Category Archives: Autumn 2021

A word from the boss

Welcome to our Autumn newsletter for 2021!

Repeatable Activities to capture data and automate processes

In this edition, we are excited to release X-Info Connect version 6.0, share APA Groups client success story, introduce some new Wantoks who have joined the Mipela team recently, present another X-InFocus tech tip and update of our teams activities in connecting people with information.

To open I would like to introduce the following new team members, Sina Ebadi – Products Team Lead, Sam Liyanage – GIS Specialist, Matthew Favento – Software Engineer, Rob Collett – Solutions Specialist working on our X-Info DBYD Next Generation RSOTF project. It also gives me great pleasure to welcome our most recent new client Pipe Craft in Western Australia to the extended Mipela family.

The big news internally at Mipela this quarter is the release of our 2023 Strategic Plan, focused on the theme of Lifecycle and the three words to guide us in what we do day to day are Responsive, Repeatable, Reliable where  our success will be measured by simplifying how people work. I’ve seen the Technology World change so much over the last two decades and it will keep changing – we need to keep changing with it. Our ability to change is what we do and hence a lifecycle approach to process and data management is critical to meet these challenges. Our X-Info suite of solutions address how you standardise data, manage change, execute work processes, drive quality, and connect with stakeholders. Our lifecycle management approach to centralising technical information and keeping it up to date and accessible means knowledge workers can be more efficient and achieve higher levels of performance. If you would like to find out more, please reach out to our Client Success Team.

To close I would like to acknowledge two very special Wantoks who were equally worthy winners of the 2020 JUSTIN FIELKE WANTOK ANNUAL PRIDE AWARD for their huge impact across the business internally and externally with our clients. Adam Herbert has been with us for just over a year, Alana O’Connor over six years and I will note the first at Mipela to win this annual award a second time (last in 2016). Congratulations to you both, thank you for your significant contributions, living our values and leading by example!

From all the team at Mipela GeoSolutions, stay safe!

Hayden McDonald
Founder and Managing Director

Mipela delivers more efficiencies to APA Group

APA is a leading Australian energy infrastructure business. The company has been a client of Mipela since 2002 when X-Info DBYD suite was first implemented to initially protect its Queensland transmission pipelines. Since that time Mipela have worked closely with APA Group to automate many business processes including land, stakeholder and third party works management, safety management studies and of course Dial Before You Dig automated response system – to name just a few.

As Mipela continually develops and evolves its software, there are often opportunities to optimise and further automate existing business processes. This was the case in a recent project that was undertaken to reduce the large number of changesets and simplify the current workflows for all of APA Group’s National third party works and DBYD assessment processes using X-Info Connect Activities.

Mipela were able to provide APA Group with a proof of concept which assisted in getting early adoption of the proposed changes with key stakeholders and clear benefits realisation. During the project, an agile approach was taken to test for business process improvement and data management, contributing to a well run project and excellent outcomes for all involved.

“Searching encroachments now is much easier and intuitive for users. It has reduced workload for each team member by 1 to 1.5 hours a day,” said Rae Wood, Team Lead Infrastructure Protection Services. She added, “The time it previously took to process and manage DBYDs assessed as encroachments has significantly reduced, resulting in an average time savings of 37% for that assessment type.”

Manager Infrastructure Protection, Engineering and Planning, Ross Larsen said, “This was a well run project that has delivered great results for APA Group”.

Helping protect Queensland assets is at the tip of your fingers

Earlier this year, Dial Before You Dig Queensland, in conjunction with Construction Skills Queensland, delivered a new safety initiative for its Queensland Dial Before You Dig members. This initiative, called the Infrastructure Damage Incident Gateway (IDIG) is a data capture and benchmark reporting tool aimed at quantifying asset damage to its members.

IDIG is a tool that enables users to submit asset damage information for analysis and reporting purposes, allowing this information to provide important focus on minimising future damage. The aim of IDIG is to reduce damage to infrastructure assets through proactively providing a clear focus for targeted damage prevention campaigns.

IDIG has several user interfaces, based on what, where and how a user wants to access the system. For field workers there is a mobile app that can capture damage and associated information such as photos, video, or GPS locations or a browser based portal that can also be used on any device – in the field or in the office. IDIG can also work in areas with no internet connectivity, cleverly caching data on the device and automatically sending it through as soon as the user returns to connectivity.

