Hoover, Alabama: Database Design

Hoover, Alabama: Database Design

by kimg | July 12th, 2016 | Consulting,GIS Services

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Hoover, Alabama is located in North Central Alabama and is the largest suburb of Birmingham with an approximate population of 84,000 people.  Hoover is a progressive community and is one of the South’s fastest growing cities.  The City spans almost 50 square miles of territory covering much of Jefferson County and Shelby County.

During 2013 and 2014 the City of Hoover evaluated the state of its existing enterprise GIS and determined that it was deficient in the areas of database design and server architecture.  The City asked its GIS Consultant (Geographic Technologies Group) to assist it in designing a new GIS architecture including the development of a new database design and recommendations for a new server architecture that would fully support the Esri ArcGIS suite of Server, Desktop, and Mobile products.

For the database design, GTG recommended that the City adopt the Local Government Information Model (LGIM).  This is a very robust standardized data model provided by Esri that suits the needs of most local governments.  In addition, the LGIM is a requirement to deploy applications from Esri that are developed for the ArcGIS for Local Government initiative.  The City approved of using the LGIM and numerous workshops were then conducted with City staff to develop the “mapping” of source GIS data into the new LGIM.  Once the mapping was completed, GTG migrated all of the source data into the LGIM database.  This database has now become the cornerstone of the City’s enterprise GIS.

Hoover has also been a long time user of GTG’s suite of Vantage Points applications – web, desktop, and mobile.  These were also updated to work with the LGIM and they continue to provide numerous users at the City and the Public with an easy to use and intuitive access to the enterprise GIS.

Another aspect of the City’s GIS that was in need of updating was the system architecture.  GTG worked with the City to design a 3 server architecture (web, database, application) that would best meet the needs of GIS.  The servers were deployed in a virtualized environment (Citrix XenServer) and were provided with very robust configurations with ample processor cores, memory, and storage to not only support the planned enterprise GIS but to also provide room for growth.  GTG assisted the City with software deployment and configuration on the servers which included ArcGIS Server, ArcSDE, ArcGIS Desktop, Microsoft SQL Server, and the Vantage Points suite of products.

The City of Hoover now has an enterprise GIS that has been designed “from the ground up”.  The well designed GIS provides numerous benefits to the City:

  • Improved system performance
  • No more redundant data
  • A consistent well documented system design
  • A standardized GIS data model that integrates well with other systems and provides consistency
  • A virtualized server architecture that provides minimized downtime, increased productivity, centralized management, and reduced capital and operating costs

The City of Hoover has positioned its enterprise GIS to fully meet the needs of its existing user base while also preparing for the anticipated growth of GIS at the City.