Category Archives: Autumn 2018

A Word From the Boss

With our fearless leader taking to the ski slopes to celebrate 20 years of tireless service, the team here at Mipela GeoSolutions have been powering into 2018.

This season our focus is to talk with you about what matters.  What is taking up your valuable time? Where can you get those monthly reports automated? How can we simplify that workflow for your team? At Mipela GeoSolutions we are not simply a software provider but thrive on being solution specialists. Our sales, solutions and support teams will be asking you these questions and working with you to deliver the outcomes you need. Expect a call from us soon.

Back at MG HQ we are excited to welcome John Macaranas to the Solutions Team and bring new clients W3+ Consulting, Mitchell Water and BHP into the Mipela family.  This quarter we are also rolling out a sexy new web interface for X-Info WebConnect.

Bring on 2018!

Cirina Di Pierro
Team Leader – Services Support

First Gas Land Management

Based in the energy rich region of Taranaki, First Gas supplies gas to more than 65,000 customers across the North Island of New Zealand.

First Gas owns and operates more than 2,500kms of high pressure gas transmission pipes and nearly 5,000km of gas distribution pipes that supply natural gas from the Taranaki region to industrial consumers throughout the North Island.

Earlier in 2017, First Gas engaged Mipela GeoSolutions to provide a comprehensive Lands Management System to help them manage their extensive property portfolio and its associated stakeholders. First Gas were looking for a solution that could automate the day to day management of its easement database, land and planning (risk assessment for owner/operator, visit and permit history) and to capture all associated information for their annual landowner contact program. Integration with First Gas’ existing GIS system, ESRI, was integral to the success of the proposed solution.

Mipela successfully implemented X-Info Suite to manage the Lands and Permit business functions at First Gas. This solution offers key workflows and automated processes that align to the nominated business procedures. First Gas have also embraced the opportunity to further optimise their business moving forward in a flexible and hassle free manner.

The implementation of an Automated Response System for their Before You Dig enquiries for part of their distribution business was also delivered. This solution is now protecting distribution assets with timely and detailed responses. This has enabled First Gas to refocus resources to pro-active asset management, rather than administration tasks.

Since GoLive of X-Info Suite, First Gas has noticed positive enhancements in operational efficiencies, reducing landholder update timeframes from one hour to five minutes.

The First Gas standard of data integrity has been clearly defined and is maintained by applied user security and live feeds from point of truth data sources such as GIS property. This ensures that the business can validate the information generated from the X-Info Suite and trust it to support their decisions and workflows.

The availability of on demand and templated reporting has ensured transparency companywide to key business information from the Lands Team.

Future strategies for field mobility solutions using X-Info Aware will see First Gas move core information seamlessly through the business from field to office to GIS to third party owners.

“The future potential application of X-Info for lands management is exciting and will provide a one stop holistic management tool for all First Gas land stakeholder management,” said Anthony Joines, Land and Planning Manager, First Gas.

Latest Release Notes

Version 5.1 of X-Info Connect and X-Info WebConnect are scheduled for release on 30 March.

This release delivers the Activities module to X-Info WebConnect along with a new look interface.

X-Info WebConnect has had a makeover – offering a simplified, modern look.

The Activities module enables Users to carry out their daily tasks, such as searching or data capture, in a more simplified and streamlined way. These tasks can be customised specifically to different User roles and even individual Users.

The interface can be configured in various ways, such as Dashboard style, Overview Style or simple Searches and Data Captures using tabs and toolbar buttons.

X-Info WebConnect can deliver Activities through a browser, allowing access from any location without the need to install X-Info Connect Client.

This release offers the opportunity to implement browser-based use of the X-Info Suite, enabling Clients to easily deliver the software to Users without the need to install at different sites.

Annual Race Day

This year saw the team from Mipela celebrate its 9th annual race day with clients and friends at Doomben on 24 March. As always, the bubbles flowed, the food was fabulous and everyone had lots of fun – with a little frivolity thrown in for good measure.

As is tradition, the pressure was on for the last race of the day where everyone generously contributed to a group bet of $1,500. After much cheering from our corporate box, hooves were flying and anticipation was high as Trommelschlagen came in first, Jinx ‘n’ Drinx came in second. We only won $550 on the last race but Mipela tipped in $950 to cover the balance of what everyone had generously donated for the last bet, the most ever donated from this event to the Royal Flying Doctor Service!

