Tag: stormwater

New release of Infrastructure Editing Map

This week, we posted a new release of the Infrastructure Editing Map.  This release includes many enhancements you’ve requested and addresses several problems. 

You’ll find the June 20, 2011 release of the Infrastructure Network Editing template for ArcGIS 10 addresses the following:

New Functionality

1.    Redesigned isolation trace routine to incorporate new functionality

2.    Added a new Secondary trace that uses the trace point from an isolation trace, disables all valves selected, and reruns the trace

3.    Added a new configuration file tag for angle of the dogleg “<Hook_Angle>45</Hook_Angle>”

4.    Added a new configuration file tag for the operable values of a valve “<add key=”TraceIsolation_Operable_Values” value=”0|1″ />”

5.    Added a new configuration file tag for additional SQL Query for remove valve used in the trace

6.    Added a new option to list multi value class for the isolation trace

7.    Redesigned the Profile Graph and exposed labels for configuration

8.    Redesigned the Update_Intersecting_Feature so it does not stop after processing one intersecting feature; it now runs on all intersected features

9.    Added a new option to subtype rules that allows users to list multi subtypes or all subtypes in a list

10.    Redesigned how rules are processed and evaluated to enhance performance

11.    Added the On_Manual flag to the Dynamic Value table to allow users to specify a rule to only rule when you click new button. Note: The “new button” has been added to the end of the Infrastructure Editing toolbar.

12.    Added a RUNORDER field to the DynamicValue table to allow users to list a hierarchy to how the rules are processed

13.    Added a new configuration file tag to use an Envelope to do spatial searches and not the geometry

14.    Redesigned the INTERSECT_STATS and JUNCTION_ROTATION methods in the Dynamic Value table


16.    Redesigned the Generate ID and Generate ID by Intersect rules to use a new GenerateID table

17.    Redesigned the installation location of the configuration file to now be installed in the user directory. Note: it is copied there the first time ArcMap is opened once the tools are installed.

18.    Enhanced the refresh rate of the map when using add laterals and traces

19.    Added an option to set search distance on Add Laterals

20.    Added an option to search the mains featureclass or the featurelayer in the add laterals

21.    Added support for multi add lateral rules defined on the same point layer

22.    Enhanced the X_COORDINATE, Y_COORDINATE, LAT,LONG rules to allow users to choose the centroid, start or end coordinate to start

23.    Enhanced the elevation layer in the profile graph to make it now optional

24.    Added a new rule “CREATE_LINKED_RECORD” to create a new record in a table and creates a relationship to table using the primary key in the edited record

25.    Added a new rule “INTERSECTING_LAYER_DETAILS” to extract the details from the intersecting layer

26.    Simplified the Network Editing map document

27.    Added the latest LocalGovernment.gdb and Data Dictionary

Resolved Problems

1.    Resolved an issue with multi returns values in a geocoder

2.    Resolved an issue with Create Laterals with a dogleg that would preclude lateral from snapping to main

3.    Resolved an issue with Lat and Long rules to correct coordinate values returned

4.    Resolved an issue with intersecting rules to use feature geometries and handle mixed projections

5.    Resolved an issue with Intersect_Layer_Details and network path layers

6.    Resolved an issue with the CREATE_LINKED_RULE that prevented a trigger from being fired when a create event was fired

7.    Resolved an issue with the add laterals that caused issues with connection to the geometric network

8.    Resolved an issue with Generate_ID_By_Intersect rule that caused an issue when the ID field was not a string field

9.    Resolved an issue with the JUNCTION_ROTATION rules that precluded users from applying additional spin angle

10.    Resolved an issue with the construction tools that precluded them from registering properly

11.    Resolved an issue with split lines at click location and when clicking for a profile trace

12.    Resolved an issue with the fixed EXPRESSION rule

13.    Resolved an issue with the Attribute Assistant that precluded the EXPRESSION rule from being used more than once

14.    Resolved an issue that precluded a prompt for the debug log file location when opening an ArcMap document

15.    Resolved an issue that caused additional edits when opening an ArcMap document

16.    Resolved an issue with the Municipal Boundary layer in the InfrastructureEditing.mxd and associated documentation

17.    Resolved an issue that precluded the Attribute Assistant from interacting with layers in the basemap group layer

18.    Resolved an issue with the Connection Closest function that created features in the wrong order

19.    Resolved an issue with the Merge Features function that introduced features from incorrect feature classes

Known Issues


The update to the Network Editing app is a major release that include direct feedback we have been getting
from users. We encourage you to download these updates and tell us how
they can improve the management of your water, sewer and storm water

