We were very happy to see GEOACE cofounder Mike Bowen front and center at the 2020 Esri IMGIS conference. During the conference’s Electric Utility keynote, Mike was representing AEP as he showcased multiple innovative solutions his team created.
In his talk, Mike discussed an Esri QuickCapture mobile application which was spun up on a whim to support aerial inspections. This application was appropriately-named “TFS Aerial Patrol Tool.” The inspector found it to be very easy to use, and upper management liked the application so much that Mike was authorized to enhance and formalize the workflow.
Oil Containment Inspection Dashboard
Web GIS has potential to increase efficiency and collaboration in the office, too. Mike went on to discuss various web applications and dashboards tailored for project managers and team members. While they were typically created for the office, in reality they can be used any place with internet connectivity. One of these applications was an oil containment dashboard. The dashboard turned a previously-laborious and time-expensive excel process into an interactive, visual workflow. Upon completion, the department head did the math. He determined that the new Esri workflow saved approximately one million dollars-worth of man hours relative to the old process. Configuration of the application took less than forty hours. How’s that for Return on Investment!? Note that if you’d like more details about this application, a paper was published about it in the 2019 Cigre Grid of the Future Conference.
Active Transmission Projects
Another solution mentioned in the Esri IMGIS talk was a suite of applications called ATP, or Active Transmission Projects. The suite currently exists as two applications. The first is a dashboard dedicated to project management information and activities, and the second is a web app dedicated to project team usage. The latter was purposed as a collaboration tool for project teams to view progress and outcomes from the efforts of all departments. Together, these applications enable team members to view things as broad-scale as regional progress tracking. Similarly, they enable team members to view things as granular as property access status and even landowner interaction information. Fun fact: In addition to Mike’s contributions, a significant portion of this suite was developed by GEOACE cofounder Aaron Laver.
Field Condition Assessment Tool
The Field Condition Assessment Tool, or FCAT for short, was a full-fledged location-based solution. The solution was designed to get critical information from the field to the office. The field component consists of an inspection form which has been fully digitized as a Survey123 form. Once in the office, the data is displayed and easily digested using an interactive dashboard. Where cellular data is available, the solution enables field crews to upload critical inspection information in real time. Alternatively, where cellular data is slow or absent, the inspection information is saved locally and uploaded upon entering an area with service. The sync can be set to run manually or automatically. This not only saves time across the board, but also eliminates paper from the process entirely.
Suffice it to say, Mike has a lot going on with his team at AEP. We hope you were able to tune at the Esri IMGIS conference, but in case you missed it, Esri has uploaded a highly-requested portion of the talk where mike discusses his QuickCapture solution. Check it out!