GE
Energy




Usability of GI for Utility Field
Workers
                          Phil Robinson
Product Overview

• GE is a provider of field solutions for utilities
  with its Mapframe product line
  – Routing, Inspec...
Electronic Data – Usability Issues

• Accuracy in position and content
• Up to date
• Quality of layout
  – But relatively...
Simplicity




                                                           4
             Usability of GI for Utility Field...
Simplicity

• Traditional approaches
  – Theme control, visibility, whitespace management etc
• But very important is simp...
Operational Context in the Product
Line
• The Mapframe product line includes…
  –   FieldSmart View
  –   FieldSmart Route...
“Demographics”




                                                               7
                 Usability of GI for U...
“Demographics”

• Often the users of geographic data in utilities
  are not “computer” users
  – Their paradigm is the pap...
Geospatial Solutions as Commodity




                                                                        9
          ...
What is the Common Understanding?

• The advent of “commodity” GI translates to
  generic concepts
  – Pushpins, transpare...
New Technology

• Tablet devices the next big thing
  – Helps with real estate but other issues for the field worker
• Hig...
Thank you for your attention!
        Questions?




                                                                   12...
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Usability of GI for utility field workers

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Philip Robinson's presentation in the 2nd Workdshop on usability of geographic information, 23rd March 2010 at UCL, London. See details at http://www.virart.nottingham.ac.uk/GI%20Usability/index.html

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Usability of GI for utility field workers

  1. 1. GE Energy Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers Phil Robinson
  2. 2. Product Overview • GE is a provider of field solutions for utilities with its Mapframe product line – Routing, Inspections, Storm Damage Assessment, Vegetation Management, Design in the Field • We also provide complementary back office solutions with our Smallworld product line – Data quality, reporting, design • Ruggedised laptops, typically used in vans • Also PDAs 2 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  3. 3. Electronic Data – Usability Issues • Accuracy in position and content • Up to date • Quality of layout – But relatively low resolution • Single biggest issue in the field is screen “real estate” – Lots of movement on the screen (pan, zoom) • Simplicity of presentation and processes is highly valued 3 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  4. 4. Simplicity 4 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  5. 5. Simplicity • Traditional approaches – Theme control, visibility, whitespace management etc • But very important is simplicity through context – What are you trying to do? – How does this data support you in doing it? • Fundamental in the holistic user interface design – The UI guides the user through the map data – Theme control supports the user context 5 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  6. 6. Operational Context in the Product Line • The Mapframe product line includes… – FieldSmart View – FieldSmart Route – FieldSmart Sketch – FieldSmart Inspect – FieldSmart Design – Etc • These products are designed to solve specific problems – Much of the context is embedded in their UI design and process support 6 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  7. 7. “Demographics” 7 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  8. 8. “Demographics” • Often the users of geographic data in utilities are not “computer” users – Their paradigm is the paper map • There is a tension between those who are used to computers and those who aren’t • But more and more users are familiar with the computing paradigm – How will we exploit that in the future? 8 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  9. 9. Geospatial Solutions as Commodity 9 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  10. 10. What is the Common Understanding? • The advent of “commodity” GI translates to generic concepts – Pushpins, transparent callouts, one line search • Shared symbology is very rare in utilities – Sometimes even within utilities • Gestures seem more natural but to whom? 10 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  11. 11. New Technology • Tablet devices the next big thing – Helps with real estate but other issues for the field worker • Higher resolution, lighter screen technology – OLTP, digital ink • Augmented Reality starting to become usable – Cf Street View – next evolution 11 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010
  12. 12. Thank you for your attention! Questions? 12 Usability of GI for Utility Field Workers - Phil Robinson 3/27/2010

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