To help formulate a 10-year strategic capital investment plan for the State of Oregon, the state’s Chief Financial Office (CFO) wanted to develop a dynamic, immersive, and collaborative visual platform that would illuminate key issues often lost in a tabular summary. Its audience was the public and the state’s legislature, and its goal was to visualize the plan in the form of a dynamic 3D web-mapping platform accessible from consumer devices.
In a radical departure from government style, CFO decided to pursue cheap, easy, and perhaps open-source technology, even if unproven. When a group of agency leadership saw the initial version—a 3D visual of a 100-year flood plain consuming state-owned office buildings—and immediately began to collaboratively discuss the issues it raised, CFO staff knew that they had met their goal.
While CFO started with a pilot area of the state capital, its intent is to visualize the state’s entire portfolio, as well as such external factors as natural hazards. However, web-based 3D runtime technology is still an evolving technology. To solve some of challenges it poses, CFO partnered with SmarterBetter-Cities, using their CloudCities platform (which was in beta at the time but has since been launched). This enabled CFO to accomplish tasks not yet possible with their underlying GIS technology.