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Water, Wastewater and Stormwater GIS at the 2011 Esri User Conference

Every year leading up to the Esri International User conference we get asked by the water, wastewater and stormwater GIS user community what are the “can’t miss” events.  So we thought we would highlight some key things for water utility GIS users at the 2011 User Conference.

First, and most importantly, the User Conference is full of opportunities to learn and bring valuable information back to your organizations, so we are just highlighting a few of the many great presentations, meetings and events at the UC.  No matter how you choose to spend your time at the UC, you and your organization will benefit from it.  If you haven’t registered for the 2011 User Conference yet, you can register here.

Since we are only highlighting a few of the many activities at the 2011 UC, we suggest you take advantage of the online Agenda Search to make the best use of your conference time.  You can query by keyword, such as “water”, “sewer” or “stormwater” to find presentations topics and you can also view all of the presentations, events and meetings by date.

So, here are some of our recommendations for 2011 User Conference:

Saturday July 9th

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM  Water/Wastewater Meeting – Convention Center Room 29A

Join us for an all-day meeting focused on water, wastewater and stormwater GIS.  Presentations by ArcGIS users, Esri Business Partners and Esri.  For more information and to register contact Christa Campbell.

Monday July 11th

9:00 AM – Plenary Session

Not to be missed, kick off the User Conference by attending the plenary session and get energized for the week.  Also see a preview of ArcGIS 10.1. 

3:30 PM – Map Gallery Open

See maps from water utilities as well as many other industries.    

4:30 PM – Lightning Talks – Ballroom 20 C & D

Lighting talks feature rapid fire speakers giving 5 minute presentations about a variety of GIS topics.  A great format to showcase a lot of ideas and get you thinking about new way to leverage GIS. 

Tuesday July 12th

8:30 AM – 9:45 – ArcGIS for Local Government – An Introduction -  Room 32 B

Learn about templates, maps, apps and the Local Government Resource Center.  Also learn about the Local Government Information Model, which is the datamodel for ArcGIS for Water Utilities. 

9AM – Exhibit Hall Opens

Be sure to visit Esri’s Water Team at the Water Industry Island in the exhibit hall.  We’re available to answer your questions, talk about the templates, demonstrate ArcGIS for Water Utilities and take your feedback.

9AM – Water Utility GIS Data Health Checks Begin

At the Geodatabase Management Island in the Esri Showcase, Esri staff can perform “Health Checks” on your water utility GIS data.  The Health Checks include automated checks on your data in a personal or file geodatabase so you can understand the overall quality of your data.

This service is available from 9 AM to 5:30 PM Tuesday the 12th and Wednesday the 13th and 9 AM to 1 PM on Thursday the 14th.  We expect high demand for Health Checks, so we encourage you to email datareviewer@esri.com with your name, organization, contact information to reserve a preferred date and time.

9AM – GIS Managers’ Open Summit – Ballroom 20 B/C

If you are a GIS manager at a water utility be sure to stop into the GIS Managers’ Open Summit and share knowledge with other GIS managers from a variety of industries.  This is a great venue to learn about best practices and cutting edge advances in managing GIS within any organization.

Wednesday July 13

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Team Water/Wastewater & Stormwater User Group Meeting – Room 2

Come learn what the user community is up to, get updates on user community driven projects and get some key briefings from the Esri Water Team.

1:30 PM – 2:45 – Understanding Geometric Networks Technical Workshop – Room 3 

Geometric networks are a component of the geodatabase that every water, wastewater and stormwater utility should be benefiting from.  Come learn about geometric networks and new geometric network capabilities coming at ArcGIS10.1.

