"The first big motivator for our switch to mobile was the stream assessments. We wanted to be able to see our real-time position and the stream lines displayed on a custom basemap, as we walk the area; and be able to capture data and geo-referenced photos instantly." said Brennan Smith, Environmental Scientist at Versar.
To put it simply, the government has upped the ante with new technology. It is no longer acceptable to do things the same way that they’ve been done for the past 50 years. We work in a mobile world where we carry powerful devices every day that enable inspection, collaboration and sharing location-based observations in ways never before possible.
From the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Water LEAD Act, to the recent PIPEs Act, new mandates abound for digital data collection and reporting during routine compliance monitoring, asset inspections, and safety audits. Requirements are not limited to the environmental and heavy industrial sectors regulated by the EPA, USDOT, and DOE. They extend broadly across our economy. Think local airports and farmers. Everybody needs to get onboard. And more and more TerraGo customers are doing just that. But rather than being dragged kicking and screaming, while deploying mobile compliance solutions, they’re using the opportunity to revolutionize and streamline operations.
In fact, government regulations are helping drive a revolution in business mobility in many sectors. Many customers contact us somewhere down the road in the process of their enterprise mobile transformation…typically, after a few false starts.
For a flexible solution that supports enterprise compliance, you will need a mobile platform that is open (so it can bolt onto any system and work with common data standards), highly customizable (so you can build new forms as requirements emerge while avoiding the limitations of single purpose systems), cloud-enabled (this is a big part of preventing data loss, which will cost you lots of time and money), and easy to administer (so you easily provide access to employees, contractors, or even the feds, while also tracking the revision histories of data collected).
Due to the massive variety of customers and projects, our mobile forms are used for a dizzying variety of regulatory compliance, engineering and data collection requirements. Even with a single customer TerraGo Edge has been used to create forms specifically tailored to very different lines of business and requirements. From the complex regulatory forms like US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Regulatory Assistance Program (WRAP) to the Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) ACT to the Clean Water Act and the myriad of commercial, customer-defined data forms, companies and government agencies can provide field teams with the right forms, maps and required GPS accuracy, all from the users’ smartphones and tablets. By deploying TerraGo Edge or TerraGo Magic apps, they can do more than achieve minimal compliance and get an ROI from an open mobile solution.
Learn more in this on-demand webinar, How to Leverage Compliance Mandates for Digital Transformations. View Now.
Learn how other companies are using TerraGo Edge in real-world compliance workflows:
Because different customer projects had very different regulatory and data collection requirements, Kleinfelder, one of the world’s leading engineering, science and architectural consulting firms with nearly 2,000 employees, needed the ability to customize survey forms for each project. Again, the TerraGo Edge solution enabled them to create forms specifically tailored to each project or study. From the US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Regulatory Assistance Program (WRAP) standards to customer-defined data forms, Kleinfelder could provide field teams with the right forms, maps and required GPS accuracy, all from the users’ iPads.
More and more TerraGo customers are using TerraGo Edge and Magic to make the first major step to digital transformation by converting paper forms to mobile e-forms. And they end up doing much more than saving paper. Mobile forms provide clear measurable benefits in productivity, data quality, efficiency, cost savings and also eliminate environmental waste. Many of our customers have reengineered data collection by not simply converting a paper form to a mobile form field-by-field, but taking advantage of the intelligence and on-board features of the mobile devices.
TerraGo Edge customers tell us our smart forms make data collection incredibly easy for the novice user while maintaining the functionality for an advanced workflow, where conditional logic and other features can reduce the number of end user actions (taps, swipes, data entry) by an order of magnitude. Between agile development, avid user feedback, analyzing the other mobile form builders in the market, and rethinking the process of form building and data collection across a variety of industries, TerraGo mobile forms capabilities have benefitted from rapid, continuous innovation. For this reason, TerraGo mobile forms solutions have been consistently praised by our most demanding customers as a measurable cost saving ROI and a competitive advantage for their operations.
With TerraGo Edge, customers get a super-easy drag and drop form builder that they can use to recreate paper forms on mobile. But it’s also full of features from conditional logic, required field management, barcode/QR code scanning, automated repeating fields and more.
With all these advanced form features, TerraGo customers can streamline the data collection process even further and reduce the time it takes to process and compile data in the back office.
