BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), led by UL alumnus Secretary Scott Angelle, has been internationally recognized for its extraordinary use of geographic information system (GIS) technology in providing a vital service to industry and the citizens of Louisiana. DNR was presented with the coveted Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award at the 2011 Esri International User Conference in San Diego CA. 

DNR’s Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System (SONRIS), which utilizes GIS technology and has been serving the oil and gas and coastal management industries for over a decade, recently experienced several upgrades. Now, SONRIS-NEW GENERATION has improved its user friendliness and functionality.

“It is an honor to have been bestowed this prestigious award in the GIS community,” said Angelle. “DNR has been charged with responding to the needs of the industry and giving them the tools and information they need to conduct business efficiently and effectively. Their success means success for Louisiana, and we will continue to search for improvements that can be made to our systems to ensure continued success for Louisiana.”

SONRIS was envisioned by DNR to be an innovative approach to conserving the natural resources of Louisiana, by using alliances with high-technology organizations to implement a state-of-the-art information system.

“The goal of the SONRIS-NEW GENERATION upgrade was twofold,” explained Rizwan Ahmed, DNR Chief Information Officer. “First, we aimed to provide an intuitive and extremely easy experience for our users. We also wanted the ability to respond to the requirements of our users in an expeditious manner.”

Recipients of the Special Achievement in GIS award are submitted by thousands of organizations worldwide, then personally reviewed and selected by Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri. Esri, a software company that develops geographic information systems solutions, hosted the conference and the awards ceremony.


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