Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the largest counties in the nation, with more than one million residents and a budget larger than that of four states combined. The Fairfax County Department of Information Technology (DIT) uses modern information technologies to improve citizen access to government information and services, including a wide variety of mapping data from the county’s geographic information system (GIS). The DIT’s goal is to provide the community with convenient access to appropriate information and services through technology.


Land Use Repository

Customer Objectives

Fairfax County was challenged to respond to the high-volume of requests from their constituents — government officials, community members, or developers — regarding property history information. There were volumes of data in disparate databases and file systems and in different formats, that couldn’t be effectively searched.  Fairfax County needed a solution that would integrate this data, maintain its integrity, and make it easy to access. They also needed a good fit with their existing IT infrastructure, and a low and predictable total cost of ownership.  In its process to determine best product fit strategically, the county ultimately selected MarkLogic.

Several constituent agencies, when we told them we were going to shut down the 30-year-old mainframe system and put [the data] into a searchable database, said, ‘Sure, Woodrow. We’ll see you in a couple of years.’ However, they were given a demo in September and are now relying strictly on MarkLogic to search this 30-year-old data.

Woodrow Bellamy, Branch Chief, Department of Information Technology, Fairfax County

The MarkLogic Solution

Fairfax County developed a repository for land use data that makes it easier for county employees, land developers and residents to access real-time information about zoning changes, county land ordinances and property history. The land data repository, based on the MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL (not only SQL) database, boosts the productivity of county employees who no longer have to search through multiple databases to find pertinent information. It also gives residents an online source to access information on their computers or smart phones.


MarkLogic Benefits

Within six months with MarkLogic, Fairfax was able to:

  • Deliver a system to maintain and increase its service delivery to constituents, supporting open government goals and enhancing its reputation with citizens and businesses
  • Contribute to goals that reduce overall IT TCO.

Summary

As the only Enterprise NoSQL database, MarkLogic provides integrity to all information stored in the repository. Since MarkLogic was designed to aggregate many disparate data types, the first phase of consolidating the county’s data was completed in two months. With its embedded search engine and application server, MarkLogic provided Fairfax County with quick deployment of the new applications it needed. The Fairfax County Land Use Big Data Initiative received one of the 10 Government Computer News Honorable Mentions for “Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government” in 2012. They were selected from over 130 nominations submitted to GCN, based on the degree to which a given IT project improved an agency’s ability to operate more efficiently or serve the public more effectively.

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