The merger of Geocom and AED-SICAD under the umbrella of VertiGIS results in synergies which are the basis for the further development of a joint Utility Network solution with ArcGIS Pro.
Both companies have already been certified by Esri Inc. for the Utility Network Speciality Program. The discussion between Gerald Kreuwel (PM Utilities, AED-SICAD) and Christoph Spörri (CTO, Geocom) will give you an insight into current joint developments.
Kreuwel: «After a long discussion with Esri about the new Utility Network and the new developments in Web GIS, we didn’t want to wait any longer in 2018 and integrate our utility functions into the new framework of ArcGIS Pro. We have already successfully implemented important functions for navigation, the representation of attribute data and the functionalities for selection and object list. We are very pleased to be able to join forces to tackle this extensive project.»
Spörri: «Yes, I agree. Especially since we have the same understanding of a utility network information model that we store in the database and present via the attributive data view. Incidentally, we have proceeded in a similar way with our reports and longitudinal profiles. These are functional areas that are very important to our customers.»
Longitudinal profile along a gas main in ArcGIS Pro. In addition to the gas main (orange line), tree growth (green dots), surface (green line), height and kilometerage of the gas pipeline are also displayed.
Kreuwel: «This will not only please GEONIS customers. I know some other interested parties. But tell me, were you also impressed by the possibilities of the new Utility Network? Esri has already implemented many of the basic principles that we consider important and have suggested for network tracing.»
Spörri: «Yes, Esri has built in a lot of functionalities that provide additional benefit to our customers. I’m thinking, for example, of the subnetworks. By correctly modeling the network behavior, all elements in the network will know their source of supply and to which subnetwork they belong. Thus it is transparent what is connected in the network and how it is supplied.»
By creating subnetworks, all elements receive additional information such as the name of the pressure zone, the minimum and maximum pressure, and other properties. New is the possibility to save topological connections and relationships via attributes. This allows, for example, connections without internal gas lines to be recorded correctly (blue dashed lines)
Spörri: «Now energy suppliers not only need tracing functions, they also need to be able to capture and process data sensibly. How did you go about it? Do you think it makes sense to adopt all existing drawing tools one-to-one into the new world?»
Damage reports for gas lines can be created in ArcGIS Pro, in web clients or also in native clients.
Kreuwel: «No, we’re not gonna do that. We have analyzed for all important functions whether there is already a comparable counterpart in ArcGIS Pro. Where it is necessary and useful, we offer additions or extensions to the ArcGIS tools without influencing the standard functions. We had to adapt our concept of catalog services. The “Edit Instructions”, which have now been created, again offer the possibility of mapping dedicated workflows in the acquisition, for example for house connections, cross-sections, station entries and, yes, also for dimensions.
An important basic consideration that Esri has given us concerns platform thinking: With every functionality we ask ourselves whether it fits into the thought of a Web GIS: We have to assume that all acquisition functions must be available across the entire platform from desktop GIS, Web GIS, and mobile GIS. Our Planning Manager has been used for a long time in both desktop and web environments. Below is an example of what it looks like in ArcGIS Pro.»
Spörri: «I think that we have already made very good progress in the months of cooperation. We have a clear picture of how we’re developing the joint solution.»
Kreuwel: «Yes, we agree. We are delighted to be able to present the joint result to our customers.»