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Customer Story

A little Bit of FME Goes a Long Way for OXFAM

Oxfam is a world-wide development organisation that mobilises the power of people against poverty.

The Background

Oxfam New Zealand (Oxfam) works in the Pacific and Southeast Asia working with communities to tackle the root causes of poverty. Oxfam helps people to access safe water and sanitation, to build a sustainable livelihood, to provide education for their children and to live free from persecution and violence.

The Oxfam Trailwalker is the primary fundraising event for Oxfam to meet its objectives with a target of raising NZD$1 million per annum. Originally set up by the legendary elite Queen’s Gurkha Signals Regiment in 1981 as a military exercise to test teamwork, endurance and determination. Participants now tackle 100km in 36 hours, or 50km in 18 hours, through the beauty of the Bay of Plenty alongside their team of 4 and raise funds to fight poverty.

The Challenge

Oxfam Trailwalker is the ultimate team challenge.  Physically and mentally demanding, 300+ teams of 4 complete a gruelling 50km or 100km walk all in the name of fundraising.  Supporters pledge their financial aid and every year the New Zealand Oxfam Trailwalker event raises up to $1mil to help bring about positive change in people’s lives.

Every Oxfam Trailwalker team must commit to raising at least $2,500 to support Oxfam New Zealand’s work in the Pacific and around the world.   A Trailwalker team’s web page is the primary vehicle for recording and broadcasting fundraising progress.  Moreover, every team page features a team map that is instrumental in recording team progress through the course, stimulating donations, and providing a much needed safety net for team progression and well-being over the 100km course.    Driven by FME and delivered by Locus, all participating teams adopt a map and its associated functionality and share this with its supporter and donators database.   Fundraising endeavours are incentivised with rewards provided by event sponsors and teams can upgrade their fundraising commitment on their team page at any time to strive for a greater fundraising target.

The Results

Utilising FME, Locus delivered 300 highly functional Oxfam Trailwalker team maps, the purpose of which is to monitor team progress over the course of the event, promote supporter engagement and fundraising participation and make provision for a very visible mechanism by which team safety and well-being can be observed – all without the requirement for complex or expensive tracking equipment – a little bit of FME can go a long way!

Locus prepared Elevation profiles, created kilometre markers for the trail, enabled team tracking via Twitter and built a race officials dashboard to ensure no team was lost.

Map functionality is delivered by Locus without the requirement for expensive or complex tracking equipment and leverages the use of core FME componentry, including built-in Twitter search and regular expression transformers, to expose latitude and longitude attributes and highlight distance markers and associated tweets.

This FME and Twitter collaboration supports 300+ teams, of 4 people per team, tweeting every kilometre delivering much needed team and supporter engagement which in turns raises the profile of the event and attracts greater $$ support.

The Future

In providing its expertise, Locus collaborates with the Oxfam Events team, Whatakate District Council and Wireless Nation.   Locus provides its services free of charge, cherishes the longstanding relationship it holds with Oxfam and looks forward to supporting this event for many more years.

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Using the Power of FME to Manage Asset Data at Powerco

Powerco distributes electricity to 336,000 urban and rural households, businesses and major industrial and commercial sites in New Zealand’s North Island. Networks are in the Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and Wairarapa regions, including the urban centres of New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North and Masterton, as well as Tauranga and the surrounding rural areas and the eastern and southern Waikato, Thames and Coromandel regions.

The Background

Powerco is New Zealand’s largest electricity distributor in terms of network length (36,000km) and has the second largest number of electricity connections (336,000).  The company also has the second largest gas distribution network (5815km) and the second highest number of gas connections (107,000).

PowerCo initiated an Asset Modelling Project to implement a software solution to provide regulatory reporting of PowerCo’s electricity assets and improve inputs into asset management planning.

The Challenge

PowerCo required a 2-part solution; a geo-processing component and an ETL modelling component.  The geo-processing component needed to interact with PowerCo spatial systems and execute spatial operations to prepare data for the next component.  The ETL modelling component would have to provide flexible and auditable modelling, analytics and reporting.

