March 05, 2008 -- St. Charles, IL – The Sidwell Company was selected by Hance Utility Services, Inc. of Buffalo, Minnesota to assist in providing technical services to East Central Energy, a member-owned electric cooperative serving over 57,000 homes, farms and businesses in east central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. In recent years, ECE went through multiple software upgrades and conversions, which affected the integrity of their mapping, outage management system, and property records. Recognizing the need to have the highest quality data available at all times, ECE selected Hance Utility Services to conduct an asset inventory to include the tagging and collection of precise map coordinates for each pole and/or pad-mounted device, each member’s meter location coordinates, and underground distribution line coordinates.
Using ESRI®’s ArcPad® and ArcPad® Application Builder, Sidwell’s technical staff developed custom GPS applications for Hance technicians to use on their MobileMapper CE units from Magellan®, along with customized forms, to collect field data. Hance technicians uploaded the field data nightly to a Sidwell-configured enterprise ESRI geodatabase for warehousing the data. Using tools written by their technical staff, Sidwell provided management of all GPS-collected data—including the generation of line and point features to represent different utility lines and overhead assemblies.
Additional services provided by Sidwell’s professional staff included training on GPS/ArcPad field collection and installation and training on use of ESRI’s ArcReader, in addition to the publishing of GPS data in an ArcIMS map service to allow both Hance and ECE to view the progress of data collection via ArcReader.
Utilizing new mobile mapping capability, ECE can now track their assets geographically and readily facilitate the ongoing construction, maintenance, and repair of their system, thereby improving the accuracy of outage management. Members of the cooperative will benefit from improved services and potential cost savings.
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Sidwell is an authorized dealer of Magellan GPS equipment. For more information about the Magellan product line, or Sidwell’s professional GIS, aerial photography, photogrammetric services or custom application development capabilities, contact the company at 877.SIDWELL (877.743-9355), or visit their website at
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