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Delivering Documents GIS for Low Cost Document Management. Jean-Paul Lavoie Geodesy, San Francisco Dave Matson City of Palo Alto. GIS-Centric Document Management. CalGIS, April 2007. Dox: (Nearly) Free Document Management.

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slide1

Delivering DocumentsGIS for Low Cost Document Management

  • Jean-Paul Lavoie

Geodesy, San Francisco

  • Dave Matson

City of Palo Alto

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide2

Dox: (Nearly) Free Document Management

  • At its essence, Dox is just files in folders on a network, organized for viewing from a GIS.
  • Got a GIS? You can use it to spatially index just about any document at your agency.
  • Using your GIS as an entrée to document management can extend the value of GIS.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide3

A Brief History of Dox

  • We started viewing individual feature-related documents from the GIS about five years ago.
  • Dox was conceived of three years ago with a comment from Palo Alto’s Planning Department.
  • Palo Alto was using an aging optical disk-based Informix database called BODS to store their documents.
  • Geodesy reverse-engineered the Informix database design and extracted the contents.
  • The result is an “interim” system to contain the documents until a larger, ERP-based document management solution is in place.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide4

Current Scope of Dox

  • Dox is based on files in folders.
  • It is useful for just about any file format.
  • PDF has become the most ubiquitous format.
  • A number of Palo Alto departments are now using Dox.
  • There are over a million files in Dox so far at Palo Alto.
  • Other agencies have implemented Dox to various degrees.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide5

Organizing Documents by Street Address

Folder Hierarchy

Department

“Streets”

Street Name

Block Number

Address Number

Unit Number

Permit Number

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide6

Linking the GIS to Address-Based Documents

Logic

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide7

Linking Documents to the GIS with Data

Logic

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide8

The Range of GIS-to-Document Linkages

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide9

Sample GIS Linkages by Department

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide10

Dox Automation to Date

  • Program to extract images and data from BODS.
  • Program to create address folder trees from GIS data.
  • Program for merging files from parallel folder trees.
  • “InDox” document scanning and indexing application.
  • “DoxView” stand-alone application for listing documents and plug-in for GIS.
  • “DoxKey” for keywording.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide11

InDox

  • InDox helps to scan and index documents.
  • Alternately, PDFs can be created by printing or scanning documents and indexed by dragging them to folders.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide12

DoxKey

  • DoxKey makes use of PDF keywords and infers keywords from folder and file names.
  • DoxKey is…
    • A Windows service that waits for changes to PDF files and then extracts keywords to a database.
    • A plug-in for searching documents by keyword using a Google-like search string.
  • Keywords are all stored at the document level, so they should be easy to move to any future DMS.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide13

Summary of Limitations

  • Only one folder tree per document set. (This limitation may be turning out to be a convenient simplicity.)
  • No explicit approach for active document management. (No check-out / check-in system.)
  • No explicit system for document versioning. (File naming conventions may suffice.)
  • Not really intended for un-shared documents like employee reviews. (Folder-level security could be applied.)

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide14

Summary of Benefits

  • The use of known concepts (folders, files, addresses, etc) inspires user understanding and confidence.
  • Your file explorer alone is required to index, browse, and view documents.
  • The approach is highly scalable and portable into the future.
  • There are no proprietary barriers and automation is easy to add.
  • It’s straight forward to connect to your GIS.
  • Outside vendors can readily deliver to your selected file formats and index structures.
  • It’s easy to replicate the data for field use or backups.
  • It’s readily extendable to the web for public document viewing.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide15

Conclusions

  • This “interim” solution is growing in popularity and scope.
  • GIS and spatial indexing is the key. It provides quick access and display of on-line documents via map clicks.
  • Dox further proves and extends the value of GIS.
  • Information and this presentation is available at www.geodesy.net/dox.

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007

slide16

Delivering DocumentsGIS for Low Cost Document Management

Questions?

GIS-Centric Document Management

CalGIS, April 2007