Enterprise GIS, a unit of Enterprise Systems within the Division of Information Technology, was awarded the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) at the company’s annual User Conference in July 2017. Seth Peery, Sr. GIS Architect accepted the award on behalf of his team.
ESRI is a vendor of the industry leading Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. This award recognizes the breadth and depth of Virginia Tech’s implementation of the ESRI GIS software stack, including on-premises components ArcSDE, ArcGIS Server, and ArcGIS Desktop, as well as SaaS ArcGIS Online. It also acknowledges the University’s role as a leader in and advocate for enterprise GIS deployments at scale in a higher education context as well as its commitment to sharing best practices with peer institutions and its efforts to integrate geospatial computing with other enterprise information systems. Enterprise GIS works from the premise that there is a “geography of everything” in teaching, research, and operational use cases. David DiBiase, head of the ESRI Education Outreach team, noted that "The Enterprise GIS Group at Virginia Tech is a foremost example of a major university’s recognition of the strategic value of GIS in all aspects of its mission."
Enterprise GIS, consisting of Seth Peery, Luke Ward, Richard Phipps and a graduate student, exists to lower barriers to the use of GIS in support of the academic missions of the university as well as its internal operations. By providing hosting, application development, integration and interoperability services from the Division of IT, Enterprise GIS enables researchers and administrative personnel to focus on their core activities without the need to become experts in architecting, operating, maintaining and securing a GIS server stack. Enterprise GIS operationalizes, facilitates, and accelerates the geospatial turn across the disciplines, making GIS a pervasive component of scholarly inquiry and a coequal methodology to the more traditional approaches of data-driven decision-making in internal operations. Central support of GIS as a strategic component of the university’s technology infrastructure is intended to create efficiencies of scale and significant cost savings to university departments by leveraging the latest technologies in data hosting and storage as well as the expertise of IT professionals who manage the university's computing and networking functions on a daily basis.
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