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Enabling real-time user-to-user map collaboration within Geocortex Essentials

Communication can often be a very difficult challenge in a lot of organizations. When it comes to solving these challenges spatially, Geocortex Essentials provides real-time, map-based tools that can streamline the way your processes are being relayed from one user to another, ultimately opening the doors to a more efficient communicative environment.

Our Geocortex Tech Tip explores precisely how this functionality works for both the room administrator and other users in the room. It also shows some of the different ways it can be configured and the various types of user privileges that can be granted. 

 

 

Watch on YouTube

Video Transcript

“Hi, I’m Ian Sutton and I’m a Geocortex developer. Today I’m going to show you collaboration in Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.10.

Let’s jump right in!

For this demo I'll be signed in and to viewers to show multiple users collaborating together on the same map. Now the first thing we want to do when we're using collaboration is sign in. You can't use collaboration unless you're signed in. Now, we're going go to our toolbar and open up collaboration.

First thing we're going see is this big empty space where all of our collaboration content will be. At the top we see a list of rooms that we can join and you can join one or more of these rooms at the same time, and all of the messages will be blended together. But for the purposes of this demonstration we are going to create a new room which we can do with this button here.

So we're going choose a name for our room and you can also choose a color if you don't like the randomly assigned one and you can also manage user access here. but we're going leave that for now. Now that we've created our room, it's going to show up in the room list and we're going to automatically join it and we can go and post some text in our room that will only be visible to people who have joined the room and have permissions to see it. Of course, that doesn't mean much unless we have another user in the room. So, let's go ahead and invite my dummy account. Since right now he can't see it. We're going go to the room list and select this room details menu here and then we're going to hit edit and you can see that it looks very similar to the screen that we had when we were creating the room.

So we're going to look up our dummy account here which is called Web EOC and we're going to add him to our room permissions and you can see we can give him no permissions specifically excluding him if we want to be mean, or we can let him just view the room or we can let him edit the room and we're going to let him edit the rooms so we can have a bit of a conversation then we're going to save so that those changes are registered to the server.

Now you see that on our dummy account here we've got a notification that a new room has been added and we can open up and see that we have access to the test room now. So we're going to open that up!

You can see in our room details that the list of active members has been updated and we can see that Web EOC has joined the test room. And now that we have more than one person in the room, we can see each other's messages, we can share a drawing on the map and we can even post images located to specific points on the map which we can open up and view in our browser. And when we leave the room in question drawings are no longer visible and you can see that our dummy user knows that he's now alone in the room.

So that in a nutshell is collaboration. Thanks for watching!”

Interested in leaning more about the collaboration feature of Geocortex Essentials? Click the button below for additional insight or to schedule a demo.

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Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018

You might recall that 2018 kicked off with a big announcement from Esri. They made the decision – following feedback they received during the 2017 Esri User Conference – to allow ArcGIS Enterprise customers to add Viewers (Level 1 Named Users) at no additional cost. You might not recall that Level 1 users were first introduced in December of 2016, so perhaps its fitting, following this annual cadence, that we wrap up 2018 with another big announcement from Esri: the introduction of several new User Types

 
  • Viewer (formerly Level 1);  
  • Editor (new);  
  • Field Worker (new);  
  • Creator (formerly Level 2); and  
  • GIS Professional (new).  

These continued, iterative licensing improvements are extremely positive for Esri customers looking to right-size their use of the ArcGIS platform, and come alongside our observation of ever-increasing adoption of Web GIS implementations worldwide. Our impression is that Esri is listening to (and understanding) their customers’ needs. 