"TerraGo Edge has not only made our reporting and data collection more accurate, but it has allowed Prime Electrical field crews to be more efficient and effective. We were able to roll out the solution quickly, due to its low price-point and little, to no need for training." - Marius Jansen van Vuuren, Chief of Operations, Drilling Division at Prime Electrical
For organizations with massive field service operations and widely distributed assets, the challenge is how to efficiently coordinate construction, maintenance and outage response. In all cases, the shared understanding of asset, crew and resource locations is required.
In the past, when field service issues occurred and repair or maintenance was needed, field crews would be dispatched to identify and implement a solution. With their “flat” map system housed in a GIS or Computer-Aided Design (CAD) environment, crews would heavily rely on radio communications with the command center. The command center personnel would search the GIS or CAD database for the impacted distribution network components to help locate the root cause and identify a solution to the problem. After the crews identified a solution and determined what materials and equipment they needed, they would return to their service center to collect the needed materials and then head back out to the problem location to correct it. Those were a lot of time-consuming steps to solve a single issue.
Field service organizations need personnel and field crews to be able to access and query data in the field, at any work site. The solution needs to work for personnel with no GIS or CAD expertise, specialized software or proprietary hardware. It needs to be available from any location, even offline when the user was unable to access any network. For many organizations, the answer is a collaborative, dynamic and searchable GeoPDF basemap database that can be shared with all toughbooks, tablets and smartphone users in the field. The combination of GeoPDF and TerraGo Edge (or apps built by TerraGo Magic) is a game-changer for field service workflows like electric utilities, water treatment, environmental monitoring, construction, agriculture, security and more.
""TerraGo Edge helped to drastically simplify our data collection process. In the past we were forced to use multiple approaches and manually combine the data later. Because this software has both custom forms and maps, our field users could collect data all in one place. This saves us both time and money out in the field and back at the office, where we have to clean up the data. We also found TerraGo Edge to be one of the best apps available for handling offline maps. In Alaska, we are often disconnected and this was of utmost importance to us." Paul Lawrence, Research Associate at SRB&A
Mobile GIS users want a solution that is easy to use, open, scalable and continuously delivers innovation to field operations.
Our customers told us they wanted an modern mobile GIS data collection app that is drop-dead simple, and a user experience that is as straightforward as tweeting or posting to Instagram®. They also want a solution that supports all their departments’ needs, not just the GIS experts, but the field engineers, construction workers, utility crews and other mobile workers. With TerraGo Edge, they get both, and a lot more.
TerraGo Edge works seamlessly with ArcGIS ® and other GIS platforms because it was designed from the ground up to be an open solution. With GIS-specific features, file formats, OGC standards and APIs, including the industry’s gold standard for cross-platform integration, the REST API, TerraGo Edge gives you everything you would want in a GIS data collection tool, without the vendor lock-in and complex pricing models.
Many TerraGo Edge customers, like Versar, a leading environmental services firm, utilize advanced GIS features like custom mobile basemaps, while relying on the open architecture of Edge to update non-GIS databases. For Versar’s project setup, the ease of setting up forms, convenient features like form cloning, and custom basemaps means less prep work that helps accelerate project starts. Once the data are gathered, the team is able to update relational database systems and still use Esri® ArcMap® to make maps for visualization and spatial analysis.
TerraGo Edge, and TerraGo Magic provide scalability from both a technology and cost perspective. With a modern, cloud architecture and open database, TerraGo can grow to support the largest of operations and user bases. And as you grow, the low subscription costs are 100% transparent and predictable, versus hidden fees and credits that make it impossible to predict future budgets based on future needs.
TerraGo’s GIS customer base also benefits from the agile development and innovation that delivers more high-value features with several major releases per year, putting them months and years ahead of their competitors that use only platform-specific GIS solutions.
The City of Sebring used GeoPDF and TerraGo Edge to make CAD diagrams available to mobile workers on iPads, so they could identify and locate valves and other assets in the field. In the past, they relied on printing CAD drawings. but needless to say that was cumbersome and costly. Plus, if they were working on a leak, time was of the essence so they wanted on-demand access on their mobile devices. TerraGo’s mobile CAD solution saves them time and money while improving customer service and response times.
