Using GIS & GPS for AMRMeter Collection:Workflow Strategies andLessons LearnedDerrick LarkGIS SpecialistCharleston Water System
What is AMR? - Automatic Meter Reader• AMR uses small radiotransmitter attached to themeter register• Consumption data modulatedthrough the Meter Interface Unit(MIU), transmitted via battery-powered antenna• Collect readings via handheldreceiver or a laptop computer ina moving vehicle• Typical AMR Metero Cost: $200 + Laboro Time: 30 Min to Retrofit• Passive system - handheld orlaptop receiver triggers meterto send dataAntennaRegister MIUVehicular DataAcquisition
Why We Chose AMR...• 1 Reduce Operating Expenses• 2 Increase Reader Safety• Aging workforce - re-allocatereaders• 17 - 11 Meter Staff reduction• Reduction in associated cost ofpositions• Vehicles, Fuel, Uniforms,Supplies• Reduce time spent on roads• Reduce ergo-injuries - repetitive bending,etc...
Why We Chose AMR...3 Improve Reading Efficiency• 60,000 Traditional Customers• 350-450 /day• 3500-4000 /day10:1 Overall Improvement• 49,000 AMR Customers• 99% Consistency Reading• Usually 99.3% - 99.5%• Read or No Read• AMR does not transmit false reads• Malfunction signals
AMR DistributionWest AshleyRed TopHollywoodRavenelMeggettJames Island• Delineated by waterDaniel Island• Centralize service & repairs• Future funding indefiniteGeographically Aligned• Distinguish AMR from Manual Rts.
Funding for 2002-03AMR Pilot; Returns A+results2005-06 AMR Deployment -1st Wave by vendor2006-07 AMR Deployment - 2ndWave Begins: GPS capture byalternate vendor2006 Poor GPS Captureof 1st Wave2008 GIS begins 1st WaveAMR via GPS2009 WD-GIS begins monthly AMRcapture for new accounts2008 - 11 Retroactivecapture continues byGIS Dept.2011 Fixed AMR Pilot beginsA Brief History…
• 13,000+ AMR installations - A+• GPS meter capture - Not So Hot• Subcontracted,, RecreationalGrade GPS• No Unique ID - Meter No. only• GIS Dept. not utilized2006 Deployment Problems
• GIS stresses need of accurate AMR locations:•More Customers, More AMRs• CWS specifies AMR mapping as a CBA :•(Time/Money)• GIS forms 2-prong plan with help :•IT• Water Distribution•Customer Service2007 Recapture Plan
CSS Data Extraction• List of AMR Routes in 1st Wave• Data dump of customers per route• Static list - Prior/On 11-01-08• Key Attributes from Account• REGISTER NUMBER• Unique Identifier for location• TMS/PID#• Street Address• Meter No.• Meter Location• Read Sequence
• Create pGDB, Feature Classes, etc..• Import/Edit structure of DBF tables• Create geocoding service in ArcCatalog• Default geocoding parameters used• 60%-80% matched @ score 75 or better• Clip and Save ResultsGeocode b/o TMS#
• Edit geocoding service in ArcCatalog• Keep default parameters used; MatchCutsomer:Address to Parcel:ADDR• 55%-75% matched @ score 75 orbetter – Clip and Save ResultsGeocode b/o AddressCombined Geocode• Combine 2 Clips together, Check meter totals, Review Unmatched & Ties• Combined Geocode usually achieves 80-85% fully matched totals @ 75% orhigher
• Review Ties:• Irrigation Meters – Query , Select, Movefrom underneath• Apartment Complex Meters - Stacked,Seperate in ArcMapReview,Re-Match,Special Situations• Review Unmatched:• Match all unmatched geocoded records• Put Somewhere! - Easier to query andmove in field• HOA meters, Industrial sites• Visually Inspect - Look for outliers• Change geocode metrics if needed
• Choose only fields needed to find meter -Strip all unnecessary fields• Little Things Mean a Lot:• [Meter No] as String• Field_Date - When was I there?• Field _Notes - Vicious Dog!• Subtypes:• Skipped - Yes/No- Indicate why inField_Notes• Recapture - Failed accuracy standard,Capture again• VRS - Yes/No- Utilize Real-Time SingleBase?Streamline Data for Field
Field Software• Trimble GPS Analyst / ArcPad workflow• Easy to Use, Off the Shelf• Easy to customize• pGDB format, GPS-enable• Projections-Transformation (Choose Wisely...)• AEA/WEA accuracy Fields - 2’ chosen• Accuracy specific for each feature• Great Help - Duncan Parnell – Drouillard / Rettaliata• M. Wellslager – SC Geodetic – Single Base Set-Up
Field Hardware• Trimble GeoXH (2005/2008)• Trimble Hurricane Antenna L1• Antenna Rod (Fixed vs. Extend-able)• Bipod• Laser Range Finder• Verizon Mi-Fi - RT Single BaseSolution• Meter Equipment• Mag-Locator,• Two-Way Radio,• Probe,• Pump, Tape-Measure• Drivers, Shovels, Etc...