Under the hood IDIG sits on Mipela’s X-Info Suite software, delivering an easy to use and intuitive user experience. The configuration of this solution is similar to the Australian Pipeline and Gas Associations’ Pipeline Incident Database and the Australian Association of Dial Before You Dig Services’ Infrastructure Damage Reporting System but it takes it to the next level with its mobile data capture app.

“The team at Mipela were instrumental in providing valuable experience to support the development of this solution,” said Dial Before You Dig Queensland’s Utility Liaison Officer, Alison Sharkey. “This secure system is flexible in how it can be used and allows our Queensland Dial Before You Dig members to have a strong grasp on any damage reporting. IDIG is aimed at providing greater awareness, workplace health and safety and benchmarking to provide better damage prevention outcomes”.

IDIG is available to all DBYD Queensland members at no cost. For more information please contact Alison Sharkey from Dial Before You Dig Queensland directly.

What’s new – product update

X-Info Connect and X-Info WebConnect version 6.0

Mipela GeoSolutions is proud to release version 6.0 of X-Info Connect and X-Info WebConnect. This exciting release provides the ability to search, view and update data spatially with the introduction of the Map Component.

The new map component means users can search for data and display results in a map, providing a simplified approach for viewing and updating data. Users can see where objects exist and use associated data to assist with daily activities.

Users are offered a range of functions within the map, such as:

  • Navigation – zooming, panning and selection of data selection between a list and a map
  • Querying – Users have the ability to hover, measure, show information and open objects for more detail or even click on links to other sources in the search lists
  • Layer Control – users can turn layers on/off and zoom to a particular layer
  • Searching – is available in three ways – an Address Search, searching within the Map Activity and searching for data in other layers in the map
  • Updating Data – data can be updated on the internal features within the map and geometry can be added for certain map layers.

The map component also means data from external sources can be used within the map, such as such as ESRI Rest Services, Shape and TAB files, Post GIS, WMS, WFS, SQL Server, Spatialite and others. This provides tools for users to view and query information from a selection of spatial data for improved decision making.

Tips and tricks

Q1: How does the email drag and drop function work?

A1: Emails can be dragged from a Microsoft Outlook Client and dropped into the Communications tab for a Project or Linked Entity to automatically create a new communication or a follow up communication. This feature is only available in X-Info Connect client software version 5.1.3 and above.

Here’s how it works:

  • Firstly click on the Communication tab for the Project or Linked Entity within X-Info Connect
  • In Microsoft Outlook, select the email (or multi-select if required)
  • Drag the email into the Communications Summary window and drop
  • The email will be added as a new communication.

Q2: I’ve just tried to enter the URL for X-Info WebConnect OR X-Info Maps but it’s not working.  How do I fix it?

A2: Check the URL. As part of our ongoing process improvement strategy, we have implemented changes over the last year.

  • The website address may have changed from http to https, which is a secure protocol. The transition to https has been introduced as an additional security measure.
  • In preparation for the upcoming release of the DBYD Referral Service of the Future by the Australian Association Dial Before You Dig Service, X-Info Maps and X-Info DBYD suite clients’ URLs are being progressively updated and personalised. All clients will receive communications from Mipela regarding this as they are changed. We will always send notifications to business owners regarding changes of this nature, however sometimes not all users are made aware, or forget about the changes.

Q3: Does X-Info software support GDA2020?

A3: X-Info Maps version 6.0 now supports datasets with 2020 projections such as GDA2020 to align with the new continent-fixed datum, bringing the coordinates of Australia’s mapped features back into line with global systems.

If you would like further information or assistance, please contact the Mipela Support Team at support@mipela.com.au.

X-Info DBYD suite portal is now rolling out the door

We have been firing out new feature releases regularly, but this one is fast becoming a favourite for X-Info DBYD suite clients who were first in on this gem.

X-Info DBYD suite portal is a new browser based user interface that provides users with a simple to use, intuitive access to their DBYD enquiry information in real-time. It now also offers a wider variety of reporting and contextual activities for users to capture and store email, phone call and meeting based communications associated with any enquiry.

There is also a new intuitive manual response processing workflow and the option to add a Permit Management System and integrate a mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware, to provide end to end workflows to support asset owners that want to manage their incoming enquirers and reinstatements after ground has been broken.

