One of Mipela’s long standing clients, The City of Rockingham in Western Australia recently rolled out X-Info Plans Management to proactively manage the safe planting of more than 600 trees.
In July 2021 the City of Rockingham has successfully secured $66,000 in grant funding from the State Government’s Urban Canopy Grant program to plant more than 600 new trees across the community. The Urban Forest Canopy Program is delivered by the City of Rockingham with support from the Water Corporation and WALGA.
Planting trees requires breaking ground, which means the City needs to lodge a Dial Before You Dig enquiry for each location. Managing the incoming responses from these enquiries (on average 6 responses per enquiry) takes a lot of time, effort and coordination. The City, who also have used Mipela’s X-Info DBYD suite automated response system for several years, identified that X-Info Plans Management would simplify and automate this manual process of ensuring it was safe to plant the trees without damaging any underground assets or putting their staff at risk.
City of Rockingham Mayor, Deb Hamblin said, “These trees will be invaluable to the City’s green capital and will play a significant role in providing a green, liveable City for current and future generations. The 2021/2022 Urban Canopy Grant program focuses specifically on reducing the urban heat island effect and aims to create cooler corridors for community members to enjoy.”
The Dampier Bunbury Pipeline (DBP) is WA’s key gas transmission pipeline. DBP forms part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) portfolio, delivering gas to more than two million Australian homes and businesses.
DBP use X-Info Suite to help manage its Lands Management, Encroachments, Dial Before You Dig, AS 2885 Safety Management Studies (SMS) and Pipeline Integrity Data to assist in protecting its WA and NT assets (approx 3,700km of gas transmission pipelines).
With the introduction of Map Activities to X-Info Suite in 2021, DBP’s GIS Manager, John Quigley, saw an opportunity to significantly improve how they were using X-Info Suite to share more information in an intuitive and meaningful way to more people across the business. John worked with the Mipela team to configure Map Activities right across X-Info Suite, enabling data to be visually represented on interactive maps, allowing users to quickly drill down into the detail or associated documentation.
John recently sat down with the Mipela team to talk about how X-Info Suite is used across their business.
“We have a long history of recorded communications with land owners associated with the operation of the pipelines”, said John. “The vision of how GIS could additionally assist in data management of new gas pipelines started way back in 1995. We have been able to build off this and increase the use of GIS across the business to assist users in their daily work. With the new Map Activities functions, we are now able to offer users improved search capabilities, with overlays of the most current aerial imagery and associated spatial data with increased speed, panning and presentation capabilities”.
“We are now able to utilise Map Activities and create customised online maps for various users across the business including Lands (Landowners, Easements, Encroachments, Approvals, Cultural, Environment, Access Roads, Mining and Exploration Tenements), Third Party Works (DBYD, New Crossings, As-Built), Regulatory (Pipeline Licence, AS 2885 SMS), Cathodic Protection (ILI Weld and Pipe Features, Maintenance Dig-Ups, CP infrastructure, CP and DCVG surveys), Engineering (Pipes, Welds, NDT, Coating, Drawings linked to location, Depth of Cover), Pipeline Development and Commercial (Potential new pipeline routes), Travel (SPOT mapping) and New Projects (Alignment Sheets, Line Lists, QA/QC, Progress mapping, As-Built)”.
“The volume of data in X-Info Suite is significant – not only from a historical perspective – but we are adding more and more data to the system. Recently we added approximately 550,000 ILI weld and pipe features from our recent pigging campaign. Activities has now enabled us to provide users with a quick and efficient way of finding data they are seeking”.
“It is important we collect and analyse new pipeline construction data appropriately so we can support our team to fulfil the quality and pipeline integrity requirements of the project. All pipes, welds and associated data and infrastructure are managed with the assistance of Sentanil Systems Construction Management System. We have now the ability to use hyperlinks to show associated images, photos, weld x-rays and documents for pipelines (that reside in QDMS) at a spatial location in Map Activities. This is a great way to search for documents via its location”.
