Utility Pole location automation?

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04-24-2014 12:06 AM
SukhvirRehal
New Contributor III
Hi guys,

I'm looking for some guidance on how to approach this problem.

What I'm trying to do is automate locations of utility poles that feed residential properties.

Some of the restrictions that I have are:

The poles can be no more than 50m apart
Ideally the poles to be able to connect to a maximum of 12 properties.

I have Street line data and address point data for the homes & the poles locations would be on/offet from the street lines.

I'm not sure how I would go about appraoching this & I was hoping soembody could guide me on some techniques or methods I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance for your help guys.

ps. I'm using ArcGIS 10 Editer.
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3 Replies
RichardFairhurst
MVP Honored Contributor
Hi guys,

I'm looking for some guidance on how to approach this problem.

What I'm trying to do is automate locations of utility poles that feed residential properties.

Some of the restrictions that I have are:

The poles can be no more than 50m apart
Ideally the poles to be able to connect to a maximum of 12 properties.

I have Street line data and address point data for the homes & the poles locations would be on/offet from the street lines.

I'm not sure how I would go about appraoching this & I was hoping soembody could guide me on some techniques or methods I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance for your help guys.

ps. I'm using ArcGIS 10 Editer.


There is no tool set designed to do this efficiently, and from my point of view these kinds of optimization techniques are only usable for preliminary planning purposes, and not for any kind of real engineered design.  At most you would have a guideline of pole positions, but every single position would still require review at the plan check level that could easily result in every pole position having to be manually adjusted.

You would have to heavily leverage Linear Referencing, Summary tools, and complex Python programming logic and cursor operations.  You may also have to tap into Spatial Analyst.  I would budget at least 300 man hours to develop such automation, since there are no ready made optimization strategies that are available and anything less is likely to be based on only the grossest oversimplification of the problem.

Discovering the real world rules that govern the optimization of pole position choices and how to make the computer aware of them and process them in an efficient manner could easily take weeks to define.  Limiting the number of possible options the computer has to evaluate will be a serious challenge and you have to convert the thought process you would use to come up with the order of options you would evaluate into code.  This is by no means a simple task, since computers are practically blind to most of the things you can easily see and consider in your thought processes and literally every step involved in connecting the dots (points, lines, and polygons) has to be programmed.  So be forewarned, what you want is a real challenge to develop.
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SukhvirRehal
New Contributor III
Thank you for the reply.

I figured it would probably be something that included programming etc...which I'm not very good at :(

Well you have given me things to consider.

I appreicate your help.
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SukhvirRehal
New Contributor III

Hi Richard, Just wanted to update with this.

It seems I may have over thought the original question I asked.

In the end to count the possible number of utility poles I would need I simply did the following...

1. I created points on line intersects

2. I then placed points on a lines at given intervals depending on the line length.

Obviously doing this meant that the poles were on street centre lines so their position wasn't accurate but it gave me an idea of the number of poles I I may need.

However I wasn't able to get 12 properties per pole but in the end this didn't really matter. But to show the properties connected to poles I just created spider diagrams.

Thanks again.

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