The power of Operational Awareness – keeping cities moving

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I’ve been blogging about this year’s Customer Success Award winners and in this post I’d like to turn to our customers who were successfully shortlisted in the Operational Awareness category.

The premise of Operational Awareness is pretty simple; how multiple stakeholders can make more timely decisions thanks to access from real-time, accurate and easy-to-understand views of operational data.   But, if you dig a little deeper, the power of GIS and spatial analytics combined with any structured or unstructured data can deliver incredibly impactful operational efficiencies for any organisation.   

So, firstly, congratulations to our two runners-up, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and North Wales Police. 

North Wales Police are responsible for policing an area of 700,000 people over challenging terrain in addition to large urban settlements.  It monitors and analyses police officer locations by ingesting 500,000 GPS locations per day, which is used in conjunction with the ever changing crime data to direct ongoing operations and improve resource allocations, to ensure that they offer the best possible service to the public.

Meanwhile the UKHO has developed a near real-time picture of global shipping traffic, using satellite derived data,  driving a better understanding of the most popular shipping routes and informing global security considerations. 

However, the challenge of managing and coordinating approximately 500,000 road works, a year, working alongside London’s 33 boroughs and other stakeholders, made Transport for London (TfL) the worthy winner.  The impact of roadworks – from pothole repairs to some of London’s high profile projects such as Crossrail - can be extremely disruptive, if not planned and coordinated properly.  

Managing thousands of road work events every day, across multiple stakeholders including utility providers as well as the aforementioned London boroughs, is a complex task, requiring a fine balance of the public’s expectations of a reliable road network, with the requirements of utility and maintenance works, road improvement schemes and emergency events such as a ruptured water main.

GIS sits at the heart of LondonWorks, the TfL-owned platform used by all of London’s permitting authorities operating within the capital, to ensure that this balance is achieved.  The LondonWorks platform has been in operation since 2005, but in 2016 TfL set out to completely renew the suite of applications, updating the capabilities and underlying technology.   Based on Esri’s ArcGIS platform, the system is consuming a live feed of London’s street works data and this pathfinder project has set the foundation for business transformation to meet TfL’s current and future business challenges.

I understand that next steps now underway include the delivery of real-time mobile data capture of roadwork inspections, with interfaces to other key business systems ensuring that roadwork permits are enforced, monitored, reported and penalties issued where breaches occur.   Most appreciated by anyone living in or travelling in and out of the capital, I’m sure, and a real inspiration for other world cities trying to keep their cities moving.

To submit your entry for the 2018 Customer Success Awards click here.