Meanwhile, Geocortex Essentials software is in the middle of an evolution, and 2018 has been a big year for the Geocortex Essentials 5-Series, which we introduced with the launch of Geocortex Workflow 5 in mid-2017. This product has enabled our customers to easily automate guided end-user interactions in a SaaS environment. Since then, we’ve been busy building four completely new 5-Series products inspired by capabilities in Geocortex Essentials 4.x: 

  • Geocortex Reporting 5 was released in Junedesigned to help users create production quality, printable reports using spatial and non-spatial data, maps, and charts. We’re thrilled to see customers worldwide adopting the software in both Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 apps, and within Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS® 
  • Geocortex Printing 5 follows in the footsteps of Geocortex Reporting, and will allow you to generate high-quality, high-resolution map print outputs in all sizes. We’re aiming to release the product in February of 2019 
  • Geocortex Web Viewer 5 represents the next generation of HTML viewer technology from Geocortex using Esri’s latest ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.x, and is currently gearing up for the public beta in JanuaryThis new viewer framework will allow you to create beautiful, fast, flexible applications that can combine the 2D and 3D capabilities of Esri’s latest JavaScript APIs 
  • Geocortex Mobile Viewer 5 will fast become the world’s most capable framework for building mobile, offline, native apps on top of the ArcGIS platform, and the public beta is also scheduled for January 

What’s really cool about the 5-Series is the new patterns we’re seeing customers take advantage of: from using the software entirely in the cloud SaaS environment at apps.geocortex.com or deploying workflows and reports into Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (Developer Edition). We’ve even seen one of our Belgian partners, SIGGIS, integrate Geocortex Reporting 5 capabilities into ArcGIS Pro! These opportunities come alongside new Geocortex Essentials commercial offerings, which allow you to pick and choose the components and deployment patterns you need for your business or organization. 

With five new products in the 5-Series, two already launched, and three more on the doorstep, we’re thrilled to say that Geocortex Essentials 5 has officially arrived!  

Today, over 1,500 customers use Geocortex Essentials across a broad spectrum of industries and use cases, and we continue to serve those applications by improving Geocortex Essentials 4.x and the popular Geocortex Viewer for HTML5. In the summer, we released a significant performance improvement, resulting in a 50% decrease in startup time across all browsers.  

Hundreds of customers use Geocortex Analytics to monitor the use of their Geocortex applications and their broader GIS infrastructure. In early 2018, we released a major update to the product to improve reliability and include reporting on specific end-user activity. We’re committed to ensuring that Geocortex Essentials 4.x and Geocortex Analytics remain premium software packages for all our customers, in parallel to developments happening in the Geocortex Essentials 5-Series. 

We’ve now drafted our product portfolio strategic plan for 2019: who’s going to work on Project A and Project B and for how long, and when are we going to release Feature X or Feature Y. This time of the year is exciting because we’re charting out the details of our next chapter on our march towards our long-term product vision. As mentioned, we have three major product releases coming in Q1, and you can expect momentum to continue across all 5-Series products, as well as Geocortex Essentials 4.x and Geocortex Analytics. We’re also scheduling sixth 5-Series product planned for Q4  stay tuned for information about that one... for now, we’ll leave you in suspense 😊. 

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday season as we wrap up a terrific 2018 and look forward to another fast-paced and action-packed 2019! 

 


Alberta Energy Regulator: Supporting safe and responsible energy resource operations

Alberta Energy Regulator: Supporting safe and responsible energy resource operations

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is a regulatory body that’s responsible for overseeing oil, oil sands, natural gas, and coral project lifecycles. Their mandate is to provide safe, orderly and efficient development of energy resources across the province of Alberta.

A few years ago, the AER took on the additional task of regulating reclamation and remediation activities for all of Alberta’s energy resource operations, which was previously managed by the Alberta government ministry, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP).

Taking on this responsibility came with a backlog of nearly 2,700 upstream oil and gas reclamation certificate applications. The backlog was caused due to a very complex process that required each application to be checked against seven different databases – ultimately leading to a significant amount of manual analysis.

 

The AER collaborated with the Geocortex Professional Services team to put together a system called OneStop, a program that ensures all criteria for reclamation are properly vetted in a timely fashion by introducing two review levels (one of which is automated) and freeing the AER of resources which could then be allocated towards more high-risk areas.

As soon as OneStop was launched, roughly 80% of the backlog was processed instantly. By utilizing Geocortex Essentials, AER staff were able to extend their ArcGIS functionality with customizable workflows, tools and features, and configurability with other systems, leading to a massive reduction in production time. Additionally, Geocortex Essentials also enabled the AER to integrate with existing enterprise systems quickly and intuitively.