In the past, field inspections traditionally meant binders of forms and paper maps. For utilities, water authorities and many types of engineering inspections, it also meant GPS handhelds and base stations to capture the required GPS-tagged position reports and data. It was cumbersome to carry everything in challenging terrain and required a great deal of manual work to record site observations and measurements at thousands of positions, only needing to later re-enter data and write up inspection reports. When teams encountered bad weather, it was even more frustrating dealing with wet maps and forms. With the GPS handhelds, inspectors typically needed to return to the hotel and manually transfer data from handhelds to laptop computers. Then they would get on the WiFi to upload files for next-day post-processing and further preparation of files and field reports by support staff.
Today, more and more companies are choosing TerraGo Edge and TerraGo Magic to go paperless and take advantage of a modern, mobile, open GPS solution. Open GPS means the app can be paired via Bluetooth with any number of GPS receivers that supply the requisite level of accuracy for inspections, from 1 meter to sub-meter to centimeter, and supports all the leading manufacturers, such as Trimble or EOS. For some inspections, say locating an above ground valve, the on-board GPS is sufficient which means tremendous savings over handhelds for these types of inspections. Plus, the native iOS and Android inspection forms mean inspections get completed in a fraction of the time compared to outdated user interfaces and cumbersome data dictionaries.
Beyond the hardware savings, improved efficiency and lower cost of operations, TerraGo inspections mean real-time customer access to data. This can accelerate turning inspections into approvals and ultimately faster repairs and less outages - and that translates directly into superior customer service and more profitable operations.
With TerraGo Magic, customers like EnMapp are able to build and publish powerful, cloud-based mobile apps without traditional coding. With TerraGo Magic, end users use a “click not code” user interface to customize the branding and features for their unique business requirements. TerraGo customers and partners can build their own iOS, Android and web apps in minutes, at a fraction of the cost of traditional development. Once deployed, TerraGo Magic is a zero-code platform as a service meaning all development, enhancements, maintenance and support is included for 100% hands-off operations today and in the future.
Our customers tell us that IT innovation continues to the key driver for competitive advantage. However, their IT departments are continually facing budget scrutiny at a time when their innovations are needed most.
TerraGo Magic gives IT departments a way to rapidly build apps that are customizable by design, without requiring custom code. This enables IT teams to become the “heroes” by being able to deliver on the promise of mobile innovation with a sharpened focus. With the addition of TerraGo Magic zero code apps in the toolkit, organizations free up IT staff to focus on more strategic features or enterprise-specific systems integration.
TerraGo Magic also helps alleviate IT’s pain when it comes to recruiting, training and retention. In many cases, traditional skills development has been replaced by a dependence on a single vendor platform and its complex set of tools. Learning the process modeling and component configuration of these platforms requires extensive training. Over time, finding skilled personnel with the required low-code platform experience can be more time-consuming and costly than traditional coding skills. With TerraGo Magic’s click not code interface, it is possible to deliver more apps without proprietary platform training and specialization.
One of the biggest challenges in the app lifecycle is the ongoing maintenance, operations and infrastructure costs. It can be seemingly impossible to budget for future support resources, leaving companies with adverse surprises for bug fixes, security patches and mobile OS release schedules beyond their control. With a zero code platform, the full lifecycle of software delivery and infrastructure changes are eliminated; or perhaps more accurately, reduced to a click. So it’s zero code for delivery out the door, and zero DevOps down the road.
The City of Sebring used GeoPDF and TerraGo Edge to make CAD diagrams available to mobile workers on iPads, so they could identify and locate valves and other assets in the field. In the past, they relied on printing CAD drawings. but needless to say that was cumbersome and costly. Plus, if they were working on a leak, time was of the essence so they wanted on-demand access on their mobile devices. TerraGo’s mobile CAD solution saves them time and money while improving customer service and response times. Learn More
More and more CAD users are looking to TerraGo Edge to deliver CAD designs to their mobile users for field data collection. Field inspectors, project managers and other stakeholders needed access to drawings in the field and ideally robust mobile data collection features. Our customers wanted the ability to interact, markup and collect data using these drawings on iOS and Android devices. For many of their engineering applications, they also need sub-meter or even centimeter-level accuracy for collecting precise points, lines, polygons features. Without a modern, mobile platform, many customers continued to struggle with field productivity due to labor-intensive, paper-based workflows or outdated handheld devices.
