Positional Advantage
Spatial Consultants

Case Studies

Case studies provide real world examples of where Spatial Consultants staff have applied GIS based technologies and practices to solve business challenges.

East Midlands Electricity

The Business Challenge

East Midlands Electricity (now e.on) is one of the UK's leading Distribution Asset Managers, responsible for providing a reliable electricity supply to customers across an area totaling 16,000 km², serving 2.3 million customers through a distribution network that has 24,009 km of overhead line and over 44,000 km of underground cable. Deregulation of the electricity supply industry and new legal KPIs required EME to transform the way it managed the distribution network to improve service levels to customers whilst reducing operating costs.

Solution Overview

EME adopted GE Smallworld GIS as the platform for the distribution management system.  A series of customised applications were developed to capture existing enfineering data from physical media into digital form and to manage the data and operations into the future.  A very rich Object Oriented data model was developed encapsulating asset attributes and behavior for all network components - to the extent that predictive simulation modelling could be performed to identify faults on the nertwork.  Models enable network data to be represented in a variety of user centric ways such as true geoghraphic for field staff, schematic for control room operations, and geo-schematic for drivers.  The system was integrated with network design, inspection & maintenance, outage management, SCADA, and customer information systems.  Smallworld spatial replication enables data from all regional offices to be accessed as a complete set.   Regional offices provided strong support in adopting the standards of the corporate asset data model, symbology and maps/plans.

Further Information

Unfortunately very little is published on the EME system.

East Midlands Electricity web site is at: http://www.eme.co.uk

Perot Systems Europe were the lead consultant: www.perotsystems.co.uk

Government of British Columbria

The Business Challenge

The Canadian province of British Columbia covers an enormous area which is generally rich in natural resources and natural beauty.  Interstingly, the vast majority of that land is owned by the Crown and is therefore adminstered by the BC government.  A range of departments thus considers applications for permits to perform a bewildering array of activities within the forests, on the ground and beneath the surface of the land.  Some of these activities are exclusive, e.g. open cast mining, wheras many others can occur in the same area at the same time, e.g. forestry and fishing.  It is the job of each department to assess new permit applications and to determine if there is any reason why they should not be granted, or if any restrictions should be placed upon them.  This process could take years in some cases to complete and this delay was recognised as being harmful to business - it simply had to be speeded up and be made more transparent.

Solution Overview

IlRRThe BC government recognised very quickly that businesses who were considering an operation within British Columbia needed to be able to submit an application for a permit with some degree of confidence that it would be successful and that they would know the result within a reasonble time frame.  The key was seen as making information about permits available online so that applicants could determine what activities were taking place in a given area and therefore be able to assess the likelehood of their own application being successful.

The approach required changes to provincial legislation and the formation of a new body to administer the integrated Provincial registry.  Existing land ownership and permit data needed to be enhanced in some cases to ensure that each permit could be associated with a location/area and a time window.  Data was then published from existing permitting systems into a central registry - the Integrated Land and Resource Registry (ILRR) from where key information could be accessed online by government staff and the general public.

The ILRR can be accessed online at http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/ilrr/ILRR.htm

Further Information

ESRI International User Conference 2005 abstract authored by Rosa Munzer and Graham Morgan:

ESRI International User Conference 2005 paper lead author Rosa Munzer: