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Lines, polygons, and data: mapping efficiency in the field

October 2, 2023

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) continue to transform field data collection, offering depth and detail that were previously out of reach. Fulcrum leads the charge in this revolution by integrating GIS lines and polygons directly into its data collection tool, setting a new benchmark for industries requiring comprehensive and precise geospatial analysis. Join us as we explore the enhanced functionalities and real-world applications that are defining the next chapter in field data collection.

A brief overview of lines and polygons

Historically, field data collection was confined to point data, which only provided a narrow glimpse of surveyed environments. The integration of lines and polygons into this process dramatically broadens this perspective. They allow for a more robust and detailed analysis of various spaces.

In GIS, lines play an indispensable role, representing linear structures such as roads, utility lines, or water pipelines. This representation simplifies the mapping of complex networks, facilitating smoother planning and resource management. Consequently, this innovation forms the backbone of more efficient and streamlined field operations.

On the other hand, polygons are used to delineate areas with common characteristics, aiding in defining geographical boundaries or zoning areas based on specific attributes. This addition clarifies the data collected, making it easier to understand. It also enables more informed and strategic decision-making, which improves the overall efficiency and effectiveness of field data analysis.

Lines and polygons are not new concepts in the GIS domain. However, the real breakthrough comes with the ability to seamlessly integrate and utilize these elements directly in the field through a data collection app. This approach not only amplifies the depth and detail of data gathered but also streamlines operations, paving the way for more insightful and actionable data analytics directly from the field.

Use Case 1: Transforming transmission inspections with GIS lines

Ensuring the stability and safety of transmission lines calls for precision and innovation. These lines, often stretching across vast distances, require regular inspections to ensure safety and efficiency. Here, the role of GIS lines becomes apparent.

Utility professionals can utilize lines to map the entire stretch of transmission lines meticulously, marking critical points such as towers and junctions. By doing so, they can easily visualize sag and sway in the lines, indicators of potential issues that might need immediate attention. Furthermore, these lines can represent the three-dimensional space transmission lines occupy, highlighting areas where lines dip down, necessitating further inspection.

When it comes to inspections, GIS lines facilitate precise planning. Teams can identify areas requiring closer scrutiny, directing resources where they matter most. This granular approach not only accelerates the inspection process but also aids in recognizing patterns over time, a vital component of predictive maintenance strategies. As a result, utility companies can proactively address issues, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure the reliability of their electric infrastructure.

GIS lines in Fulcrum app showing GIS Lines and Polygons Reshaping Utilities Use Case 2: Revolutionizing vegetation management – a polygon perspective

Effective vegetation management requires a nuanced, comprehensive approach. Whether safeguarding water routes, mitigating wildfire risks, or managing utility rights-of-way, polygons in GIS prove to be pivotal tools.

Utility companies use polygons to delineate specific areas where vegetation directly impacts utility lines or infrastructures. These polygons define buffer zones around electrical lines, preventing encroachments and significantly reducing the risk of damage or outages. This is crucial for wildfire prevention since it helps companies spot high-risk wildfire areas with dense vegetation.

Moreover, polygons serve as a cornerstone for efficient rights-of-way management. Clearly marked boundaries ensure that vegetation within these areas is maintained properly, mitigating potential hazards. Beyond hazard prevention, this methodical approach aids in developing environmental conservation strategies by designating areas where vegetation can thrive without posing risks to infrastructure.

With GIS lines and polygons in the field, utility companies can enhance safety, streamline operations, and contribute to environmental sustainability. Ultimately, the functionality revolutionizes the way they manage and protect their vital infrastructures.


In summary, the incorporation of lines and polygons in field data collection through GIS technology represents a pivotal advancement, revolutionizing how organizations operate and make informed decisions. This approach significantly enhances data collection efficiency, precision, and effectiveness.

Fulcrum, as a leading data collection platform, plays a central role in this revolution. It seamlessly integrates GIS lines and polygons, offering users the ability to view, create, edit, and share these critical elements directly within the Fulcrum app. This innovation sets a new standard in data collection. GIS lines and polygons empower organizations to streamline geospatial data collection strategies to enhance operational efficiency and risk management.

To explore how these functionalities can benefit your specific needs and operations, we invite you to experience them firsthand. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for a hands-on experience – register for a no-obligation demo with one of our experts today!