Minnesota municipal utility uses GIS to benefit 82,000 customers
Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) in Rochester, Minn., provides services to more than 47,000 power and 35,000 water customers. During a service interruption, RPU system operators use an enterprise geographic information system (GIS) program, ArcGIS ArcMap from Esri, to display geographical and tabular data relating to the outage. However, there was one thing missing: Information about the location of service trucks in the area. With this data, RPU could get to the outage and begin repairs quicker.
“Using ArcMap, we can see an aerial photograph of where the outage has occurred, along with the location of power lines, fuses, transformers, etc. in the affected area,” said Ryan Moore, GIS specialist at RPU.
RPU was already using Verizon Networkfleet’s GPS wireless fleet management system to track the location of certain trucks. Seeing truck locations in relation to outages was accomplished with the web-based application program interface that Networkfleet provides to every customer.
A Visual Basic application, developed by RPU, runs as a Windows service every two minutes, with no user interaction required. The Windows service reads the data returned in XML file format, writes it to a table, and then converts it to a text file on the server.
The image above shows a sample map with Networkfleet truck locations overlaid on ArcMap-generated maps. Underground utilities appear as red lines. The numbers are feeder IDs, and the lighter red lines are service lines. Using the Networkfleet application program interface, users can see where service vehicles are in relation to addresses.
According to Moore, “This ability is especially beneficial if you’re not in the office, because the applications are accessible via a VPN connection.”
For more information, visit Verizon Networkfleet’s website.