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For GIS we have moved from famine to feast when it comes to mobile apps. Two years ago mobile GIS was in its infancy. There were few if any good mobile GIS and map apps. Now we have a plethora of ArcGIS Viewers, ArcReader on laptops, Collector on iPads and Android devices, CarryMap on various devices, Garmin truck-mounted units etc. Paper maps are also still in use helping to fill in gaps. In 2015 there has been a move to linking mobile apps, so data collection apps opening routing apps on and on. Organizations are being overwhelmed by apps. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to manage and configure such a wide array of GIS and map apps.

We are working with a number of electric coops on this exact problem. As one organization stated:

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to stay on top of what’s out there, and how to maintain everything. We would like to integrate everything into one mobile solution.”

Another mentioned:

“Its all well and good having a mobile app which targets Apple or Android mobile device, but we have a mix of devices used in the field. Laptops for example are popular, we want an app which can be used on any device not one built only for iPads or iPhones for example”

The electric coops we are working with have a common set of mobile utility GIS app needs, these include:

– Search for data in the field
– Get turn-by-turn directions to a location
– Query data and edit data
– Collect field points and notes
– Send/receive service and work orders to field personnel
– View aerial photography
– See real-time outage information

These should all be available in a electric coop mobile app from any device – laptop, tablet, smartphone – whether in the office or the field, and to have the ability to update and synchronize the organizations central GIS or mapping system automatically.

Mobile GIS and Map Apps for Electric Coops

Thanks to advances in mobile GIS technology, there are now new ways to provide truly cross-device, cross-platform mobile electric utility apps. That means apps which run on any device, in the office or the field. We have developed a widget based approach to providing solutions to electric coops. As the diagrams below once mobile users log into the application they not only see their electric assets mapped but can search, and query the data.

Widgets are contained in a left side panel and provide focused tools: view and generate work orders, collect data, access different base maps (roads, satellite etc) and much more.

Simplicity has been the driver behind this work. Not only removing the need for the GIS staff to track and maintain many apps. But providing one easy to use mobile utility asset management app. The approach we have taken is not only very cost effective, but easy to maintain and extend.

Contact us for more information.





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