“Capturing and mapping cultural heritage information is an important part of our business. All registered cultural sites for WA and NT are mapped. This is an important aspect of designing the route for a new gas pipeline. For the operating pipelines, we have many people travelling up and down the right of way (ROW) so it is important that they are aware of where nearby sites are. By double clicking on a site on an interactive map in X-Info Suite, they can quickly drill down into the detail associated with the sites”.
“With more than 6,500 crossings across the pipeline network, including roads, rivers, railways, third party pipelines and assets, the AS2885 Safety Management Studies are all managed within the X-Info SMS suite connection. “This would be very difficult to manage without X-Info SMS suite,” mentioned John. “The new map activities capabilities have given us the ability to enhance our presentation of the database and associated mapping that is used during the AS 2885 workshops”.
Another example, John said, “We are currently working with our travel team to improve our mapping interface with remote travel. Our operations and project teams work in very remote areas. By integrating our SPOT GPS travel data into our existing spatial data in X-Info Suite, we can quickly overlay our pipelines, facilities, access roads towns and accommodation, and locate where our people are travelling in relation to these. GPS data from vehicles is downloaded into the GIS via the SPOT system every half an hour. Map Activities has enabled us to produce a searchable tool to assist our travel team in managing our people’s remote travel”.
“I’m really looking forward to setting up the new bulk email tool that Mipela recently released in X-Info Connect 6.3. We are increasingly using emails as an efficient form of communication with our landowners and other entities associated with the pipeline. For example, every time we fly for aerial surveillance of our pipelines and facilities, we send an aerial notification email to affected landowners and airports. Recently notifications have extended to CP surveys and dig-ups, ROW slashing and maintenance, and landowner visits. This new function will enable the process to be automated and give the ability to our Lands team to perform themselves”.
In summary John said, “Map Activities have really ramped things up for us. It allows the GIS data to be more and more utilised across the business. We have created Map Activities in X-Info Suite, based on roles and responsibilities, producing tailored maps and reports for those particular people and roles. We are seeing an increasing number of people across the business use GIS, and having quick and simple access to data and maps in the office and in the field is a key to this”.
Global wind energy company, Vestas, commenced using Mipela’s stakeholder management solutions for the Winterbourne Wind Farm project in New South Wales. Whilst this project moves through the permitting phase, Vestas relies on X-Info Suite for capturing stakeholder interactions, managing community engagement, and tracking contract payment obligations.
Vestas recently engaged Mipela to provide stakeholder management software for another development project, the Captains Mountain Wind Farm in South East Queensland. Work has also commenced to roll out more Mipela stakeholder management software for additional wind development projects.
Waterproofing Eastern Adelaide is being delivered by the Eastern Region Alliance (ERA); an alliance of the six councils in Metropolitan Adelaide’s eastern suburbs. The following three councils are directly involved in the planning and delivery of the project:
Easter Regional Alliance Water’s (ERA Water) 49 kilometre pipe network is reducing the reliance of potable water from the Murray River for irrigation.
ERA Water’s infrastructure captures storm water flowing down Third and Fourth creeks in Adelaide. This captured water goes through a treatment process and is stored during the winter months. In summer this stored and filtered water is distributed through the ERA Water pipe network to parks and reserves.
This drought proofs Adelaide’s eastern suburbs by supplying an alternate source of water supply to participating Councils and provides a cost effective alternate to SA Water.
We are proud at Mipela to care for and protect ERA Water’s pipe network with X-Info DBYD suite.
General Manager, Wally Iasiello said, “I was pleased with the support Mipela was able to provide in implementing an automated response system for our DBYD enquiries.”
More information on this interesting water conservation project can be found here.
Most GIS Specialists have heard the saying “90% of GIS users just want a map”. So keep it simple: assuming your data is good, and you understand the requirements to build a map. Now what? How do you get it to the user?
Ignoring paper (due to cost, environmental unfriendly), lets look at digital delivery. These days nearly all users have mobile phones. Internationally, mobile Internet traffic sits at 54%. In Australia this is lower at 39%.
Lets see what trends there are regarding internet searches:
Well, at least maps are useful (according to the 6,770 million search results shown above). We have confirmed our opening statement “90% of GIS Users just want a map”. The technology or delivery service is not important to the users – we just need to get the map to them.
