Mobile GIS Puts Riverina Water County Council on The Map
Established in 1997, Riverina Water County Council (RWCC) focuses on a single mission: deliver safe, reliable water to the community at the lowest sustainable cost. As water flows through RWCC’s extensive network of treatment plants, pumps, storage facilities and pipework, water asset data flows just as easily between desktops across the council and mobile devices out in the field.
For more than a decade, Assets Officer Aran Beckett and GIS Draftsperson Virginia Ricardo had mapped and managed their asset data using software that Beckett says “did the job,” but lagged in functional updates, eroding the value they were able to derive from it. What’s more, the mapping software did not integrate with the council’s asset management system and other business applications. “I was jumping from program to program and sometimes even had to access different computers,” Ricardo says. “That took a lot of time, and it was very error prone.”
With the encouragement of a new director of engineering who prioritized state-of-the-art spatial technology, Beckett, Ricardo and their team selected Precisely Spectrum Spatial software. The web-based solution allows employees and other authorities to access, analyze and revise spatial data from maps, which Ricardo creates in Precisely MapInfo Pro. Any changes that Ricardo makes in MapInfo Pro appear immediately in Spectrum Spatial. Users’ edits and uploads from the web sync in real time, as well.
Ease of use guided the entire GIS project. “Our goal was to streamline everything,” Beckett says, “to have as much information as possible through one portal. We saw the web interface as the obvious choice for that.”
Without a team of IT specialists on staff, Riverina Water County Council relied on Precisely to help get the system up and running. “Our Precisely consultant helped us upload our data, sort out what layers and what queries we wanted,” Beckett says. Precisely also developed the interfaces to RWCC’s asset management system, so water asset planning and management decisions can be made from accurate, current spatial data.