Wed, 21 Apr 2021

Working offline? We’ve got you covered.

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With the introduction of the VertiGIS’s mobile solution, TraveNetz has established a future-proof mobile system for on-call and fault services. The offline-capable application also enables the retrieval of network data and factual information in the event of a fault.

For many years, TraveNetz has been using online and offline information for their map series. However, the old solution was highly outdated. They required a new offline information system to provide on-call and fault services with stable and uniform offline information accessible on tablets. Offline accessibility was particularly important for TraveNetz as network coverage in rural areas is still not guaranteed. Regular data exchange must also be possible without great effort.
For smooth work in the field, it is necessary that all geographical and subject-related attributes are available at any time of the day or night. This includes all pipeline and cable layers with labelling and dimensioning, and further technical information such as condition or information on the network customer. Classic search functions, which the field service is already able to use from the online information tool, are also required in the offline-enabled tool. This includes searches such as house connection, gas control station, electricity systems or fittings. In addition, the application needed to couple with integrated GPS enabling quick localization.

The starting point for the preparation of a mobile application is the network infrastructure data in a format suitable for Esri. The data is flattened to simple features and all factual information is held directly at the objects. Thus, the mobile processing of the data sets a first, forward-looking step towards VertiGIS’ future Utility Network data model. For TraveNetz, the data was obtained from the VertiGIS product family and transferred to the desktop application ArcGIS Pro in the form of map documents. Maps were prepared for different business divisions. These maps focused on the necessary assets and factual information in the field. With the data of all divisions being transferred to a mobile data package, all symbol properties, labels, and dimensions were adopted, and full offline capability was ensured. With the file size of approximately 3GB, the entire network area can be made available offline on tablets and exchanged on a weekly basis.
VertiGIS mobile technology provides the ability to configure fully customizable online and offline applications for multi-operating system deployment. A mobile application based on iOS was implemented for TraveNetz, which includes a map view of individual divisions with the ability asset visiblity on and off. Standard functions such as navigation, measurement and GPS positioning have been integrated. The main functionality of the application is the display assets with their respective factual information. Different search and query scenarios can be established in the mobile application, so that these functionalities are available to users in a supply-compliant manner. Thanks to the flexible configuration adjustments and the incremental update option, the application can be constantly adapted to the work processes of TraveNetz.

For TraveNetz, the switch to a modern system and the entry into the Utility Network data model have paid off: “We are confident that with VertiGIS’ new offline-enabled application, we can offer the best possible mobile business information service. All on-call and fault service employees are now equipped with the application. Based on the feedback so far, there is a lot of praise, for example for the functionality and the user-friendliness. In the long term, we will include the application in other areas, such as the collection of house connections.” says Ann-Christine Herzberg, Geoinformatics Specialist and Deputy Head of Documentation.

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