So, what about using a mobile app? The Top 10 Apps by Download in 2020 (below) suggest that most users are more interested in Communication and Social media.
But looking at Travel Apps (below) we see Google Maps and Google Earth ranked at 2 + 3 respectively.
DELIVERY: Internet sites are ahead of mobile apps at this stage (6,778 million sites vs 88 million app downloads).
ACCESS : More and more users are using their mobiles, which can use apps and websites. Currently desktops require an emulator or mirroring software to use mobile apps. Microsoft has commenced development of an operating system (Windows 11) which has limited built in Android app support.
Keep it simple – get your maps out there!
ARTC is a vital part of the transport supply chain for Australia with a 8,500 km rail network across five states and working with rail operators to provide access to rail for business and producers across Australia.
Earlier this year, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) contacted Mipela to discuss automating their Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) responses.
Being a DBYD member, ARTC up until this point had been manually responding to each enquiry.
The business required a fast and reliable response system that directed all enquirers to seek authorisation before breaking ground within a radius of the rail corridor.
Ensuring timely responses provides ARTC with visibility of these enquirers’ requests in the interactive map on the X-Info DBYD suite dashboard.
ARTC now have a responsive and reliable system working 24/7 providing peace of mind.
The Walcha Energy project is located around the town of Walcha, located in the New England tablelands, approximately 55km south of Armidale in New South Wales. The Walcha Energy Project combines solar and wind energy generation with pumped hydro and battery storage to provide a sustainable and reliable source of renewable energy for NSW. Its generation potential is equivalent to 15% of NSW’s electricity demand.
They are committed to reinforcing a strong sense of community and is focussed on delivering a project that produces benefits for the whole community and wide New England region.
In August 2019 Walcha Energy approached Mipela, looking for a stakeholder management solution. A few weeks later Mipela implemented X-Info Suite to provide a web based solution that can manage stakeholders, property information, agreements and associated commitments and associated interactions. Users are also able to capture data in the field using the mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware.
While the conversations with landholders in the region had been underway for more than seventeen years, the engagement initially was quite informal and spreadsheets were used to capture interactions and relevant information. Now all information, including the historical information already captured, is available from one source in X-Info Suite and can be used for several different purposes including tracking stakeholder interactions, sending bulk communications, geospatially capturing data and managing commitments.
“As the project progresses, we continue to increase our functionality within X-Info Suite, establishing additional automated reports, mobile data capture forms and activity workflows to work smarter, not harder,” said Mark Waring, Director of Walcha Energy.
Walcha Energy are focussed on making sure the local community understand the positive impact and benefits of the project. By capturing landowner, stakeholder and interaction information now, it will ensure its future use is high value in ensuring their social license to operate aligns to Walcha Energy’s vision to deliver a holistic, flexible and authentic engagement process with all landowners and community stakeholders.
Back in 2013 Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) were one of Mipela’s first clients to utilise the Works Management module that is associated with the Dial Before You Dig process.
Works Management module is an optional module that compliments X-Info DBYD suite by automating the management of permits. It provides a seamless workflow solution to view, action and report inquiries that have authority to conduct proposed works in the vicinity of the Client’s infrastructure from X-Info DBYD suite for the Client’s “Permit to Work” processes.
X-Info Works Management module is integrated into the same dashboard as the Client’s current X-Info DBYD suite portal.
This module can be applied to works in specific areas such as road reserves or high risk assets.
Tina Underwood, Technical Officer – GIS and Drafting at Gladstone Area Water Board said, “The Works Management module has provided so much value to our business. Not only does it automatically filter out the DBYD responses that will not require a permit, but the workflows also make sure that the permits are processed in accordance with the procedure, meaning no one drops the ball and no application is missed.”
“And it’s all there in the same system, along with any captured communications, contact details and associated documents. It’s the perfect audit trail.”
In early 2020, Gladstone Area Water Board further enhanced its permit management by introducing the use of mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware to the process. This app allows the inspectors to receive and respond to tasks assigned to them in real time, mitigating the need for paper forms. Following an inspection and approval, the permits can be automatically issued via email to the nominated person.
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”.
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.