Information Technology

Streets, avenues and parkways are not created equal

roads

By Chase T. Brooke, Former GIS Intern

As you drive around town, do you ever wonder why we call some roads avenues and others drives? Or why some are parkways or lanes?

These designations don’t happen by chance. Many have long-reaching histories going back hundreds of years. The terms listed below are not absolute, but we thought it might be fun to list standard road classifications in College Station with their general definitions: (more…)


Discover geocaching on Dec. 12 at Veterans Park

Copyright: leaf / 123RF Stock Photo
 By Chase T. Brooke, GIS Intern

Scavenger hunts have been popular across the United States for decades. Participants seek to gather items – or take photographs of them — on a list prepared by organizers. In the 1990s, the game migrated to the internet to encourage exploration of the World Wide Web.

The concept’s latest manifestation is geocaching, a high-tech scavenger hunt that uses smartphones and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices to locate hidden treasures or caches.

(more…)


Technology helps council members engage from afar

Remote Participation

Mayor Nancy Berry and Councilwoman Julie Schultz welcome James Benham’s remote participation at a recent meeting.


“Indeed it has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of gov­ern­ment, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time …” –Winston Churchill


By Ben Roper, Director of Information Technology

Democratic government is messy, and can be compared to making sausage — no one really likes to watch the process, and not everyone approves of the final product.

Representative government was viewed by the founding fathers as so important that Article I of the U.S. Constitution sets the provisions at the federal level. However, the same concept is even more vital at the local level. As in many cities our size, College Station’s city council members are unpaid volunteers, and their full-time jobs and other demands occasionally conflict with scheduled council meetings.

Not long ago, that meant they sometimes had to miss council meetings, which affected their ability to represent their constituents in the debate and dialogue of a typical meeting. The institution of representative government was not completely fulfilled in those instances.

(more…)


Six ways to keep your online experience safe

1594411528_1512b1aad5_bDespite its immense benefits, the World Wide Web can be a hazardous place. By taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your online experiences are safe and secure.

With National Cyber Security Awareness Month coming to a close, the City of College Station and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) remind you of some basic ways to help keep your online experience safe. These six tips apply to any electronic device, including smart phones and tablets: (more…)


Technology upgrade will help improve city services, processes

ERP-Diagram[1]In the late 1980s, the Cold War was coming to an end, the World Wide Web had not been born, and the fax machine was considered cutting-edge technology.

About that time, the City of College Station purchased fancy new business management software.

A quarter of a century later, those fax machines are gathering dust and the internet is a necessity. Meanwhile, College Station’s population has doubled, yet the city is still using that same software system.

But it’s not so fancy, anymore. In fact, it’s barely functional.

That’s why the city is investing more than $5 million in a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that can fully and effectively handle our wide range of business needs and activities.

(more…)