The new X-Info DBYD suite portal will enable a larger groups of users in your organisation to access information on ground breaking activities that are happening in your area of registered interest.

For our traditional X-Info Map software fans, you can still access X-Info Maps – that hasn’t changed!

Upgrading to the portal has commenced. If you would like to have access to this new interface and have not yet spoken with us, please call Jacqueline Button on 0422 223 033.

Staff updates

As we’re kicking off a few major projects in 2021, we have had a few new starters join the Mipela team this quarter.

Sina Ebadi – Products Team Lead

Sina joins us as Products Team Leader, replacing of Simon Bobeldyk who after 9 years with Mipela, is now off to Travel Australia. Sina is a Software Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in Software Development. He studied Software Engineering at the Bahai Institute for Higher Education – an underground University for Bahai’s who had no access to higher education in Iran, a degree that is recognized all over the world.

He undertook a range of roles in Tehran, Iran including Team Leader and Solution Architect in the Software Engineering & Geography industry before moving to Australia in 2014 to complete his MBA with Bond University. With a wealth of knowledge, Sina will play a key role in helping Mipela to deliver more innovative and robust solutions to our clients.

Outside of work, Sina is a devoted husband and father to his two daughters (aged 2 and 4) and has a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence and fixing luxury Mercedes Benz Electronics and Computer parts.

Robert Collett – Solution Specialist

Robert joins Mipela as a Solutions Specialist, hitting the ground running as part of Mipela’s Dial Before You Dig project team. After completing a Bachelor Economics and IT at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Robert spent four years as a Business Analyst for Zarraffa’s Coffee where he also got to undergo Barista Training – a skill well utilised in the Mipela office. He tells us the secret to a great latte is in how much air you put in the milk.

Outside of work  Rob enjoys watching sports (NRL, Gridiron and NBA) and taking day nature trips with his wife and their miniature fox terrier. Rob says he used to be a terrible public speaker, however managed to combat the fear with the help of watching comedians and learnt it’s always possible to overcome your worst fears – a great reminder to all of us to try something new, even if it scares you!

Sam Liyanage

Sam recently joined us a GIS Specialist to assist with a client project.

Whilst completing his University studies, Sam worked part time for Moreton Regional Council as a GIS Officer, turning to full time once he had completed his studies.

Pre Covid – you would find him four wheel driving. Though, when asked of his special talents, he said. “Do you count breaking things on my car as a talent?”

A notable achievement for Sam was purchasing his very first home with his fiancé and two dogs at only 21 years of age!

Matthew Favento – Software Engineer

Matthew Favento joins the Mipela team as our newest Software Engineer.

Previously Matthew has worked for a real estate valuation software company and has most recently spent some time freelancing.

When he’s not developing software, you’ll find him keeping fit with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or going to gigs and making beats. He recognises that the ability to constantly listen to music while he works is a big perk of working as a developer.

Something GISsy

Imagery Resolution: Detection, Recognition and Identification

GIS users often use imagery to capture data. Most users are familiar with the spatial resolution of a sensor being defined by a measure called GSD (Ground Spatial Distance) or pixel size, eg. 50cm resolution is better than 1m resolution. 50cm is considered “higher resolution” as more detail is visible.

However there are other terms used in remote sensing that users should be aware of – specifically Recognition and Identification.

Consider the low resolution image to the right. Not really useful, we could conclude there is something “Red”.

Detection = red object

 

Increasing the resolution we can now conclude that this is a red motor vehicle.

Recognition = red vehicle

We cannot tell if this is a ute or sedan so Identification is not possible yet.

Increasing the resolution further we can see that this is a red sedan.

Identification = red sedan

 

 

As resolution improves cost goes up, so it is important to determine the purpose of the imagery Identification versus Recognition. In the above examples above do we need to count cars in the carpark (Recognition) or do we need to know what type of vehicle they are (Identification)?

Guidelines for Detection, Recognition and Identification

Detection = object size/3 = GSD – eg. car 5m/3 = 1.5 – 1.6m GSD required to Detect

Recognition = object size/10 = GSD – eg. car 5m/10 = 0.4 – 0.5m GSD required to recognise

Identification = object size/21 = GSD – eg. car 5m/21 = 0.1 – 0.2m GSD required to identify