First Look: Electric Distribution Data Management for ArcGIS Online

If you work in the utility sector, specifically electricity, you have more than likely heard of Esri’s Utility Network and may have been interested in implementing it within your organization. ArcGIS Enterprise may not be feasible at this point in time, and you may need a solution that’s fully accessible by field crews. If that is the case, the Electric Distribution Data Management for ArcGIS Online (EDDM) solution is an excellent option. This solution includes several pre-configured feature and hosted view layers, maps, apps, and groups, so there is very little to be done once your data is added. It is also a great way to take full advantage of ArcGIS Pro’s seamless integration with ArcGIS Online and enhance existing workflows. 

Migrating from Paper to Digital

GEO Jobe recently had the opportunity to implement the very first deployment of the EDDM solution. As the age-old story goes, West Boylston Municipal Light Plant had assets drawn out on physical maps before adopting GIS and using this solution. (See Figures 1 and 2.) Prior to deployment, the WBMLP team collected a handful of features with a GPS unit and provided us with a spreadsheet of the data. We were then easily able to populate the blank feature classes that come with EDDM, as well as add a few organization-specific fields to the schema.

This solution relies heavily on hosted view layers, so one thing to keep in mind when adding fields is that they will need to be enabled on each view layer (in the Visualization tab of ArcGIS Online). Once the fields were configured, we enabled offline editing and created a map area for the surveyor to download to their device for data collection. Since the editing web map was added to ArcGIS Pro, managers are able to see features being added to the map in real-time while being able to make additional edits from the office. In cases where there are multiple field workers, these live updates apply to them as well, except they will be seeing the changes in Field Maps, instead of ArcGIS Pro.

What You Get With the Solution

As previously mentioned, the EDDM solution comes chock full of items, including various groups, applications, web maps, hosted view layers, and a dashboard to efficiently display the organization’s data. This makes it quick and easy to get the appropriate maps into the hands of those who need them. There are groups for editors, field workers, office workers, and managers, each containing the appropriate resources for the members.

Once the solution is deployed, an administrator can add users to groups and the fun can begin! Each group contains a map that varies slightly from the others, primarily in terms of editing capabilities. Inside each of those maps is a corresponding hosted view layer, derived from the main Electric Distribution System feature layer. If necessary, each view layer can be modified, depending on the user’s preference. The layers’ symbology is also pre-configured according to industry standards, but can be modified in ArcGIS Pro if an organization uses specific symbols.

Figure 3. EDDM symbology.

Overall, this solution is incredibly robust with a delightfully straightforward deployment process. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the West Boylston Municipal Light Plant and dive into this new solution. You can read more about this implementation in a case study from Esri here. We are excited to deploy the EDDM solution for more customers in the coming months!

If you think this solution might suit your organization, please reach out to us at connect@geo-jobe.com and we will be happy to chat!

Looking for more articles? Check out these!

Solution Engineer / sUAS Pilot