The Results

Locus was engaged to create the modelling component of the Asset Modelling Tool, which was needed for drawing information from a number of sources and calculating models of asset data.

The modelling process is based on the principle of keeping source data intact whilst adding new attributes that are based on the source data and any other created attribute.

FME takes the Electricity Network data from an ESRI Geodatabase and other support datasets, in various formats, and creates a database in MS SQL Server containing both the input data and computed tables.

The process connects to and extracts data from the GIS database, runs spatial operations to form relationships, and outputs results to a staging database. Literally the beating heart of the asset management system. Our solution included all of the desired outcomes, including a feature to enable map displays and further spatial analysis, in additional to the primary data tables being updated and populated with all of the necessary fields from all of the disparate data sources.

The Future

Powerco continues to explore new opportunities for the application of FME across the business

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Network Waitaki Overcomes Stakeholder Data Accessibility Challenges

Network Waitaki is an electricity distribution company that distributes electricity from the national grid to consumers’ properties.  Network Waitaki’s core business is the provision, operation, and management of electricity lines infrastructure.

The Background

Network Waitaki were encumbered by an older web service technology implemented using the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) protocol designed for the exchange of structured information but without a current interface had resulted in data interoperability challenges.

The Challenge

Network Waitaki has a web service provided by Technology One that was intended to be used for extracting asset details to synchronise with the Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) network layers.

The web service was implemented using the SOAP protocol which is complex, relatively slow and has been superseded by newer, more lightweight protocols. There are no current interfaces for SOAP, so Network Waitaki was at a “dead end”.

The Results

As SOAP uses XML for all requests and responses, a request can be composed in XML and using the power of FME, Locus was able to return the data to a tabular format for use in a modern and accessible database.

A further complication encountered by Locus were the numerous user extensions that added extra fields that were customised for the obsolete SOAP output. Here Locus was able to create a unique FME transformer, with conditional capability, and intelligently mapped the anonymous fields back into an equivalent set.

These results enabled meant the client was able to successfully extract the legacy asset information and compare it with the information in its GIS.

Through Locus’s solution, Network Waitaki achieved quality assurance for its stakeholders, the effective and robust workflow updating its GIS with missing attributes, ensuring a future of guaranteed data access for Network Waitaki and its customers.

The Future

Network Waitaki continues to work with FME to deliver ongoing productivity gains.

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

Auckland Council Delivers a Single-Automated Solution for its Digital RFS App.

Auckland Council is the local authority that is responsible for all local government decisions and responsibilities in the Auckland region. In New Zealand, central government has created a local government structure for every region and district in New Zealand.

The Background

Auckland Council is responsible for managing thousands of assets across New Zealand’s most populated city.  From rubbish bins to leisure centres and everything in between. Each one of these assets must be maintained with the help of various contractors, often relying on reported problems from the public to trigger this work to take place. Locus was recently engaged to assist in a project that automates the end-to-end processing of these requests for service, significantly reducing administrative overhead, and improving customer service.

Locus’ role in this project was to develop a data processing model in FME that could manipulate dozens of GIS asset and contextual feature classes with over a million records, into a useable format. The transformed data allows the public and customer services agents to select assets in a web map interface and pass attributes through to SAP and other business systems for processing. This process is now automated with FME Server to ensure the Report A Problem web application for asset maintenance is always up to date with the latest assets from the enterprise system.

The Challenge

The Digital RFS (Request for Servive)  app needed a single automated ETL solution that would remove data inconsistencies, manual processing and maintain the latest assets. The data had its quirks, repositories, update schedules and owners. Geometries were stored in GIS while most attributes were stored in SAP, and refreshed every week using FME server. Only the latest information would be useful and so the consolidated data needed to be updated automatically after the weekly refresh.