This process has not only allowed the AER to streamline their processes and improve on transparency, but it also led to them receiving an Esri Canada Award of Excellence for leveraging GIS technology to serve a vital part of Alberta’s economy more efficiently.

Read the full Alberta Energy Regulator customer story here.

 


Using fine-grained security to control access to layers, features, attributes and application functionality [Geocortex Tech Tip]

Geocortex Essentials gives you the ability to tailor your applications to individual users by using fine-grained security to control various elements like layers, features, attributes and other capabilities so users are only seeing the items that you want them to be seeing, and not getting overwhelmed.

In this week’s Geocortex Tech Tip, we take a closer look at the basics of using fine-grained security, and how you can deliver a more personalized experience to your users based on their configured permissions.

 

 

Watch on YouTube.

Video Transcript

“Hi, welcome to Geocortex Tech Tips. My name is Jonathan and today we’re going to be talking about using fine-grained security to control access to layers, features, attributes and application functionality.

Let’s get started!

Here I've got essentials manager open, and I'm going to go to my site and edit its configuration. On the side panel here we can see the permissions tab which is where you go to configure these fine-grained settings. Here you'll see a tree of all of the items included in the site, and each item has a Tri-State check box beside it, which we can turn to deny, allow or inherit, where it will inherit the settings from the item in the tree above it that is set.

Up at the top we'll have a list of the security providers you can configure. For example, ArcGIS online - your organizational account, all users, by group, by organization or organization role. If you pull up one of these, you'll also have to enter the group that you are interested in and there should be a nice dropdown list there. Once you select the group you can go ahead and configure permissions for that particular group.

Let's go back to anonymous here.

First thing - why don't we deny access to the site completely for anonymous users? We'll say you have to be a member of our ArcGIS Online organization to get in. Now there's nothing in this site that secured that would apply the security on its own, but once we have that set in Essentials Manager, now there will be a log in required to view this.

Let's reload our site. We can see the site, but that is because I was automatically signed in, so I'll sign out, and I have to sign in again. There is no way to see this site without being signed in.

Okay so that's pretty basic. Let's look at layers. We can see at the top level under ‘Map,’ we'll have our map service level objects and then under that the layer objects. Now for a feature layer, there's only one layer with the one service level object so it doesn't really matter which you secure. But if you're talking about a dynamic map service you might have more than one layer, so you can choose to secure the whole map service or individual layers, within group layers, etc.

Let’s go back to our heliports layer here, and I'm not going to let the anonymous people see this layer. They can get into the site, but they can't see this layer and you're going to have to be a member of our organization. Don't care who you are, just that you're a member and you're allowed to see it.

Okay, let’s see how that works. So, we'll sign out again now. And now, the site loads up, we can see that that heliports layer is gone, and it is no longer included in the layer list.

Let’s sign in. And it's back!

So, we can also secure the fields on our layer. I might say that all of these fields (there are quite a few fields here) are not necessary for every user to see or maybe you're only going to make them all available to GIS professionals that are in a certain group. So even though we can see this layer as a member of our organization, we're going to turn off some of these fields (in fact we're going to turn off most of them). Notice I don't have to allow the fields that I want to allow, I just have to deny the fields that I want to deny, because these will inherit the allow permission from here. So, let's see that.

First of all, we'll just identify a few of these, just so we can see that all the fields are here right now. And there they are!

Okay so let's reload the site, now we're signed out. There's no layer at all. We'll sign in, the layer is here. But if I identify these features and I take a look only the four fields that I allowed are available. Cool! So what else can you do?

One thing I should point out about fields first before I move on, is that to configure the fields here you do have to first go here, find the layer with the fields on it that you want to configure, and you need to make sure all of the fields have been added here and that they're not just visible because they're configured default visible - they have to be added on this page, and then they will become available on this page to secure.

Let's take a look at some more things that we might deny to anonymous users. We have layer themes, so maybe we don't want them to switch to those layer theme, so we can turn them off. We can also secure print templates and other items that are configured in the site like workflows. Let's see what happens with those layer themes.

Right now if I go in here and I look at my layer list, I am signed in but you can see I have some themes available now. I’ll reload.

