How do you start with real-time GIS and IoT?


Real-time GIS, Smartcities, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and smart technologies are just a few buzzwords that everyone is talking about nowadays. Real-time GIS is hot within the Geo-ICT world, but what can we do with it in practice? And, more important, how do you make a start within your own organization?


A revealing example of the successful application of IoT and GIS is the implementation of leakage detection in the water network of the city of Olds in Canada. Thanks to the application of leakage-detection sensors, this city saved money, less water was lost, and capacity increases on its current (increasingly obsolete) were identified, so that expensive infrastructure upgrades were not necessary for the time being. In the first six months alone, 21 leaks were detected and water lost was reduced by 10%.

In the Netherlands, water companies are also working on innovations in the field of real-time GIS; for example, Vitens has already tested various sensors with “staged” leaks.

Sensor technology

The rapid developments in sensor technology and the rollout of LoRa, a new type of technology that can connect devices to the internet from long distances, make it possible to measure and share more than ever before. GeoNovum started a Living Lab for the Internet of Everything last year, to find answers to questions that play a role in the integration of these developments in the national Geo-information infrastructure.

Start small

All the terms associated with technology can seem complicated and overwhelming. With the Internet of Things, people tend to think big and complex. This creates unnecessary barriers. It doesn't have to be “big” — because big can be scary. Keep it simple, as Microsoft says: start small, start with the Internet of Your Things. See what is important for your organization. Start by linking existing devices, services, applications, and use data that already exists. 


And then? How does my IoT sensor data come to life on the map, how do I get an overview? The Esri platform offers excellent tools to make the connection between the Internet of Your Things (sensors, data, people) and GIS, in order to achieve a real-time GIS. With the GeoEvent Extension for ArcGIS for Server, you can connect to all kinds of data streams, including GPS devices in vehicles, mobile devices and social media providers. In addition, there are many connectors available in the cloud or that you can develop yourself. Esri continues to develop its functionality to support real-time GIS more and more professionally. For example, did you know that since release 10.3, GeoEvent Processor has been renamed to GeoEvent Extension and is therefore fully integrated into ArcGIS for Server? As a result, since version 10.3 forward, issues such as integrated security, clustering and high availability are also available to GeoEvent at the same level that you were familiar with from ArcGIS for Server.

Esri also offers a range of out-of-the-box solutions — for example, for utilities — such as a SCADA processor for water companies.


Are you already investigating the possibilities of real-time GIS for your organization?

Do you already know how real-time GIS can add value to your organization?

Get started and discover how the use of real-time GIS can support you in achieving your business objectives.

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