I do love those aha moments. I had one earlier this week. The topic and eureka moment centred on geo-ops. Never heard of it? Read on.
Bridging the Geo-Ops Divide
Let’s start with some context. WebMapSolutions, I have discussed in other blog posts, changed our focus in 2018. Moving away from a purely Esri-centric consulting and development company. We re-focused around our collective why:
Safeguarding People & Places through the application of geospatial technology.
To help organizations discover problems and take action. Fast.
We long ago realised we were tech driven and not problem focused. That always felt wrong. Today we keep our why front and centre and apply the most appropriate technology to solve the problem. That includes Esri tech.
Back to the eureka moment. That came about as I was watching the 2018 Hexagon Geospatial Keynote: Bridging the Divide by Mladen Stojic. Hexagon are a fascinating company (more here in future posts). Mladan heads up the geospatial group at Hexagon. In his keynote, jump to 10:40. The diagram he describes what I show below.
Mladan talks about the Geo-Ops divide. He says:
Geo is concerned with upstream data acquisition, data processing, data management, data distribution ..ops connect to that data, take it and analyse visualize and distill info to take action. The key challenge is to reduce latency and the life-cycle loop between geo and ops
What Mladan talks about is at the heart of our mission. Fast discovery of problems and taking action. In our case focused on safeguarding or lessening impacts on people and places of events. A big part of the Hexagon thrust is around IOT, or making mapped assets intelligent. Using sensors an asset can report on issues eg. temperature or pressure moving above a safety threshold, in real-time.
As the diagram below shows: IOT is one key element of our problem discovery process. We also have included mapped social media feeds (tweets) and text respectively as a lower cost part of discovery.
A tweet with a particular hashtag – #slwater – and/or text message we map directly. This leads to action: task assignment and staff being (rushed) to problems and reporting back on what was found or fixed.
In the case of IOT we are mapping and monitoring fixed assets. When a map icon for a water valve for example turns red, that create an action for maintenance staff: a work order or integration into a 3rd party system.
Our 3 part process:
1. Problem discovery using real-time data
2. Task assignment
fits well with Mladan’s vision of bridging the Geo-Ops divide. Maps and geospatial technology form the glue in this system, providing the ideal mechanism to share data. Bridging the geo-ops divide describes nicely what we do.