3:15 – 4:30 PM – ArcGIS for Water Utilities – An Introduction – Room 32 B

Get an overview of ArcGIS for Water Utilities, including demonstrations.  We’ll also discuss our future plans.  This is a great opportunity to give us feedback and request functionality from the team behind ArcGIS for Water Utilities.

7:00 PM – 10:00 – Team Water/Wastewater “Pool Party” – Pool Terrace

Kick back with your peers, enjoy some food and beverages and listen to some music.  This is a fantastic opportunity to network with the water, wastewater and stormwater user community and share information with peers in a social setting.  It’s also one heck of a party. 

Thursday July 14

10:15 – 11:30 AM ArcGIS for Water Utilities – Configuring – Room 32 B

Learn how to configure the maps and apps that are part of ArcGIS for Water Utilities.  This session will also cover general best practices for configuring ArcGIS as a platform to support water, wastewater and stormwater GIS.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2011 Esri User Conference!

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Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group Meeting on May 18

On May 18th we will be hosting a meeting of the Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group in our Chesterbrook, PA office.  The meeting will run from 9 am to 3 pm.  Lunch is provided and is graciously sponsored by Esri Business Partner GBA Master Series. Continue reading

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Announcing ArcGIS for Water Utilities


We’re proud to announce the next evolution of Esri’s offerings for water, wastewater and stormwater utilities – ArcGIS for Water Utilities.


Over the next few weeks leading up to the Esri User Conference, we will be reorganizing the Water Utility Resource Center and our templates into ArcGIS for Water Utilities.  In the meantime, we thought it would be helpful to give an overview of ArcGIS for Water Utilities and answer some questions we’ve already received from members of the user community that have helped us bring ArcGIS for Water Utilities together.


What is ArcGIS for Water Utilities?


ArcGIS for Water Utilities is a collection of maps and apps packaged for the ArcGIS platform. It is designed to meet common needs of water, wastewater and stormwater utilities.  The maps and apps that are part of ArcGIS for Water Utilities are the next generation of the Water Utility Resource Center Templates.


ArcGIS for Water Utilities is a configuration of ArcGIS software and is included in the cost of licensing the ArcGIS system.


What do you mean by the “ArcGIS System”?


ArcGIS is a scalable system of integrated software that is designed to be deployed in a variety of ways.  The advances in ArcGIS 10 truly make ArcGIS a geo-spatial technology platform that meets the common generic needs of any organization for creating, managing, analyzing and sharing spatial data.  All components of the ArcGIS platform – ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, the geodatabase, mobile GIS clients, web GIS clients, work seamlessly together when deployed as a system.


Water utilities are finding it easier to license the whole system because it fits their business needs better than buying individual pieces of software in a piecemeal manner. ArcGIS for Water Utilities enables users to get started fast and to become immediately productive. It provides a framework that can be extended and improved both by individual organizations as well as by valued business partners that support the water utilities community.


This sounds a lot like the Water Utility Templates you already have?


Yes – because it is the next generation of our templates.  Based on your experiences and requests, we’ve decided that we can make water utility GIS easier, faster, cheaper and less confusing to implement by delivering all the parts you need to successfully implement ArcGIS to serve your organization’s mission.


How does this relate to Esri’s cloud efforts?


The cloud is already part of Esri’s platform, so it should come as no surprise that ArcGIS for Water Utilities can be implemented on site or in the cloud and will continue to evolve with the cloud capabilities of ArcGIS platform.


Why are you doing this?


We want to make ArcGIS easier, faster and cheaper to deploy for water utilities.


Are you going to a formal release schedule for ArcGIS for Water Utilities?


Yes. We have definite plans to continue to make incremental improvements and additions and will release these on an on-going basis.


How can I get ArcGIS for Water Utilities?


Download the set of maps and apps from the ArcGIS.com Water Utilities community, just like you currently download the Water Utility Templates.


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Data quality concerns keeping you up at night?

