What do potholes and electric outages have in common? Like puncturing a tyre when hitting an unexpected pothole, power disruptions can cause emotional and economic havoc. Most South Africans can recall the power crisis of 2015 which disrupted many lives and caused damage to the economy. For most, the power cuts were unexpected and often lead to financial consequences such as replacing damaged home appliances, or psychological effects such as missing their favourite prime time TV show.
Our customers in the Electric utilities industry have realised the value and benefits of improving their Outage Management System to better serve the economy and community at large. By implementing the ArcGIS platform, electric utilities are managing outages by integrating systems and geo-enabling both employees and the public through the power of location.
The utility’s GIS is usually the source of the network model whereby advanced location analytics enables smarter outage predictions and mapping. Eskom is an example of a customer who has embraced the use and benefits of the ArcGIS platform to visualise outages on their electrical network.
In an article published in the November 2016 issue of the PositionIT magazine, Gerhard Brits, Keagen Liebenberg and Shaun Goodbrand from Eskom explained how they leveraged the ArcGIS platform to create a national 2016 voting station outage web mapping application in only 5 days. By consuming information form two separate systems for multiple and single customer outages (FMS and CC&I) the team created links between reported faults and the 22 614 voting stations which allowed them to visualise which voting stations were experiencing outages. ArcGIS for Server was used to host and publish data exposed by desktop and web clients. Portal of ArcGIS was used to control access to the platform and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS was used to create application-specific tools.
“The combination of these software utilities provides a very agile environment that allows the team to respond to user requirements in a timely manner” – Gerhard Brits.
For more information on this project, see http://www.ee.co.za/article/national-2016-voting-station-outage-map.html#.WHjjI8vRbqA
Esri helps you answer the question of “where” and solve real world problems. You transform your utility operations when you can quickly query, analyse, and understand your data. Esri provides a complete system that allows you to integrate disparate data, access and update information from the office or the field, and maintain a real-time view of all operations. More than maps and applications, Esri gives you the location analytics you need to save time, lower costs, and satisfy customers.
Example of an OMS operations dashboard configured with ArcGIS
Acknowledgements: Gerhard Brits, Keagen Liebenberg and Shaun Goodbrand from Eskom
Version 1 of ArcGIS Earth was officially released mid-January 2016. The application offers functionality to share data in a similar way that Google Earth does.
For Esri customers ArcGIS Earth offers additional value as it makes data viewing in realistic 3D and data sharing possible across the platform – from the desktop, mobile, server or custom developments, the same authoritative data can now be viewed in ArcGIS Earth.
Some advantages of ArcGIS Earth are:
ArcGIS Earth offers a choice of 10 global Basemaps ranging from street maps, to terrain and imagery at the click of a button. Simply set the Basemaps to suit the data that is displayed. This means you always have access to high quality, global data that is being constantly updated for you.
Multiple datasets from various online or offline sources can be viewed in context of a Basemaps of your choice.
2. Collaboration & Content
If you are an existing Esri client with a Portal (or ArcGIS Online) identity you have full access to your organization’s authoritative content in the form of map and feature services, which means you can do your work quicker and easier than before. Sharing data requires no conversion, saving you time and money.
3. Ownership & Security
With ArcGIS Earth you have the ability to share GIS content that is 100% secure in an existing ArcGIS Online or Portal environment.
- The level of data access is controlled by your Portal identity. Users can only access data they have been granted access to.
- When information is added to ArcGIS Earth it remains the property of organisation/person who published it. This is different from other software providers may keep data even after you have removed it.
- It is not possible to extract or download data from ArcGIS Earth. You can share a view of your data without giving it away. This is great because you can rest assured that your company’s data is safe and secure while using the latest technology to do your work.
4. Save your last session
There are several setting that can be customized. Among them is the possibility to have the Start-up view to continue where you left off. This setting remembers your location, Basemaps and all the other layers that were added during your last session. This can save you time when starting to work each day!
ArcGIS Earth is great as a free tool for realistic 3D data visualization and sharing data in collaboration with your colleagues and customers. As with all software, there are currently a few limitations:
- The file based data formats are limited to shp and kmz/kml. If you wish to use data from other Esri sources it must be published to a map or feature service first.
- Where the symbology of file based features can be changed and the popups are visible, this is not the case for feature and map services. It is not possible to change the symbology or transparency of service layers to view data in context of layers below. It is also not possible to label or set popups for a service layer.
ArcGIS Earth version 1 has many useful features and boasts unrivaled global Basemap content. It is a great way to share your data securely with anyone, any place, anytime. So, have a go! You can download it for free.
The ArcGIS product stack can sometimes be overwhelming. Quite often I get asked if we “can do something” – before I even hear the “thing” my answer is yes! The challenge is always how to do it and with which set of tools. So, with all this amazing technology, we sometimes forget how easy it is to do the basic things – getting data into the system and sharing it in powerful and meaningful ways. So here is my list of 6 things you can do in a very short amount of time with ArcGIS, do you have any other ideas?
Make your own field data app
Want to capture pictures and the location of graffiti in your neighbourhood? The location and a photo of birds on a walk in the bush? Just open an editable web map on Collector for ArcGIS (iOS and Android) and start capturing! More info here.
Create a website that tells a story with maps
Want to show your friends all the places you have visited this year? Or maybe want to show off sights of your neighbourhood in your local community meetings? Use a web map and create a story map using a template and your data and share! More info here.
Configure a mobile-ready web app
You want to be able to create a native mobile app for your children’s school to use on their outings? Or to brand an information app for your cousin’s tour company? Use a web map and configure the app with the AppStudio for ArcGIS! More info here.
Deploy an app to any mobile platform
Want to create a basic mapping app that allows people to click on a feature and get a popup? Or change the basemap to imagery and view their own house using their mobile phone? Use a web map and configure a web app using the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS! More info here.
Add your Excel data to a map
Have some Excel data about schools in your province and want to add them to a map? Or maybe you have some Excel information about households in your local club and want to add them to a map? Use Excel with Esri Maps for Office and you can quickly add that data to the map using a wizard! More info here.
Embed a map into your existing website
Have an existing website and want to include a map with directions to your office or house? Use a web map and embed it using code provided for you! More info here.