IBM and Eagle Technology Introduce Cloud-based Mapping to Local Authorities

Emergency Management Southland and Hamilton Council use online maps to co-ordinate resources and enhance services

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand - 30 Oct 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Eagle Technology today announced that Emergency Management Southland and Hamilton City Council are using the IBM cloud to expand and improve the quality of information and services delivered to employees and the public.

Eagle Technology’s cloud-based, Esri ArcGIS mapping applications and tools offer a cost-effective and scalable way for local authorities to use and share information in ways that were not previously available.

Emergency Management Southland, which provides civil defence services on behalf of four councils, uses a web-based emergency management planning application to illustrate the location of critical infrastructure, transport routes and potential hazards. The ‘Lifelines’ application is designed to be accessible from any location to help Civil Defence and Council officials with emergency planning and response efforts.

“Natural disasters don’t recognise local authority boundaries, and employees from the Lifelines organisations need to easily share maps and other data rich files to effectively manage and coordinate emergency response,” says Neil Cruikshank, Manager, Emergency Management Southland. “Making Lifelines available in the cloud improves accessibility to services, even during periods of heavy demand or in situations where physical access to Council buildings is limited.”

“Worldwide, city leaders are finding new ways to use technology to improve services in the face of constrained resources,” says Paul Douglas, Business Manager, Integrated Technology Services, IBM New Zealand. “With cloud-based solutions, IBM is helping towns and cities of all sizes discover new ways to expand upon or enhance services for citizens and improve efficiency of city operations.”

In Hamilton, the city council is using the cloud-based mapping solution to provide people with the ability to search detailed rating and property value information for any property in the city via computer and smartphone devices. The ‘Mapping Viewer’ tool allows house owners, prospective buyers or developers to obtain the online property information about rates, land and capital value, legal descriptions and property sizes from the Council website for free, rather than paying for it to be downloaded to CD or printed.

“Leveraging the cloud, we are able to provide customers with fast, easy and cost-effective access to mapping information and tools that are accessible from PCs, tablets or mobile phones, so they don’t have to worry about installing special software or data management,” said Gary Langford, CEO, Eagle Technology Group. “This approach exemplifies how organisations can create resilient, scalable and flexible mapping environments for public use without impacting their internal IT environment.”

Eagle Technology’s cloud-based solution uses IBM’s Virtual Server Service, which provides a virtual pool of capacity to host the operating systems and application software. Virtual Server Services is enabled by IBM’s Level 3+ reliability data centre at Highbrook in Auckland.

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