March 11, 2016
By Mike Gundling
The quest was stewardship – saving the taxpayers of the City of Sebring, Fla., money while also delivering safe and reliable water to them.
To do so, Sebring joined other cities in the mobile revolution by marrying TerraGo Edge software with EOS Arrow receivers by Bluetooth and using iPads to deliver sub-centimeter accuracy for a fraction of the cost of dedicated GPS receivers.
A case study in GPS World explains the conundrum faced by the Sebring Utilities Department in trying to modernize its system of locating, mapping and inspecting far-flung assets for maintenance service and operations.
New GIS system software was quoted at more than $30,000, and bids for surveying services were as high as $300,000, not including data collection and integration tools. Officials of the utility sought a better idea – largely of necessity.
“We could see the traditional GIS and GPS approach was going to eat us alive cost-wise,” said Mark Kretz of Sebring Utilities water plant operations.
Research showed alternatives were available with iPads and iPhones – and with TerraGo Edge.
Sebring required survey-grade accuracy for some tasks, such as mapping underground valves, and somewhat less accuracy for above-ground infrastructure. It had been using cumbersome, costly printed computer-aided design (CAD) diagrams in the field. Workers wanted a way to cut response times – critical in dealing with leaks – with mobile devices.
This combination of mobility, of being able to create – and, if necessary, modify -- custom forms and download them to field workers’ iPads, and of getting the GPS accuracy required, with minimal training time, is why locales are turning to mobile devices with TerraGo Edge. The flexibility of workflow change is an added bonus.
“On a day-to-day basis, the biggest benefit is that we get the ease of use of an iPad and didn’t have to buy and use proprietary GPS handhelds, which are more complex and vastly more expensive,” said Kretz.
With the combination of Edge, iPads and EOS 100 devices, Sebring saved 90 percent over the quotes from traditional GIS and GPS systems, while improving efficiency and response times and streamlining operations, with the accuracy desired. The combination also offered the kind of adaptability for the future that can only come with constant and consistent improvement in the tools.
Sebring’s Utility Department showed the kind of stewardship taxpayers look for in their officials, and the dedication to quality workers look for in their management.
For more information on the Sebring case study, see:
For other ways customers have used TerraGo Edge, see: