format. However, the system integrates other data sources as well including data derived from legacy mainframe applications, data stored in proprietary geographic formats and several types of document image sources as well.

The myAIMS portal allows access to more than 150 spatial datasets stored in ArcSDE including nearly a half terabyte of current and historical raster imagery. The applications also integrate document images such as structure photography for assessment purposes, utility as-built diagrams for subsurface utilities, and recorded parcel documents (e.g. plats, sales, etc).

4. What staff resources were required to implement the system?

The entire myAIMS portal was developed entirely internally by existing AIMS staff with input from various entities accessing the systems. To date, AIMS has not incurred any external costs associated with developing, supporting, or updating the system. The primary costs to develop and support the program are personnel related and are considered insignificant when compared to the costs of outsourcing such an endeavor. Personnel resources required have been the equivalent of 1.5 staff since development began in 2004. Ongoing costs to support the system are minimal and the majority of notable future costs will come in the form of enhancements to existing services or development of new services.

The hardware and software costs of supporting the program have been negated by using resources that have been purchased to support both county internal and public services. For example, the program is being served from web server hardware that was purchased to support existing public access to internet mapping.

Appendix A. A few of the services that are served through the myAIMS portal are summarized below. In addition to these, there are 15 other applications targeted at specific functions.

Internet Mapping Site

In addition to having access to the data and functionality in the public internet mapping sites that AIMS has offered since 1999, myAIMS users have access to ownership, appraisal, property pictures, and utility characteristics for an area that are otherwise restricted to the general public. myAIMS offers access to interactively map surface and subsurface electric, gas, water, sewer, and stormwater lines for over 90% of the county. This is the only known implementation of such a collaborative effort at a county level.

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Land Records Research

The land records research utility is one of the most heavily used systems in the myAIMS portal. This utility allows users to research information specific to individual parcels. The results far exceed the information available to the public. This utility puts information like utilities, schools, plats, zoning and landuse, appraisal characteristics, scanned documents, building photos, and historical information at the user's fingertips.

Requests for Digital Data

The data request system allows users to select a specific geographic area and request geographic vector and imagery data in industry standard formats (e.g. dxf, shp, sid...). myAIMS users that login and purchase data through our online system receive significant pricing breaks for sharing relevant data back to the County. This system is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and processes data immediately once a request is received. Payment is captured through an online credit card authorization system and users are immediately emailed information for accessing their requested data.

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Hard Copy and Large Format Map Generation

This application offers the ability to define a geographic extent and produce a hard copy or large format map. Maps range in size from 8.5"x11" to more than 60"x60" and can be printed using County resources or the user's resources. This is accomplished by also creating digital pdf documents in addition to the plotting of hard-copy maps.

As mentioned earlier, a goal of the program is to tie together disparate applications as well as silos of data and prevent the costly rewriting of applications. This approach works well and creates a system of modular applications that both stand alone and complement each other. For example, the ability to create a large format (e.g. 36"x36") map in digital format is not tied to a single application but is a module that can be called from various applications simply by supplying the necessary parameters.

Dan Steen

GIS Technical Lead

Johnson County AIMS

County of Johnson, Kansas

5/20/2006
COPYRIGHT 2006 Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
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Publication:Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Annual Conference Proceedings
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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