City of Melbourne iPhone Proof of Concept

The City of Melbourne (CoM) are quickly moving towards mobile technologies that can facilitate staff, ratepayers, business owners and everyday people having quick and accurate access to information related to their city. Moving at a rapid pace, CoM staff identified a set of key use cases for testing, along with supporting technologies requiring evaluation in order to support their vision.

CoM met with Geoplex (Ben and Anthony), and a high level work backlog was developed. Based on this prioritised list it was decided to prove the technology stack, and test that Geoplex and CoM could work together in an agile and rapid way – enter the Proof of Concept (POC).

We also identified that help was needed with iOS design and development – and that is where our business partners, Scott and Dave from Dangerous Pixels came into the picture.

So we focused and sharpened the narratives and established a baseline technology stack, which then gave us the specific capabilities – but most important – we established a project team that included CoM staff. We went into rapid prototype mode, where Ben, Scott and Dave established the baseline technology stack and operating environment. Ben stood up ArcGIS Server in the Cloud, and data was ETL’d from CoM to emulate their Geodatabases. We did this so we could rapidly create, modify and experiment.

User experience design meetings were led by Dave, however, everyone contributed to this process. After all, the app in the end must be usable by someone without having to read a manual.

Once we had a working design that the team was happy with, the app was deployed on Test Flight to allow team members and CoM to provide feedback. We further iterated on what worked, what didn’t and what needed to end up on the cutting room floor. This process essentially created more ideas – great ideas, and this is where I had to keep the product backlog well groomed so we did not move to far from the fundamental vision of the POC.

The team presented the application and our approach to the CIO and others at the City of Melbourne. What impressed us was how they could see that this approach works, where the end result is a POC that hit the mark in terms of answering those key initial questions, but also in terms of budget, time and quality.

What is unique about the application is the rich data that is created and maintained by the CoM spatial systems team. We barely touched the surface of the property information – but it makes us realise the value of what we do is to enable people to use, act and improve their decision making because they literally can have this information at their fingertips.


City of Melbourne

What impressed us with this project is that Geoplex and Dangerous Pixels delivered what they said they would, and on time! This proof of concept represented a collaboration between CoM staff and an iterative design and development approach that enabled us to see working software in a short period of time.

Colin Fairweather, City of Melbourne CIO

Geeky bit

  • iPhone App with spatial information and Augmented Reality
  • Integration of GIS with existing business systems data
  • Cloud based Services
  • Agile collaborative approach
  • ESRI ArcGIS Server in the Cloud
  • Apple iOS, Layar AR


Dangerous Pixels


Anthony BurgonBen Giles