Now I do want to be signed out and then if I look, I find that ‘All Available Layers’ is the only theme that I can pick. Were you to turn off the option to show all available layers in the theme settings for this viewer, this drop-box would not be here either. But then when we sign in, we'll find that we again have access to all of the layer themes and we can turn them on like so.

The last thing on the list that I probably should mention is that you can secure individual viewers. You can see I only have one viewer in this site, so I can't turn this one off, or anonymous access will not be allowed at all and it will be like this viewer doesn't exist. Since I don't have any other viewers to load, if I turn that one off for anonymous users then - if they're not already logged in somehow - it's like that viewer no longer exists.

And you can see I couldn't find it. It just loaded the default viewer. So, a little bit of a difference there between securing the viewer and securing the site. If you secure the site, the viewer will still load and give you the opportunity to log in but if you secure viewer there's no way to even load the viewer.

So that is the basics of using fine-grained security. I hope you have fun with this feature and happy hacking on Geocortex!”

Learn how Geocortex Essentials can help your organization solve business challenges. Check out the Discovery Center to get a feel for the product.

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Geocortex Achieves Esri’s “Release Ready Specialty” Designation

Geocortex Achieves Esri's "Release Ready Specialty" Designation

We are thrilled to announce that Geocortex has been officially designated by Esri as a Release Ready Specialty partner!

The Release Ready Specialty certification recognizes companies approved by Esri who are constantly keeping pace with their technology, have strong industry expertise, offer solutions, services or content based on the latest Esri software releases, and help users make smarter overall decisions using the ArcGIS® platform.

 

We want our customers to feel like they’ve made the most of their investment in Esri, and a major part of that is ensuring that they are always aligned and optimized with Esri’s constantly-evolving technology. By working closely with Esri, Geocortex has provided compatible software with every major and minor release of ArcGIS within 10 business days of general availability since the release of ArcGIS 9.3. Further, Geocortex ensures customers can take advantage of new patterns, APIs and platforms that evolve as part of Esri’s development of ArcGIS.

Geocortex Essentials Enables Technology Change

As we look towards 2019, we are ensuring that Geocortex Essentials 5-Series software -- including Geocortex Workflow, Geocortex Reporting, and Geocortex Printing (coming soon) -- is ready for ArcGIS 10.7. Simultaneously, we are excited to unveil a new Geocortex Mobile Viewer based on the latest ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET, and a new Geocortex Web Viewer built on ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.x in the coming months.

Stay tuned!

 


Geocortex Essentials 4.10 is here!

While we’ve been hard at work on the Geocortex Essentials 5-Series (with Geocortex Reporting 5 now in its open beta phase!), we certainly haven’t slowed down on adding improvements to Geocortex Essentials. We are pleased to announce that Geocortex Essentials 4.10 (alongside Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.11) is now available for download. You can learn more about the latest releases on the product release page, or download the new versions in the Geocortex Support Center. 

 

Improvements to our unparalleled results table 

The last major release of Geocortex Essentials (version 4.9) introduced a redesigned results table that dramatically improved performance, introduced infinite scrolling, and the ability to perform actions on specific results within the table. 

Geocortex Essentials 4.10 improves results table efficienciesincluding in-table attribute editing, results filtering capabilities, and the ability to remove unneeded columns. 

Save time with startup performance improvements in Geocortex Viewer for HTML5

Geocortex Viewer for HTML5 2.11 applications now load faster than ever before. Our updates have been tested across browsers and we are seeing a dramatic improvement in startup performance: our tests have shown an average reduction in loading time of around 50%! And speaking of startup, you can launch workflows built with Geocortex Workflow 5 from the jump, too! 

Experience a new report designer 

Geocortex Reporting 5 will be arriving very soon, and with it comes a powerful new report design experience.  

One of the key highlights of Geocortex Essentials 4.10 is that it can be configured to run reports created with Geocortex Reporting 5This puts our new reporting tools in the hands of current Geocortex Essentials licensees… for fans of the existing Geocortex Essentials report designer, there’s no need to fear, as you can continue to create your reports that way if you prefer! 


When is it time to break up with a business process?

Far too often, organizations find themselves tied to inefficient, labor-intensive processes. Whether your end-users are stuck completing mindless and repetitive tasks, or they’re collecting data on paper (only to have to enter it in an archaic system in the office), it can make for a frustrating experience.

With advancements in technology, and GIS in particular, there is no reason to continue following manual, inefficient processes. There are several signs that a business process is just isn’t right for you anymore – see if any of them sound familiar. 

 

End-users are experiencing difficulty

While this may be the most obvious sign that a process isn’t working, it’s often overlooked. When processes are complex or manual in nature, you’ll generally see end-users having difficulty completing their tasks and continually requiring assistance from the GIS department

This can slow down your workforce and bog you down with requests for assistance. One way to improve in this area is by simplifying the end-user experience; providing users with guided interactions makes for a much more pleasing experience and improves end-user success

You’re experiencing data integrity issues

Data integrity is an ongoing challenge in many organizations, and depending on the type of data being used, errors can have significant consequences. In many cases, poor data comes from using paper-based processes that are prone to transcription errors, or from not setting the proper parameters on the data being entered into an application.

At their core, GIS systems are about improving decision making. If your team doesn’t have proper information, they are not making properly informed decisions.

The best way to avoid this is to provide dedicated interfaces for data collection. Most technology will allow you to present only the data you require your field workers to collect, as well as set rules against the data being entered, to ensure it enters the system correctly. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely avoid data errors, but following best practices can reduce them significantly.

Your users are spending a lot of time searching for information across disparate systems

Most organizations house important business data across several different systems; there are financial systems, asset management systems, document management systems, business intelligence systems, and many more.

If these systems are not properly integrated, it can become difficult for your end-users to track down all the information they need. It can also waste time and money if your users need to jump between systems to find information.

This pain can be alleviated with proper integrations between systems. Try making all the necessary data – regardless of which system it lives in – available in the application being used to manage a process.

For example, if your end-users need to complete fire inspections on buildings, don’t make them jump to a separate zoning system to collect information about a particular building. Instead, consider integrating the zoning system within the inspection application, and automatically present the necessary zoning info at a stage in the process that makes sense.

You’re struggling to organize and present important information to other departments and stakeholders

One of the most common, and valuable, use-cases of a GIS is conveying information to people so they can make informed decisions. If you find that your users are spending many hours collecting and compiling information into reports, it may be time to revisit the process.

Besides the obvious repetitive, inefficient nature of manually compiling reports, it takes your users away from high-value activities. Labor is expensive and you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of the investments in your team… they’ll be happier doing more fulfilling work, too!

It all comes back to decision making – if people don’t have the information they need, when they need it, and in an easy-to-interpret format, they won’t be making properly informed decisions.

When building out processes, it’s important to start with the end in mind. Consider GIS technology that allows you to auto-generate reports in different templates. Start with a vision for the report you want in mind, then tailor data collection activities based on your goals.

So, it’s time to break up - what do you do now?

If your organization is experiencing any of the challenges described above, chances are it’s time to break up with your business process(es). But that’s a big decision to make, so what do you do next?

A good start is to shadow the people responsible for completing a particular process (if it’s not you). If you’re in the office supporting a process for a different department, you may not get a full sense of everything that’s involved. It’s good to get in the trenches with your staff and really get an understanding of what it is they have to do to complete their work.

You can also try drawing your workflow out on paper, from end to end. By thinking critically about the entire flow of a process you’re able to identify areas that are ripe for improvement. We often get so tied up in the day-to-day demands of our jobs that we miss tasks that are repetitive or unnecessary. There may be steps that can be automated with the right technology, or removed entirely. Until you see the full picture, it’s difficult to determine where to adjust.


You have a GIS. Have you connected your business processes to it?

Historically, GIS has been a system of record for many organizations, and the ability to complete any meaningful analysis lived within the GIS department. Mapping software has recently become more accessible and easy to use, and we’ve seen GIS evolve into a system of engagement and insight.

Did you know you can take your GIS even further, and use it to streamline many of your key (and often annoyingly manual) business processes? 

