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Field crews eliminate paper workflows in City of La Mesa

City of La Mesa

La Mesa, CA

With the goal of integrating GIS, CAD, and asset management into an enterprise solution, the City of La Mesa transitioned to a web-based operations management system to replace paper assets and print-outs. The results included a streamlined work flow between field operators, IT, GIS, and engineering staff.

Topics Covered

Stormwater Management
Asset Management
Process Improvement


Initial: 120 Thousand USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2018

Gov Champion

Public Works

Problem Addressed

La Mesa field crews were unable to access essential asset information in the field due to paper-based workflows.

Prior to the web-based system, field crews relied on paper maps and print-outs describing their daily work orders. Workers would come back to the office at the end of each day to enter data into spreadsheets and timesheet systems. Further, if there were any map corrections they would be hand-drawn and delivered to GIS staff for updates.

It is very important for field staff to quickly recognize maintenance responsibility, especially in an emergency. Workers often need several layers of information to make important decisions on-the-spot; such as asset ownership, prior inspection results, photos, as-built drawings, aerial imagery, and connectivity to other assets.

Solutions Used

A new system that integrates with the city's inventory of assets allows field crews to access necessary information in the field, enabling efficiency.

The City partnered with Compass Rose GIS to implement their new enterprise solution which included Cartegraph OMS, GIS integration, and AWS managed services.

Public Works staff at all levels were brought into the system design processes at early stages. Understanding the demands on the field crews along with expectations from management and department goals is imperative in planning a successful project.

The City already had an advanced GIS system with an accurate inventory of city-owned assets. The key was getting this information streamed to the entire department in a user-friendly way. The application is map-centric which allows workers to visualize their work and make decisions more efficiently.

With iPads in the hands of field crews, it is now much faster to search for and input information. Staff can view multiple map layers, property information, links to as-built drawings, and correct map issues on the spot.

La Mesa rolled-out the new system to the building maintenance and wastewater sections first for initial testing and refinement. After training, field crews were up & running after a few days.



Accurate inventory of the city's half-billion dollars worth of infrastructure.


Mobile technology reduces time in the office. Information is easier to find, view via maps, and update on the spot.


Seamless workflow between office staff, field crew, IT, and GIS.


The City transitioned to a hosted environment with their GIS in AWS and Cartegraph hosting the database. This frees up the IT department from updates and maintenance.

Who Should Consider

Cities struggling without a centralized system to manage asset inventory, maintenance activities, and mobile technologies for field crews.

Last Updated

Mar 23rd, 2022

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