Managing Your Information

The value of data across the life of a project

So, what’s the real value in reusing your data over the lifecycle of a project? It’s pretty simple when you lay it out like the following diagram. Data is an asset, assets have a value. You don’t go and buy a new digger every time you want to dig a hole, do you?

Traditionally, project owners have split their projects into phases, sometimes with different people responsible for different phases. In turn, there is often a disparity in how they manage their data and different tools or systems are used to manage that data. By thinking ahead and providing a platform or solution that can address multiple requirements, there is an economy of scale introduced. In turn, your single source of data creates greater value.

The key is making sure the right people get to see the right pieces of information at the right time. Having a configurable solution that can align to your business processes and are refined as those processes change is critical to effectively managing data over the lifecycle of an asset.

If you’re like to learn more about this concept, give Karen a call on 1300 807 770 and see if Mipela can assist you.

APGA NZ Golf Day

Mipela GeoSolutions jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the 2018 APGA NZ Seminar and Golf Day after the great event in New Plymouth last year. A slight change of format meant we were also able deliver a presentation promoting best practice information management principles. (Cirina apologises for telling people off for bad data habits). The seminar was followed by a challenging game of golf and a tasty dinner. Mipela are proud to become a part of the NZ whanau (family).

Handy Tips n Tricks

Q: What can I do with a Search Activity?

A: The Search Activity enables a user to quickly search data through a customisable interface. A Search Activity can be constructed with parameters pre-determined and filters already set, allowing for quicker searching without having to make manual adjustments, eg. quickly finding a client’s company trading name.

Typically a user would have to search by using a pre-configured Quickfind or manually tailor the Find options to narrow down the search:

With Search Activities, we can take a quick find and make that into a hotlink with all the filtering applied and easy to access:

Both methods will produce the same results, but the Search Activity is one click!

If you would like further information or assistance on the Search Activity please contact the Mipela Support Team at support@mipela.com.au.

Staff Update

Introducing John Macaranas (aka Johnny Mac)

Our newest Solutions Specialist brings over ten years of services implementation experience to Mipela, having worked for Canon with a focus on Print Management and Document Imaging Solutions. Before his time at Canon, John worked as a Systems Engineer across HP, Novell and Citrix for almost twenty years.

As a self-proclaimed wannabe Jazz pianist, John spends his spare time jamming with his adult children on his Nord Electro Keyboard. He hopes to someday visit the Montreux Jazz Festival & Cannes Film Festival with his family.

We look forward to the wealth of knowledge John brings to Mipela.

Jac’s back

Some of you may have had the pleasure meeting our temporary Business Development Executive, Jacqueline Button last year. Well, the good news is she’s back and looking forward to a long and happy career with Mipela. Welcome back Jac!

2018 Trends in GIS

2018 Trends in GIS – Revisiting the “Knowledge Pyramid”

“Maps are a simple and efficient way to understand and communicate rapidly. Looking at a spreadsheet, we see rows and columns of data. Using charts and graphs, that data can be seen as a pattern. But when that same data is presented on a map, we suddenly have context for the information” – Jack Dangermond

Most of our readers will be familiar with the “Knowledge Pyramid” in one form or another. How does the Knowledge Pyramid apply to GIS and how does this relate to current trends in GIS?

GIS leverages data using spatial analysis to reveal information. Traditionally hardware and software constrained GIS implementation. With technology evolving rapidly the focus has shifted to the data, methods and procedures for analysis.

In the context of the Knowledge Pyramid above and GIS Trends:

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will impact the “Information” level
  • Live Data will add value to the Knowledge level, not just the data level (eg. live sensor data, weather feeds, vehicle tracking)
  • As always, People (Users + Specialists) drive the analysis requirements, impart Knowledge to refine the output and process.

Jack Dangermond lists Advanced Analytics and Big Data Analytics as two of his top 5 GIS trends. But what are other experts saying?

“Those organizations poised with know-how and budgets to harness the available data sources and this arsenal of tools will quickly dominate” – Chris Tucker, Chairman of the American Geographical Society and Founder of MapStory

“The GIS industry is constantly changing and evolving, however, there’s always been a heavy focus on data and data being ‘King,’ and I don’t see that changing – GIS is all about the data.” – Glenn Letham, Co-founder of GISUser

“The value of location-based data lies in its integration with other information. Whether you’re ordering a parcel online or navigating by voice to your nearest toy shop, as a user you don’t need to know that there’s a whole geospatial stack sitting underneath.” – Thierry Gregorius, Principal Strategic Consultant at Exprodat