 

Simplify end-user experiences with automated, repeatable tasks

Many of your end-users’ common interactions with your applications can be automated and significantly simplified. Common tasks that can be automated include:

  • Data collection: Paper-based data collection -- particularly for users in the field – is still a common process for many organizations; modern GIS tools allow data to be collected seamlessly through easy-to-configure forms. Providing fields for only the information you need simplifies the experience and improves data quality.
  • Visual analysis: There are many examples of visual analysis that, if not automated, would be incredibly laborious and difficult for a user to complete. For example, if a water utility needs to shut down a valve, they can quickly run an analysis inside their mapping application that shows them all the water supply sources that the shutdown will affect. To complete this manually would take many hours, and becomes increasingly costly for everyone involved.
  • Reporting: When work is complete, there’s often a need to compile all the necessary information into a report; this can happen manually (and usually involves some combination of photocopying and scanning). This can be simplified with web mapping software: by pre-determining report templates, you can automatically compile the required data into a summary report.

Take charge and guide your end-users

Your end-users don’t need a set of complex GIS tools; they only want to see what is required to complete the task at hand. Automating repeatable tasks is one way to simplify the experience for your users, but there are additional steps you can take to improve your business processes.

  • Guided interactions: Walking your users through the processes they need to complete increases the likelihood of success, and can reduce frustration. Only show them what they need, when they need it. A great example of guided interactions is walking the public through permit applications. Many local governments offer mapping applications where residents can submit applications online, and by guiding the public through the process, you ensure that you get the right information and that the user understands what is required of them.
  • Dedicated interfaces: Offer your end-users dedicated, task-based interfaces; it reduces clutter and allows them to complete their jobs more efficiently.
  • Pre-populate key fields: If your users are collecting data through the application, don’t make them complete fields that you’re able to pre-populate automatically. Fields such as who’s running the task, or what time it is, can be populated based on information that already lives in the application.

Validate data intelligently

Data integrity is an ongoing challenge for many organizations, and fixing poor data can eat up precious time. Luckily, there are approaches you can use to ensure quality data.

  • Real-time validation: If your users are entering data into the application, notify them instantly if the data is incorrect. Being allowed to enter incorrect data throughout a form – only to have to go back and fix it later – can make for a frustrating experience. For example, a field worker may be completing a water meter install: if they enter the model number of the meter into the application, they can be automatically notified if it’s the wrong meter, or if there’s a duplicate meter number already in use. It saves them from installing the meter, only to find out later that it needs to be replaced.
  • Rules-based validation: If you need data to be displayed in a specific format, building formatting requirements at the outset will save you – and your end-user – needless frustration. Rules-based validation allows you to provide instant feedback if a user tries to enter data in an incorrect format. An example of this that we’re all used to is password requirements. How many times have you tried to create a password for a new system, and are prompted that the password requires a capital letter, a number, and a special character? That’s rules-based validation.

Spreading the word in your organization

You can greatly improve the experience for your end-users and increase adoption of your mapping applications. For many, GIS is a foreign concept, but with a few simple tactics you can put powerful tools in the hands of your employees that are simple and intuitive to use.

Now that you know what it means to streamline business processes with GIS, it’s up to you to share this knowledge in your organization.

Why should anyone else care? At the end of the day, it all comes down to efficiency gains, consistency, and ROI. If your organization is following paper-based processes or battling with data integrity, it’s costing you time and money. By automating repeatable tasks and taking steps to ensure the correct data is collected, we’ve seen organizations save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in operating costs.


Bay Area Rapid Transit: Improving Efficiency and Simplifying Critical Business Processes

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a public transportation system serving four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area; their rapid transit system operates 46 stations across 112 miles of track, with an estimated average ridership in 2016 of 433,000 trips per weekday, and close to 129 million trips for the entire year.

For more than four decades, BART has been an efficient and reliable way for San Francisco’s Bay Area Residents to commute: what began as a futuristic dream in 1972 has grown to be a vital part of the regional culture and economy. 

 

A major challenge BART faced was how to manage the ongoing need for track maintenance and repairs. They were following a paper-based system, which was inefficient and labor intensive. Each time the track had to undergo maintenance, Track Allocation staff had to complete and submit a detailed paper form, which took more than half an hour to complete and often had transcription errors.

