GISCafe Weekly Review January 22nd, 2014

GIS platform implemented in Indian electrical utility
January 22, 2014  by Susan Smith

According to an article in the Times of India, the city of Noida has upgraded its services to electricity consumers.  The Noida discom (distribution company) is going to use a GIS platform that can determine the exact location and coordinates of callers complaining about outages from faults and snags. It will also indicate coordinates of the snag on the distribution network, which will help in being able to attend to faults more quickly.

Customer care centers of the discom have integrated the GIS platform. A training programme by Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) is currently underway at its disaster-response centre in Sector 58 to attune employees and executives to efficiently handle the platform.

PVVNL officials said that they are using the programme to train staff to effectively use the online billing system and collect payments. “A number of applications that have been developed will be implemented in the city under this programme. The purpose behind this initiative is to make good use of information technology and provide better service to consumers,” said AP Singh, executive engineer (IT-PVVNL).

Bluesky awarded contract to map heat loss
January 16, 2014  by Susan Smith

As energy efficiency is of paramount importance these days, thermal survey maps can show hot spots and can identify where housing is not heated properly. This situation is called “fuel poverty” and is due to poor insulation or people simply wanting to conserve heat by not turning on the heat. The combination of thermal data with other datasets such as demographic data can help pinpoint buildings where this is the case.

Cloud and mobile technology are ….

Confusing and complicated.

Hard to fit into “how we have always done things”

Difficult seeing and demonstrating the benefits to management.

We have heard these responses and many more from clients. Stepping into the brave new cloud enabled mobile GIS world is hard. But the benefits are considerable.

Better Urban Change Detection
January 16, 2014  by Mladen Stojic, President of Hexagon Geospatial

Geospatial questions abound in urban areas. Property Assessors need to know who built an extension to their home to apply the appropriate tax and keep the city coffers full. Urban Planners are interested in green space, changes in green space and whether it provides the necessary continuity for birds and other urban wildlife.  Utility companies often look for new construction, and indicators of affluence such as swimming pools to determine the future energy demands of a particular neighborhood.

They may also use LiDAR to manage vegetation encroachment on utility lines.  The Water Department needs to understand runoff from impervious surfaces and how this impacts the underground infrastructure of pipes and drains. The health of water bodies is important for health and safety reasons.  In some countries, sunlight is highly valued and any construction that casts a shadow on the neighbors is illegal.  Transport departments are interested in the road conditions, closures and alternate routes. Emergency services need to understand various flood or storm surge scenarios, in some neighborhoods the fire potential, or simply an understanding of where the crimes or accidents are prevalent.

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