Term Project Outline Jennifer Switzer Integrating Mobile GIS

Term Project Outline
Jennifer Switzer
Integrating Mobile GIS Devices for Water/Sewer Utility Field Inspections and Data Editing
This project focuses on the integration of mobile devices in the daily work of the water/sewer
maintenance personnel and the GIS analyst for Boulder City, Nevada's department of public works. Currently,
the communication between field technicians performing inspections and the GIS data analyst is through paper
maps. Proposed feature changes are hand-written on the maps which are then submitted to the GIS analyst to
update the system, a process which is inefficient and prone to interpretation errors. To gather requirements
data for the proposed system design, I will interview the supervisor, field workers and analyst to elicit their
vision on how mobile devices could be incorporated in their work and what information and tools they need in
the field. I will also assess wireless connection options and common device software and storage capabilities to
search for potential mobile units that can access the city's geodatabase feature layers, aerial photography
sources, and ArcMap documents and editing tools in real time. To evaluate the design plan, I will focus on the
primary anticipated users and develop scenarios in which the devices will be utilized and provide static digital
mockups of potential software interfaces in order to determine what capabilities and user interfaces are
necessary. Adoption of the proposed system design is anticipated to help maintenance personnel view GIS
features and attributes as they work on problems in the field without needing to come into the office to view
the data on the computer and print maps. In addition, those users will also be able to add notes to the system
using a mobile platform. Finally, the proposed system would allow the GIS analyst to update the data as she
inspects utility features in the field.
Needs Assessment
A. Users
 Who will utilize the devices
 Number of users /devices - will a device be purchased for each field technician, or will a
certain number be available for members of the team to use when needed?
B. Usage/Data
 Daily duties of users and how the devices will interact with workflow, such as field
inspections, routine maintenance, emergency infrastructure repairs
 What will be done with the data – viewing maps and feature layers, accessing feature
attributes, editing feature geometry and attributes
 Real-time access to vector geodatabase feature classes and shapefiles and raster images
on server
Evaluate possible mobile software and devices
A. Software
 Can the mobile GIS software view and edit data in real time? Will it integrate with
ArcGIS for Desktop ArcMap documents? Can it support file geodatabase feature classes
and shapefiles?
 Comparison of products – i.e. ArcPad, ArcGIS for Windows Mobile App, Trimble
TerraFlex, Kerata, Intergraph Mobile MapWorks
 Utilize software demos and free trials to test potential mobile software
B. Devices
 Compatible operating system (Windows, Android, iOS) with mobile GIS software
 Screen size and resolution
 Available storage/RAM
 Capable of wireless connection to server
C. Wireless Communication
 Evaluate connection options to access the city’s secure network content server - VPN,
city Wi-Fi, outside data service provider
Prototype Testing
A. Scenarios - develop and present possible scenarios to users in which the devices will be utilized,
include static digital mockups of potential software interfaces or demos from products sites
when available
B. User feedback – user comments and suggestions regarding the proposed system –does the
system function as required, does the design meet the user’s needs, is there anything the user
would like to see that was not included?
A. View GIS utility infrastructure and attributes in the field
B. Remotely add field observation notes to system, reducing miscommunication from comments
on paper maps and improving speed and accuracy of data updates
C. Edit data in the field in real-time