What keeps water, wastewater and stormwater utility GIS professionals up at night?   Could be doubts about your system architecture or capacity, might be fears about data backups and recovery, maybe your backlog of unprocessed as-builts.  A common concern we are hearing right now from the user community is about being sure that your data is good enough to meet the needs of your utility.  This is driving more water utilities to focus on quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC).

Across the industry water utilities are expanding their GIS quality control procedures or implementing formalized quality control if they don’t have any in place.  Water utilities are also reviewing their existing GIS implementation and workflows for ways to increase quality assurance.  At some water utilities these changes are coming out the GIS department, driven by proactive GIS managers and staff.  At other utilities these changes are coming top down from utility management that recognize GIS data now runs throughout their utility like a steel thread or from the IT department as it assess the state of all utility digital data.

But haven’t we always been concerned about data quality?

Continue reading

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How GIS Supports the Core Business Patterns of a Water Utility

No doubt, if you’ve seen Esri present on water, wastewater or stormwater utility GIS over the past year you’ve probably heard us talk about how GIS fits into the “business patterns” of a water utility. We’ve gotten tremendously positive feedback from the water utility community that this framework helps people understand how GIS supports their mission as a utility. We’ve also heard from GIS professionals that this is a very useful framework t to educate their colleagues about the current and potential future contributions of GIS at their utility.

We thought it would be helpful to take some time to review these patterns as we will continue to build upon these concepts in 2011 with the Water Utility Resource Center.


This graphic shows 5 common “business patterns” of a water utility – Asset Management, Planning and Analysis, Field Mobility, Operational Awareness and Stakeholder Engagement. Just about all of the activities of a water utility fall within one or cross multiple of these business patterns

Let’s review these 5 common water utility business patterns and how GIS supports them.

The Asset Management Business Pattern

All utilities engage in some form of “asset management”. Increasingly utilities are creating formalized “asset management programs”. Even without a formal asset management program (and a program in this case doesn’t imply a software program, it means an organizational initiative) many utilities have informal workflows and procedures that guide decision making around managing assets. So from a hunch about what assets need to be replaced or maintained to hard scientific evidence, utilities are constantly making decisions about their assets.

The cornerstone of effective asset management at utilities is good asset information. Whether a utility has a formal asset management program or an informal one, decisions require some level of information about assets – from knowledge in a worker’s head to information in a computerized system.

GIS supports the Asset Management pattern of water utilities through being the authoritative system to store, manage and maintain accurate asset records that are able to be shared utility wide. Simply put, GIS manages asset information.

It’s important to note that it’s common at water utilities for the complete information about an asset to be stored in multiple systems. For example, GIS stores the location, connectivity to other assets and basic descriptive information (material, diameter, install date, operational status, etc) about an asset, a workorder management system (also called EAM or CMMS) may store extended information about the work history for an asset, a financial system may store depreciation and valuation information for assets, a customer information system may store complaints about the function of an asset, etc. Optimally there is integration among all of the systems that store information about an asset and the ability for utility staff to access data stored across multiple systems enabling a comprehensive view of the location, connectivity, status, history and description of an asset.

Going Beyond Managing Asset Information with GIS

In the early years of water utility GIS, the bulk of GIS activity for water utilities was focused on creating and maintaining GIS data about assets and that data was used to make maps. GIS was usually the domain of a few folks in the utility that were tasked with continually updating data to support the creation of paper maps for the field and the office.

Over the years, many utilities have evolved their GIS to much more than just a siloed system to manage asset data to make maps. Around the industry utilities realized that their GIS contained a treasure trove of information that could be shared across the entire organization and used to support many of the information needs of the utility. No doubt, utilities can significantly increase their return on investment in GIS by sharing it around the entire utility and using it to support multiple business patterns.

Planning and Analysis

Historically, when a utility had asset data in GIS, it was a natural evolution to begin using that data to support the planning needs of the utility through spatial analysis.

