As promised in Part 1 of this AGOL series and a little overdue (a month between updates is pretty good, right? Wouldn't want to overwhelm you with all this mindblowing blogging), I now deliver to you, the uninterested and possibily nonexistent reader, the grand Utility Approach. This post will discuss three ways an industry could apply AGOL for their organization, focusing in particular on an organization I interned for this past year. Although this distinct case might not be an example of what I was blabbering about in Part 1.
But first, a little background to set the mood! I've thankfully had great success snagging internships and GIS experience (one might say I'm an internship hoarder?) - it just so happens that the majority of those experiences have been utility related, both electric and stormwater. Summer before last I worked with a Property Owners Association on an island in South Cackalacki (Carolina, for all you who aren't from 'round here) doing stormwater management. Unlike previous utilities I've worked with, their GIS department was not strongly supported and their workflows had a lot of the "learn as you go" practices. Although we did implement AGOL in inspections and sharing maps with other regimes on the island, I'd like to visit the land of Woulda Shoulda Coulda if we'd known the capabilities of an AGOL account. In an attempt to keep it somewhat organized, I'm going to focus on three factors - if I venture off course, please find it in your heart of hearts to forgive me. I get easily distracted sometimes.
MAINTENANCE INSPECTION WORKFLOW
STOP, COLLABORATE, AND LIST (BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS)
Although I know this was probably a longer read than you're expecting, feel blessed because halfway through I realized there is just so much about this approach to GIS that would convince you to use it if you only knew! I didn't want to bore you with a novel so I tried to stick to a Reader's Digest instead. All in all though, and that aside, I hope you were able to get the underlying theme here - That being workflows, although they work (hence the name), can often be outdated or even could just have some room for improvement. In the Woulda Coulda Shoulda world, this would be a fantastic approach. Although it may not be for everyone and by no means is going to fix everything, I believe it's something to consider to both move forward with the products you create as well as to expand the ways you may be able to use someone on your team who was formerly underutilized. Growth opportunities for all the people!
Meet the Mastermind
Technical Writer Extraordinaire. Cartographer and Art Lover. Hater of fragmented sentences.