“FME never ceases to amaze with how it can simplify and create order out of extremely complicated data processing operations. It’s simple enough to dive into for anyone to have a go. However, we’ve certainly appreciated having Kieran O’Donnell from Locus engaged on our projects and make full use of its capabilities”

Auckland Council

The Results

The following key project deliverables/outcomes were achieved:

  • A single solution to read, process, publish data for the Digital RFS solution
  • Reads 20 enterprise feature classes from Auckland Council’s SDE
  • ‘Cookie-Cut’ process to identify all feature intersections and assigns the classification based on the asset hierarchy
  • FME Server used to process data into a single Query Layer, Query Table, 19 reference layers
  • FME Server manages a python script to automate service publishing to keep ArcGIS Online hosted service in-sync with the data on the premises.

The Future

Auckland Council plans to refresh the data structure soon and will continue to utilise the power of FME to update the data.  There are plans to integrate more data sources and widen the scope of the solution.

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.

How Wellington Water is using FME to deliver 12D Compatible As-Built

Wellington Water manage drinking water, stormwater and wastewater services in the Wellington region.  As-Built drawings are used to show the location and details of existing or new services and typically concentrate on underground services; stormwater, water and sewer.

The Background

Wellington Water manage drinking water, stormwater and wastewater services in the Wellington region.

With a philosophy for continuous improvement, Wellington Water has focused on the automation of data capture and transfer to their Asset Management Systems.  This centre of interest has resulted in a review not only of their Regional Standards & Specifications for Water Services but also the Regional As-Built and Drafting Specifications.

In reviewing not only documents but also the process of receiving as-builts drawings and other asset data and information, a key outcome was to examine Wellington Water’s Asset Management System (AMS), key shareholders (Councils) and internal customers to define the Asset Attributes used to Operate, Maintain, Model and Value those Assets.

The Challenge

Inconsistent data capture and manual processing proved challenging for Surveyors in the field to provide As-Built that met the needs of Wellington Water’s data schemas.

  • Wellington Water use CAD for their As-Built output and convert to GIS ESRI formats
  • As-Built data is captured by external surveyors in the field using the 12D format
  • Wellington Water can’t read 12D and the 12D application (application and format 12D xml) does not handle CAD or ESRI (Technically 12D can read CAD but due to its loose format it can’t enforce data integrity such as types out in the field – a significant limitation)
  • For Surveyors in the field to provide an As-Built which would meet the Wellington Water requirements a Schema Template needs to be created.  This template must take the form of an .XSD (an ADAC type format which is an industry standard)

“A Vision in Action!” The moment when Locus and 12D presented the solution to a problem that I’ve been thinking out. These guys put together a great outcome with a solution that will save us many hours of data entry and validation

Steve RobsonWellington Water

The Results

To facilitate the goal of automatic data capture and entry meant developing a consistent Asset Data Schema that could be used for AutoCad drawings or 12d Model geospatial files. This work has resulted in the creation of a ‘Wellington Water 12DModel XSD file’ that both Wellington Water and 12D will roll out across the Wellington region in early 2020.

Working with FME, Wellington Water together with Kieran O’Donnell of Locus, the team of data evangelists developed a FME workspace which could generate the .XSD required; a template that could be loaded into the 12D application and provide 12D with all the required information on types etc.  Surveyors were then able to select from drop-downs in the field ensuring 12D supplied data met the precise requirements of Wellington Water.  The current .XSD consists of 3 waters-schema with the opportunity to scale-up as required.

The Future

Wellington Water continues to work with Locus and FME to refine the automatic data loading routines.

With plans to convert the 12D data supplied to an ESRI format and additionally once the As-Built has been pressed it may at times be necessary to send this data back as 12D; > a 12D to ESRI – > 12D.   The latter will utilise the 12D Reader/Writer FME transformer scheduled for the upcoming FME release (2020).

More about Locus …Locus is a team of business practitioners and FME technical experts ready to help you maximise the value of your business through better data management. As a Safe Software Platinum Partner and Value Added Reseller with offices in New Zealand and Australia, we hold the unique position of being engaged solely in the sale, support and servicing of FME products; this is our competitive advantage.

More about FME…Built by Safe Software and used by over 20,000 organisations worldwide, FME is a data translation and transformation tool for solving problems of data interoperability, without the need for coding. With support for 400+ formats and applications, FME is the integration platform that converts, transforms and automates data whenever and however it’s needed.