Broadband in South Africa

Broadband in South Africa

Whether it is mobile or fixed broadband services, consumers are demanding cheaper and faster speeds. Consumers have become brand agnostic and have become data hungry.

How do you differentiate yourself from your customer? Better services, faster speeds and rapid deployment of broadband services. This requires huge capital expenditure and exploring unknown markets.

Esri South Africa have helped our customers in the rapid build and design of their networks using the ArcGIS Platform. Using mobile applications our customers can update, capture and report on their network. This has changed the way in which our clients operate; instead of using paper based maps, our clients are enabled to manage their network from the field. With the introduction of BYOD, it helps organizations reduce hardware expenses.

Our mobile applications have enabled our clients to engage directly with the client by means of integrating CRM’s and allows the rapid deployment of their sales force into the field.

Esri helps you answer the question of “where” and solve problems. You transform your telecommunication company provide better service via your network assurance team, plan and build team and sales team. Esri provides a complete system that allows you to integrate disparate data, access and update information from the office or the field, and maintain a real-time view of all operations. More than maps and applications, Esri gives you the location analytics you need to save time, lower costs, and satisfy customers.

fibre_editing

Mathematically Verifying South African ID Numbers with Survey123

This blog post describes how South African ID numbers can be verified mathematically in Survey123. South African ID numbers have the following format:

{YYMMDD}{G}{SSS}{C}{A}{Z}

YYMMDD : Date of birth.
G  : Gender. 0-4 Female; 5-9 Male.
SSS  : Sequence No. for DOB/G combination.
C  : Citizenship. 0 SA; 1 Other.
A  : Usually 8, or 9
Z  : Control digit

The most challenging part of verifying the ID number is the control digit which is calculated by using the Luhn algorithm – this will be the focus of this blog post.

The best way to tackle complex mathematical functions in Survey123 is to break it up into separate mathematical calculations and using calculated fields:

The check digit is the last digit of the SA ID number so it can be retrieved with the following function: substr(${idnr}, string-length(${idnr}) – 1, string-length(${idnr})) where ${idnr} refers to the captured ID number.

Once you have an understanding of the substr() function the rest of the calculations used to verify the ID number is pretty much straight forward.

The survey’s XLSForm file can be found here (and can be freely used): XLSForm for SA ID Number verification

  1. Copy the file to your downloads folder
  2. Open Survey123 Connect
  3. Create a New Survey and base it on an existing file
  4. Choose the Excel file that you have downloaded
  5. Your survey will be generated

Notes:

  1. The SA ID Number does not indicate if a user was born in 19yy or 20yy so both options are catered for – with a logic test to see if the birth date is in the future (age not greater than zero)
  2. Race is no longer indicated in the SA ID Number

Esri Field Mobility

Maintaining field assets such as roads or fire hydrants, requires engineers and managers to know what condition these assets are in. After all, prevention is better than cure and fixing problems is much more time consuming and expensive than just keeping all assets serviced and in good working condition.

Many organizations rely on a field workforce to support these daily operations. Having the capability to get information into and out of the field in a timely manner can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Information collected in the field using easy-to-use solutions can share information with solutions including the executive operational dashboard in near real-time allowing decision-makers within an organization to make more informed and timely decisions. These mobile solutions can also improve the workflows of field personnel by providing them with on-demand access to actionable and task-relevant information creating a more efficient and effective workforce.

In a scenario where the data already resides in a geodatabase, how can office staff or dispatchers send out staff to the field to inspect and evaluate the condition of an asset easily and quickly and ideally without a paper trail?

Simply put, the workflow can be streamlined with the use of Workforce for ArcGIS in conjunction with Collector for ArcGIS.

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Workforce for ArcGIS: Creating an Assignment

With Workforce for ArcGIS, office staff can manage the deployment of all field crews by assigning jobs to each individually and monitoring their progress and position in real time.

Creating an assignment on the Workforce for ArcGIS web app allows for the dispatcher to:

  • Choose the assignment Type
  • Set the location of assignment (Address or   coordinate)
  • Choose the staff member
  • Set Priority of assignment
  • Set the due date/time for completion
  • Description of assignment/task
  • Attach files for use by the field staff such as images or technical drawings.

Assignments are sent to the field worker via an internet connection to their mobile phones or tablets, running on Android, iOS or Windows 10.

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Once the assignment has been created, the user in the field can choose to accept or decline the assignment, all of which will notify the dispatcher in the office.

When an assignment has been accepted and “Start” is chosen, the field user will access the details of the job as well as be able to access the applications used to both navigate to the location  or capture the data.

 

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Navigating between Workforce for ArcGIS and Collector for ArcGIS on a mobile device

The user will choose the Collect option at the top-right in order for the hydrants to show on a map. Using Collector for ArcGIS allows for the user to access the existing feature where it’s properties can be altered.

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Collector for ArcGIS: Feature attributes
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Collector for ArcGIS: Editing feature attributes

Once a hydrant is selected, all it’s relevant data is displayed and ready to be edited, if required.

And when the inspection is complete, the tick at the top-left is selected, which will sync the data from the mobile device with the data source, keeping in mind that an internet connection is required.

Lastly, the applications will switch back to the Workforce for ArcGIS, where the field worker will select the “Finish” option, notifying the dispatcher of the assignments completion.

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Collector and Survey123 for ArcGIS are also capable of capturing new features with the same workflow and do not require internet access though the location (GPS) has to be switched ON, on the mobile device.

Capturing data in the field has never been easier!

Three Steps to Asset Management with ArcGIS Online and Collector

Three quick steps to do Asset Management with Collector and ArcGIS Online:

Step 1 (ArcMap) – Authoring your feature classes and tables:

What you need: ArcMap and an ArcGIS Online Organizational Account

  • Create a database in ArcMap
  • Create a (point) Feature Class to store your Assets
  • Create a Table to store your Assets’ Condition Assessments
  • Create a Table to store Maintenance Tasks associated with your Assets
  • Link them all together with Relationship Classes to create a 1:M link between Assets and Assessments and Assets and Maintenance Tasks

ArcMap Asset Management FCs

  • Add the Asset Feature Class and the two related tables to a map document and publish it as a service to your ArcGIS Online account

Step 2 (ArcGIS Online) – Authoring your Web Map for use in Collector:

What you need: An ArcGIS Online Organizational Account

  • Create a new Map in AGOL and add your newly created Asset Management service to it
  • Add a basemap of your choice to your Map
  • Save your Map

Step 3 (Collector) – Deploying your Asset Management application:

What you need: An iPhone or Android phone with the Collector for ArcGIS Application installed

  • Start Collector and log in with your AGOL credentials
  • Open the Map created in Step 2
  • Start performing your Asset Management tasks!

Collector 1

For some additional images relating to this post – please see here: Asset Management Images

Homework for the avid reader:

  • Add a Tracking Layer for Field Workers to the AGOL Web Map
  • Install ArcGIS Operations Dashboard
  • Create a Dashboard that monitors real-time field activities such as Field Worker positions, Assets that require maintenance etc

OPS Dashboard