Published Date: 20 July 2023
Utility companies have always faced unique challenges when it comes to effectively managing their operations.
Tracking dispersed asset locations and monitoring vast infrastructure networks – such as pipelines, power grids and communication systems – is a huge task. Human error can often cause unnecessary delays and costs, and until recently, the technology this industry needed simply didn’t exist.
Geospatial technology, however, has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. A custom-built GIS solution can specifically address technical challenges faced by the utilities sector, providing a better way for firms to accurately monitor systems, make informed decisions, optimise workflows, and offer improved services.
In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits of geospatial mapping, explore the difficulties faced by professionals in the field, and demonstrate the practical uses of custom GIS for the utilities sector.
Empowering the utilities sector with custom GIS solutions
Like the renewable energy industry, the utilities sector presents its own set of technical challenges – difficulties that demand creative but reliable GIS solutions.
Capturing precise location information is crucial for accurate management and infrastructure planning. However, utilities professionals often work in highly remote locations where connectivity is limited or non-existent.
Losing any of this collected data can be very costly to utility firms – both in time and money – so it’s key that custom built solutions can collect data whilst offline with the ability to perform offline syncing once a connection is available, to avoid any data loss.
GIS software should also be able to efficiently handle significant data volumes, to enable utility companies to effectively collect and manage the vast amounts of data required to operate effectively.
Case Study: Custom GIS for TerraFlow
As the software development partner for TerraFlow Geomatics, I‑Finity have built a suite of custom GIS software products that demonstrate the transformative capabilities of geospatial technology in the utility and natural resource industries.
TerraFlow’s suite of products is architected on Azure, where we provide ongoing optimisation, scalability, and monitored performance. The reliable cloud-based platform and sharded database implementation mean that as TerraFlow customers and users grow, we can easily scale up their infrastructure as needed.
High level capabilities of TerraFlow’s suite of products include:
- Offline processing of geospatial data
- Re-projecting capabilities
- Automated outputs for specific applications
- Comprehensive reporting in various formats
- Comprehensive data collection process, supporting those in the field
- Sketch Tool for maps, enabling users to draw polygons, lines or points
- Integration with ArcGIS
- Integration with high accuracy GNSS (GPS) positioning systems
- Integrating with high-performance sensor systems (for radiation exposure management and Geonics for electromagnetic mapping)
Our custom-built TerraFlow GIS solutions
The suite of custom-built GIS products for TerraFlow include:
- Surface Mapper: This powerful application runs on specific hardware in use by Field Engineers whilst they physically walk over a Landfill site. Surface Mapper is used to review the differences in height between surface design and collected measurements to assist in determining if a site needs to be cut and/or filled to meet the design.
- Sensor Mapper: Designed for scientific and engineering teams, Sensor Mapper plays a crucial role in capturing accurate underground information. By collecting sensor data for radiation or electromagnetic surveys, utilities professionals ensure reliable and precise data collection that can inform decision-making for infrastructure planning and management.
- Utility Mapper: This solution ensures accurate identification and mapping of utility infrastructure – such as gas pipelines – which then enables field teams above ground to confidently navigate to where they need to be.
- Data Engine: This product automates data collection and provides an integration platform. It can pull data from field sensors – such as weather, rain or airspeed information – directly from the equipment and stream it into other systems. The sensors also include cable and radiation detection.
Our custom development of GIS software
I‑Finity have specialist Azure and geospatial expertise, with a track record of successful geospatial implementations in the utilities sector.
Our bespoke GIS software products are created with a solid understanding of the specific data sets, workflows and technical challenges faced by each customer – supported with a configurable front-end design that’s intuitive, user-friendly, and on-brand.
We build custom solutions on Azure that are architected to meet your unique requirements, delivering high performance, high availability, and ongoing scalability.
If you require a GIS solution that:
- Collects and organises significant amounts of data
- Accurately syncs data in real time and/or offline
- Processes data visually on a map
- Enables the user to interact with the displayed data
- Performs custom calculations and algorithms (generating results based on user input)
- Generates reports of the data analysis and resulting recommendations
- Enables the export of generated maps in multiple formats
- Automates the workflow to remove human error and improve accuracy
Then get in touch with I‑Finity today to discuss your GIS project and discover the potential of custom geospatial mapping software.