Ontario municipal utility PowerStream received a Special Achievement in GIS Award at the 30th annual ESRI International User Conference held in San Diego, California.

The electricity distribution company, which serves customers in Simcoe County and York Region, earned the recognition for its "vision, leadership, hard work and innovative use" of ESRI’s geographic information system technology. The utility was selected from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide.

To consolidate processes and improve efficiencies following several mergers and acquisitions, PowerStream used Telvent’s ArcFM suite of products built on ESRI’s ArcGIS platform to not just provide transition solutions to the company’s consolidation challenges, but to also enhance mapping, engineering design and outage management applications.

“By implementing an end-to-end integrated enterprise solution, we were able to improve our operational efficiencies, increase customer satisfaction and enhance network reliability,” Shelly Cunningham, PowerStream’s senior vice president, engineering services, said.

GIS combines computer hardware; software; data; and, most importantly, people to collect, manage, and analyze geographic information. Virtually any information can be linked to a geographic location, helping people see that information as part of a complete picture. Through GIS, users can view relationships, processes, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts. Whether they are responding to a natural disaster, growing a business, or sharing information with the public, GIS helps them solve problems and make smart decisions. More than one million people worldwide rely on GIS to learn and plan geographically.