Since TerraGo Edge was designed to be an open solution, this means the great features we offer our GIS customers, such as RTK precision (paired with Trimble R2 or other industry-leading GNSS devices), custom smart forms and more, can also be extended to CAD users. This wouldn’t be possible if using a GIS data collector tethered to a particular vendor platform, which is one reason many customers with multiple enterprise platforms choose to deploy TerraGo Edge. In fact, many customers are utilizing TerraGo Edge to update both systems, such as ArcGIS ® and Bentley Microstation ®, with one data collection cycle.
TerraGo Edge provides a number of file-based (GeoPDF, GeoTIFF, shapefiles, KML, etc.) and API methods (WFS, REST API, etc.) for exporting data from CAD platforms into Edge, and then exporting data back to update the CAD database. Furthermore, for files or CAD archives that lack geo-referenced information, TerraGo Composer helps users easily convert paper, flat images, PDF or just about any static CAD drawing to a geo-registered GeoPDF for use as a mobile basemap. Today, thousands of field workers can easily access CAD drawings as basemaps, collect field data at centimeter-level accuracy, and collaborate with other crew members and HQ in real-time.
"ArcGIS is great, but not everyone has the software or the training to effectively use it. By complementing our ArcGIS work with TerraGo GeoPDF, we are able to easily share our GIS information, along with lightweight GIS features like layer control, measurements and markups, while providing a forum for sharing feedback with everyone, whether they have ArcGIS or not. The nice thing for the end user is that it’s all accessed with free, universally available software in Adobe Reader." - James Cokinos, GIS coordinator and geologist for Multi-Physics at CGG. Learn More.
GIS professionals create amazingly detailed, accurate, cartographic quality information that can be visualized and analyzed in any number of ways to model complex problems, perform “what if” scenarios, identify hidden patterns and answer questions in ways not possible without GIS.
Yet many organizations are still sharing all that rich GIS information as paper maps or flat images in a PowerPoint, so a lot of that intelligence gets lost on the way to the GIS department’s most important stakeholders.
In most cases, it’s simply not practical to purchase GIS software for every employee or train every end user to use it effectively. But there is a better way. And we call it GIS-Lite. GIS-Lite is a simple, but incredibly important concept for our customers with GIS. With GIS-Lite, you can create an interactive GeoPDF map that is a free, self-contained, lightweight GIS application for users without any specialized software or training.
This means your GIS work is more accessible and more valuable – to more users. And all those end users can interact with it using lightweight GIS tools, for free. Now that’s a win-win.
""The relative cost savings over traditional GPS gear were 70%, from over $10,000 to around $3,000; but the biggest savings was in productivity, especially the time spent processing and entering data. With the exact same project two years ago, we had to manually upload and post-field process data. TerraGo Edge easily saved us four hours per day that we previously had to spend processing data." -Michael Archer, Project Manager at Kleinfelder, a leading provider of surveying, environmental and engineering services. Learn More.
TerraGo survey and mapping solutions are helping organizations in every industry replace expensive, proprietary GPS handhelds and outdated software with a modern mobile solution that delivers dramatic cost and productivity improvements.
There may have been a time when it made sense to spend $10,000 or more to put a GPS handheld device in each of your field workers' hands. But with many already owning Apple and Android devices with built-in GPS, you no longer need to spend that much money on "one-size-fits-all" survey equipment anymore.
Organizations have unique requirements when it comes to accuracy levels (from cm-5m) and operating environments (from dense forest canopy to narrow urban corridors). Some organization’s needs are met with the on-board GPS of their employee’s iPhones, iPads or Android devices. Others need real-time centimeter accuracy from a GPS receiver seamlessly connected via Bluetooth to their mobile phones and tablets. Many organizations could save thousands of dollars by leveraging mobile devices to meet their accuracy needs, instead of spending their budgets on overpriced proprietary GPS handhelds.
With TerraGo Edge, organizations have the flexibility to choose among on-board GPS and compatible GPS receivers that meet their accuracy, operations and budget needs. They can even mix and match receivers among different types of users to give each employee exactly what they need – and nothing more. Long gone are the days when the accuracy requirement meant being locked-in to GPS handhelds with their exorbitant costs, outdated operating systems, post-processing software, proprietary data and downright embarrassing hardware, processor and memory performance.
TerraGo Edge works with all the leading survey-grade GPS receivers, including the latest Bluetooth-enabled line of Trimble ® GNSS units, to meet your needs at a fraction of the cost of proprietary handhelds.