Water utilities plan for the future and use some form of data analysis to do this. There are normally 2 very distinct types of planning water utilities do – short term planning and long term planning. Short term planning at a water utility is typically focused on creating and optimizing reactive and proactive work orders. Long term water utility planning typically focuses on capital improvement planning and future utility network expansion projects.

GIS supports water utility planning and analysis by transforming asset and operational data into actionable information. So far we’ve focused on asset data; operational data for water utilities is customer complaints, service requests, historic work order locations, etc. Crossing the Asset Management business pattern we described above and the Planning and Analysis pattern encompasses what many in water utility industry consider define as a utility asset management program.

For short term planning, GIS is typically used to support creating and optimizing work orders. Answering questions such as what is the best route to accomplish my daily work tasks and where can I do some proactive work in close proximity to assets that need reactive work. GIS is also used to understand what assets you should do proactive work on and when you should do it. An example is answering questions about which sewer pipes take flow from restaurants that are frequent grease trap violators resulting in the need for pipes to be cleaned more often to prevent fat, oil and grease build up from causing a blockage and overflow.

For long term planning, asset data, performance data and GIS analysis is used to help utilities understand how their utility networks are performing. Then to identify the best replacement and rehabilitation projects to undertake and to estimate project costs to support project evaluation and budgeting. For example, water utilities use repeatable geoprocessing models that take into account many weighted factors to rate their assets on condition, reliability, criticality, performance, etc. This information is then used to help guide where to best spend capital dollars to maximize the value of investments in a utility’s assets. For main extensions; land records, demographic projections and proposed development plans are often used to help guide long term system expansion plans.

Field Mobility

Water, wastewater and stormwater utilities have mobile workers that are out in the field for the majority of their work days. In small utilities mobile workers may have many responsibilities such as meter reading, customer service, installs, maintenance, repair work, CCTV, hydrant flushing, valve exercising, etc and in large utilities mobile workers may be specialized.

Mobile field workers at water utilities need information that is current, optimized for their needs to help them carry out their work and delivered in an easy to use format. Mobile field workers also generate much information that needs to be passed back into the office and managed in enterprise business systems.

The field mobility business patterns includes both work the field crews are performing as well as the processes used in the office to support and manage field crews. There is recognition across the industry that field work is a large part of water utility operating budget and for many utilities there is not enough field crew labor available to meet the needs of the utility. Water utilities are always looking for ways to decrease the time it takes to share information bi-directionally with the field and increase the reliability and accuracy of data coming back from the field. The mobile nature of field crews, the many tasks a field crew may carry out during a given day and the limited exposure by some field personnel to technology present a challenge to utilities that need to reduce field operations costs and increase efficiency.

Water utility field staff are among the most map centric people you will encounter. They think of their work world in terms of map book sheets. So for GIS, the Field Mobility business pattern is about providing water utility field crews with maps and map centric applications that can be rapidly updated and are easy to use. GIS also supports the Field Mobility business pattern by enabling field crews to capture GIS data in the field and efficiently pass it back into the office.

Some utilities choose to create paper or electronic field maps books out of their GIS. Other utilities are deploying mobile GIS applications for field crews that act as an interactive version of the traditional utility map book and also provide decision support and data capture tools. Whether delivering paper maps or interactive mapping applications to the field, GIS is supporting the needs of utility field workers as well as those in the office that need to share information with the field.

Operational Awareness

Talk to a manager or executive director at a utility about their information needs and most often they will say something along the lines of “I need to know what is happing around the entire utility at any given time”. They need to be operationally aware.

The Operational Awareness business pattern is about having an understanding of the current state of operations at a water utility, so this is a real time or near real time understanding of how assets, utility networks and personnel are performing and how they are affecting each other. Being operationally aware empowers water utility managers to confidently make decisions based on accurate and up to date information.

GIS supports utility operational awareness by enabling utilities to have a web map based view into the current state of operations. We’ve heard over and over from water utility managers that a map based view into their organization is the easiest way for them to understand at a glance what is currently happening at their utility. An interactive map is also an easy way for utilities to take information from multiple business systems and present it through a common application.

