Erie County GIS Advisory Board User Group

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(4 Posts)
Occasional Contributor II

In the interest of creating a unified group within the Erie County GIS Advisory Board, I wanted to share a little update on what the City of Sandusky is currently using and working on (partial list): 

Currently Developing/working on:

  • Infrastructure Mapping
    • Water
    • Sewer
  • Mowing Logs
  • Forestry maintenance system (Supplementary to theTree Inventory)
  • Service Center Pick-up Services maps/apps (leaf & Christmas tree pick-up)

Currently Using:

  • Water
    • Hydrants & Flushing Forms
    • Valves
    • Meters
  • Sewer
    • Catch Basins
    • Man Holes
  • COS lights/traffic lights/control box management map
  • Survey123
    • Pothole logs
    • Alley repair logs
    • Sweeping Logs
    • Parking inventory
    • Building Inventory
    • Construction inspections
    • SWPPP Construction inspections
  • Community Planning and Development Housing Development Project maps
  • Land bank Properties Map
  • Crime mapping
  • Engineering Capital Project management map
  • Road Construction and closures map (Public)
  • Service Center Pick-Up Zone Map (Public)
  • P.R.I.D.E Nominations app (Public)
  • Transit maps
  • Tree Inventory Map
  • Engineering Sidewalk Projects Map

   This is just to list some of the major ones. There are daily small projects that pop-up for the Managers Office and others but the above lists most of the major projects and the heavily utilized maps. 

   Most of these maps are just one part of a solution that utilizes ArcOnline, Collector and Survey123 to provide the complete answers. 

   For example the Water Infrastructure and maintenance map encompasses the initial feature class of hydrants with related maintenance tables. The individual features (hydrants) are related to a Survey123 Flushing Form via their Identification number, and the whole thing is made visible to the Fire Department via a view turned web map.

   We are also looking into GeoEvent Server to enable us to do real-time snow plow maps for internal and eventual public use. 

That's it for this update! As we get more users from ECGISAB logging in I can go in-depth on how some of the solutions are set up if anyone has a favorite or questions. Feel free to add a comment with what you're currently working on or using within your Township, City, Village, Organization or Municipality! Even if it's just and idea of something you want to work on, this way we know what each others interests are and can more effectively network. 

Thanks All! Looking forward to seeing the comments!

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Occasional Contributor II

   A week ago today I attended a training event put on by Ohio URISA for GIS project management. Considering that I went in with very few expectations, I wanted to write a reflection on what I took away from the training. 

   My dad has worked as a project manager for NASA for most of my life. I remember hearing about it and I recognize the term but I hadn't realized what it really meant until the Project Management Workshop last Thursday. I also hadn't realized that what I have been doing since August of last year was in fact project management, I was just severely lacking in the hard copy documentation or understanding of how to manage myself. 

   I returned to work the next day with a newfound respect for documentation. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and talking about the same animal. It minimizes miscommunication and helps to keep everyone focused. If you start to lose the feel for what you are working on, you have a document that you can refer back to to help refocus and push forward. Though too much documentation can be just as harmful as no documentation. There is a balance.

I have already started to integrate these new (to me) practices and I intend to continue to leverage them in my work more and more. There is so much more that I learned in this workshop, it was rife with helpful practices and nuggets of wisdom. If you have not attended an Ohio URISA event yet I strongly encourage you to do so. A huge shoutout to the leadership . Thank you to everyone involved in putting this and other workshops on!

Oh! Almost forgot my favorite bit: keep your meetings short and to the point

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Occasional Contributor II

As part of the ECGISAB I will be trying to post periodically about the projects that I have underway here at The City of Sandusky.

Today I would like to put forward the second largest GIS system that we have currently up and running within the city. The hydrant inventory began as a Fire Department project during my stint as a part-time employee here at the city. 3 guys from Fire agreed to take their phones and a collector app out and pick up as many hydrants as they could. In three days they collected everything you see below:Hydrant and knox box locations

   The above image is where the hydrant inventory stayed until about a week ago. Water Department came to me and said that they were going to start hydrant flushing soon and would like to utilize the GIS capabilities we had talked about months ago. Today we have a beta system in place that is being used in the field as I type this. The workflow looks something like this:

  • Water Department field dude takes a Juniper Geode unit and tablet into the field with him as he does hydrant flushing.
  • He begins flushing
  • While the hydrant is actively flushing he checks the collector map to see whether the hydrant has been tagged (tags it with the Geode if it has not) verifies the specs (hydrant number, model, make, ect.) for that hydrant and makes necessary changes.
  • He then checks the map to verify whether the associated water valve has been located and tagged. If not he tags it and fills out the information about that valve.
  • Finally either during the flushing or after the hydrant is closed he follows the link in the hydrants pop-up to the Survey123 app and fills out the flushing form.

All of this takes under five minutes. The Geode unit connects to the tablet via blue tooth, and is rugged enough to take a beating in the field if surviving a fall off of a truck bumper into the roadway is any indication (my guys are pros at field testing tech, very thorough). The tablet handles all of the apps; Collector, Survey123 and GeodeConnect.

So far it is working remarkably well, and the guys in the field aren't too inconvenienced by it. The first run will be the hardest, there is lots of data to collect, but the consensus is strong that once it is finished it will be well worth it.

I'll dive a little deeper into the inner working from here out. Mostly pictures below:

What the map looks like in the feild. Blue are valves, red are hydrants.

Collector map view

Hydrant pop up with linked Survey123 form

The Survey123 Form is linked directly from the hydrant pop-up. There is a nifty bit of formatting you can do that will auto populate fields within the form to reduce data entry and error. For this form the hydrant ID number auto populates to tie the records.

Quick view of the Surevy123 form for flushing

I will eventually need to restructure the hydrant point file schema to better reflect the workflow for the guys. There has also been a request for a maintenance ticket related table. Just goes to show that a health application/system is always evolving to fit the needs of the user.

I am happy to answer and questions about the structure or share resources with anyone who might want them .

Thanks for reading!

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Occasional Contributor II

As a way to increase discourse and availability to resources I figured a GeoNet group would be just the thing. Post the projects you are working on, ask for help, input or guidance, or just vent frustration about python/ArcMap/AGOL/ and all things GIS. (We all know it gets frustrating)

This space is here to encourage collaboration and to help connect our GIS Advisory Board. We have a very unique set-up here in Erie County and we should make the most of it! Many of us are working on the same kinds of projects or have been in a frustrating state before. This group is to make it so that we are no longer islands apart from each other but instead a collective, supportive and progressive group of people.

Post your projects! Post your problems! Post your ideas!

Lets help each other along and share all of the exciting, forward thinking things happening in Erie County.

I for one, can't wait to read your posts.


COS GIS Analyst

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