With the mobile revolution, more and more users in field roles are discovering the power of location-based data. Whether it is used to trigger a workflow or process, or simply help visualize information on a map, users — particularly those who work in the field — are increasingly demanding applications that use location-based data to make their jobs easier and more efficient.
By integrating location-aware apps with your existing GIS tools, you can do things like:
- Track an inspector in the field right down to where she was standing when she took a picture
- See how the distance traveled by machine installers affects team productivity
- Scale existing paper-based or spreadsheet-based data collection processes to orders of magnitude more people, while getting better productivity and higher-quality data.
- Use location data to kick off the next step in a process
- Empower field workers with maps that help them easily visualize an end-to-end process or task
The complexity of GIS tools — especially their ability to enable “location-aware” applications through integrations with application platforms (which often carry their own added complexity) — often makes it difficult to keep up with demand for more apps that harness the power of GIS in the field. This limits the deployment of new applications that drive value across the organization and often requires ongoing manual integration of geolocation data between the application and the GIS system. The result is less-satisfied workforce and a reduced return on GIS investments.
To meet the demand in the field and unlock new value from GIS investments, companies need to cut the time it takes to build and deploy mobile apps from days or months down to minutes. In order to reach this level of agility, GIS experts must tap into location-aware no-code application development platforms such as Fulcrum that provide a straightforward way to send high-quality data into your GIS platform, as well as get that information out to provide real time location context to field workers.
Fulcrum’s unique set of native geospatial application development, data capture, workflow and reporting capabilities allow customers to put location data into the hands of more people when and where they need it. And our no-code application environment makes it easier than ever to create new applications quickly to serve field users better.
See how some of Fulcrum’s customers in public works, the electric utilities, oil and gas, and telecom industries have achieved this kind of success.
Electric Utilities: Northpower
Northpower is one of the largest multi-utility contractors in New Zealand, that performs 85,000 pillar inspections over a cycle of three years. Before implementing Fulcrum, the crews used paper-based maps to log and navigate to each pole, 10% of which would be hidden by vegetation overgrowth and go uninspected.
Further, ad-hoc administrative support time was needed to upload and process their inspection results, which were exported individually from ArcGIS on devices to CSV files.
Now, using fixed locations in Fulcrum, every pillar is found and expected the first time around, eliminating double site visits. The platform has also increased the efficiency of their inspections, enabling them to complete more work with fewer people and improving their margins. Read the case study here.
Water & Wastewater: Brown & Caldwell
Environmental engineering firm Brown & Caldwell was hired by DeKalb County, GA officials to locate and inspect the county’s 60,000 manholes as part of a sanitary collections system overhaul.
Before adopting Fulcrum, the team had to gather historical data from record drawings, upload it into their existing GIS platform, and then export it into paper map books. The inspection crews would then try to locate the structures, take photos, and inspect them using pen and paper forms. Another team would follow with GPS equipment to gather precise location and elevation information.
Once Brown & Caldwell implemented Fulcrum, inspection crews could locate the manholes using integrated GIS mapping on their mobile device, and photos captured were automatically connected to the corresponding assets. The team estimated that they needed almost 30% fewer hours to manage and QA their data once they started using Fulcrum, which has improved their delivery schedules and reduced costs. Read the case study here.
Public Works & Planning: Fresno County
When officials in Fresno County, CA, faced unprecedented wildfire damage, they needed to respond quickly. They were able to create a custom app in Fulcrum based on a FEMA damage-assessment worksheet in a matter of minutes, and soon they had dozens of volunteers using it in the field.
The Fresno County folks integrated Fulcrum with their GIS program, Esri, so they could view the live data their volunteers were collecting in real time on the map. They were also able to export thousands of records of their existing assets from Esri into Fulcrum so volunteers could quickly get to each location and update the data or snap a photo, without having to create a new record or input GPS data.
“We could do something like this with our existing GIS platform, but we just don’t have the luxury of time to deploy such an application during this emergency period,” said Public Works and Planning IT Manager Thanaphat “Pat” Srisukwatana. “But with Fulcrum, it’s ready to go out of the box.” Read the case study here.
Oil & Gas: Premier Utility Services
A global contractor specializing in energy infrastructure, Premier Utility Services implemented Fulcrum prior to a large gas meter inspection and leak detection project in upstate New York that involved surveying more than 3,300 miles of pipeline and half a million gas meters.
Premier was already using CARTO as part of their internal GIS, and leveraged Fulcrum webhooks to push field data directly to CARTO. They also developed custom dashboard applications using the Carto.js API, which gave Premier and their clients the ability to easily view and analyze their data. Once an inspection had been scheduled by office staff, that information was instantly available to field staff on their mobile devices. Read the case study here.
Telecom contracting company Celerity is a premier provider of OSP engineering, aerial and underground construction, splicing and testing services, and next mile wireless networks. Their technicians collect massive amounts of data in the field.
Celerity conducts route maintenance over long stretches (up to 200 kilometers at a time), which required employees to carry multiple books of maps on the road with them. But with Fulcrum, they were able to import their existing maps into their mobile devices so they could easily see the entire route and leave the cumbersome paper books behind.
Not only did it improve their productivity in the field, it saved them a considerable amount of time managing administrative tasks back in the office. Read the case study here.
Interested to see how you can send data collected in Fulcrum into Esri ArcGIS Online with just one click? Watch this webcast!