What do water utility managers want on their interactive maps? Most want their utility networks overlaid with locations of recent callers, new service requests, open workorders, out of service customers, crew locations, limited SCADA information, recent sewer over flows, planned capital projects, etc. They would also like to be presented with KPIs and metrics derived spatially, utilize heat maps to spot trends, be able to see historic operational data on demand and be able to zoom far enough in to see all of their utility assets in detail as necessary.

Thinking about data that utility managers need to be operationally aware brings about an important point. Much of that data comes from other enterprise business systems used at utilities and can be spatially enabled by a GIS so it is placed on the map.

Stakeholder Engagement

Water utilities have many external stakeholders such as customers, elected officials, regulatory agencies, other utilities in their service area, etc. The Stakeholder Engagement business pattern encapsulates how utilities interact with external entities that are affected by the utility.

Across the industry, the trend is for water utilities to more proactively engage with stakeholders through public outreach programs, providing more transparency while delivering information in a way that minimizes the possibility of misinterpretation. Modern water utilities recognize they need to utilize the internet and social media to communicate with their stakeholders. Presenting up to date information via interactive maps is a powerful medium to communicate with the technology savvy stakeholder.

Utilities use GIS to support Stakeholder Engagement by creating and delivering static and interactive maps. For years GIS has been used by utilities to make maps that were submitted either electronically or as a hardcopy for regulatory agencies. Utilities have also used GIS to make static maps available as an image file or PDFs on their websites. Now utilities are creating public facing web mapping applications for their stakeholders to support things like customer self service, capital project coordination, service interruption incident management and transparency into utility performance.

We hope that you’ve found this exploration of how a pattern based framework for how GIS supports the needs of water utility useful. As always, if you have any comments on this blog please share them.



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Esri's Team Water/Wastewater Meeting 2011

This year’s meeting was held at the Orlando Utilities Commission, Pershing Facility.
We had a great turnout this year and I would like to thank all of the attendees. I know that travel budgets continue to be tight. Participants this year included Hamton Roads Sanitation District, Charleston Water System, Orlando Utilities Commission, Woolpert, Esri Canada, St. Johns River Water Management District, Global Water, Collier County Public Utilities, Trimble, American Flow Control, City Works, DHI, and Wachs Water Services.    
A big thank you to Trimble and Wachs Water Services for sponsoring breakfast and lunch!
We will be posting the presentations and the agenda from this meeting in the near future!

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Upcoming ArcGIS Data Reviewer for Water Utilities webinar on February 15th!

If you are a water, sewer, or stormwater utility, you may be interested in the free webinar on Feb 15th offered by Esri’s Water Practice and the Data Reviewer team. The webinar will discuss how water utilities can leverage the ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension and the Water Utility Resource Center templates to effectively integrate quality control into your GIS data creation and maintenance process, and how to ensure the accuracy of your assets.

Sign up for the free webinar here.  Also, feel free to explore the newly released Data Reviewer for Infrastructure template available on the Water Utilities and Data Reviewer Resource Centers.

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Data Reviewer for Infrastructure template released on the Resource Center!

Interested in exploring how Data Reviewer can be implemented in water utilities? Then check out the latest template just released! The Data Reviewer for Infrastructure template is a pre-configured set of Data Reviewer batch jobs (.rbj) for performing automated quality control on water, sewer and stormwater data. It enhances the Infrastructure Network Editing template and is configured to work with the local government sample geodatabase delivered in the Local Government Resource Center templates.

To learn more about how to use the Data Reviewer template for water utilities, sign up for a free webinar here on February 15th.

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Join Esri for our Team Water/Wastewater Meeting in Orlando, Florida February 19th & 20th

If you are a water, wastewater or stormwater utility, an Esri business partner or a consultant working with water utilities please join us in Orlando for our 2 day winter Water/Wastewater Meeting February 19th and 20th in Orlando, Florida.

This meeting is a unique opportunity to collaborate and share information with the water utility user community and Esri.

To get more information including the full agenda and to register contact Lori Armstrong at larmstrong@esri.com.

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