They were able to solve this problem with a Geocortex application called the Track Allocation System (TAS) that leverages Geocortex Workflow and Geocortex Reporting technology. Track Allocation staff can now simply draw a box on the map to select the area and assets where the work needs to occur, and the workflow running in the back-end automatically populates a Track Allocation Request Form.

A process that used to take more than 30 minutes now takes a matter of seconds to complete. The TAS was implemented in March 2016 and already has a user base of more than 160 employees, who have recorded more than 7,000 track allocation requests.

Read the full Bay Area Rapid Transit customer story here.


Geocortex at the 2017 Esri Petroleum GIS Conference

It’s the beginning of April, which means we’re gearing up for another Esri Petroleum GIS Conference. While the preparation is intense and the week is going to be busy, it’s the conference I look forward to most each year! From reconnecting with colleagues and meeting new people, to seeing how the industry responds and adapts to ongoing change – to hearing what Esri will showcase at this year’s conference – I get more and more excited each year. As we gear up for the event I thought I’d offer a couple of predictions, opportunities to connect with us at the conference, and a request.

 

Prediction #1:  The plenary session will provide thought-provoking and compelling stories that will further drive many operators to consider how they can advance their investments in GIS.

The plenary session always impresses me: from the speakers to the demonstrations, it is consistently a well-executed presentation of knowledge and insight into the industry and how spatial technology augments petroleum operations.

In 2016, for example, Scott Sitzman presented on how PUG is driving a methodology of industry standardized processes to get jobs done, while Howard Energy provided visibility into how their organization is shifting by embracing GIS. Esri presents thought-provoking content, geared to the petroleum industry, that isn’t available at the other GIS and technology conferences throughout the year.   

Prediction #2: The value of identities has been realized, and the speed of adoption will continue to grow.

The plenary is a method of recapping what the industry has accomplished, as well as laying the foundation for where the industry is going. The last few years have seen the rise of ArcGIS Online and the modern ArcGIS platform, showing how GIS has grown from “make me a map” to an ecosystem of self-discovery. Incorporating the power of where has significantly improved the decisions that are made. The industry is realizing benefits of shifting from a system of record to a system of insight, enabling users to have access to effective decision making tools anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

Where to connect with the Geocortex Energy team in Houston

Our team will be at booth #812 throughout the week and we encourage you to come say hi! You’re the reason the team attends the conference, and we are excited to see what you have been doing and hear about your successes. 

This is a great chance to get a look at how we’re embracing the identity model, how we can help your organization easily adopt it, and how we’re working to help energy organizations transform how people engage with spatial data throughout their organizations.

We’ll also be highlighting the solutions we’re building for the petroleum industry, how Geocortex Essentials is evolving to next-generation tools, and how we can assist your organization in rapidly deploying useful applications with little or no code.

Presentations you won’t want to miss

In looking through the conference agenda, many interesting topics piqued my interest. Seeing how companies are solving problems through points, lines, and polygons continues to amaze me!

These presentations reinforce my theory that organizations are not only embracing the web GIS pattern; they are enhancing decision making throughout their organizations.

On Thursday, April 13 there are two presentations showcasing Geocortex that we think you should add to your list.

  • 9:30 AM in Ballroom C: Anthony Herman will be presenting how Geocortex Mobile App Framework has facilitated inspections – the solution leverages APR, UPDM and the Esri identity model. I also heard a rumor that Anthony has a cool co-presenter.
  • 1:30 PM in Room 310: David LaGorce from ConocoPhillips will be presenting on an integration between ArcGIS, Geocortex, and the Quorum suite. I’ve seen a similar presentation before, and it’s a good one!

A simple request

We are eager to hear your thoughts and opinions from the conference. After all, you are the ones that implement ideas and use them to solve business challenges. A good idea is only a good idea until it helps someone improve an internal process, or make operations safer.

Things we’d like to hear from you:

  • What was your favorite solution presented at the conference? Why?
  • How do you think this will improve your business?
  • What is the current challenge this will help you overcome? And how?

Following the conference, I’ll summarize the event from my perspective, and (with proper permission) highlight some of the compelling insight we’ve gained from listening to you.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the conference - thanks in advance for coming by!