• pGDB Check-out + Support Data(Parcels, Mains, Streets)• Commute - Plan Ahead• Arrival, Set-up GPS• Locate & Capture meter(Register No. not in box)• Check Meter No, MIU No.• Check Address• Check Attributes(Written Description)• 20-30 GPS positions to averageTypical Day - Target your Capture Area
Typical Problems - Plan for them• No GPS Signal• Urban Canyon, Tree Canopy• Meter in bad position - Bldg. Edge• Physical Barrier - Fence• Dangerous Location• Obscured• Other Utilities• Lanscaping• Capture by Laser or Manual Offsetting
Typical Problems - Plan for them• Cant Find Meter• Mag. Detector• Probe & Shovel• Sunken Meter, Dig?, Be Careful• "MetaData"• Meter Loc. from Attrubutes (Txt)• As-Builts (Paper)• CAD (Digital)• Meter Reader knowledge• Time Management: ~ 10 Min. per house,then move on
Typical Problems - Plan for them• Cant Find Parcel or Address• Bad Address or TMS#• No Historical Info• "Meta-GIS" -• Local/County GIS Website– Use Other Utilities GIS (Electrical)– Data sharing agreements• Contact customer• Google, gEarth• Zillo, local MLS service, , Bldg. Permits!• Infer between two read-sequencenumbers
Other Considerations• Many Structures, Many Services:1 large parcel• Mobile Home Lots,• Apartments, Insustrial• Family Lots• Dont assume• Check attributes w/ visualevidence• Skip if necessary• Help from Customer Service/MeterReading Dept.• Long Distances between addresses
Back in the office• Overwrite check-out folder with field edits• Check-In folder with filed edits to pGDB• Differentially Correct• Review Accuracy• Check for errors (duplicates, deletes)• Save Data!, Save Data!,• Back-Up!, Back-Up!• Plan for next dayTime Manage!
Project Close-Out• Review accuracies, Meet Standard?• Review• Skipped• Cant Finds• Additions, Deletions• Accounted for in final total?• Simple join to ORIGINAL customer table• Join on Register Number, Sort Table• Additions/Deletions are noticeable• Check for duplicates (ArcScripts)• Create: Table, Report – Billable for next year!• Buried, Not Found – GIS, Meter Ops, Depts.• Post data to Server, SDE
Benefits of in House Collection:• Get to know YOUR:• Service Area• Customers• Equipment• Skills, Opp’s for improvement• Other Department Stakeholders• Builds trust and reliability in your GIS• Learn other workflows• Kick-start New Ideas, Innovation, CoolStuff!!
Ideas for me? – My ears are open• Extend ArcServer to mobile device?• Keep subfoot accuracy ?• Leverage Mi-Fi more?• Keep DC-PP as back up?• Tablet PC for screen real estate?• User friendly for Non-GIS staff?• Still incorporate LRF?• AMR product suites with GPS• +/- Incorporate with GIS?Thank You!