We loved seeing you last week at the Esri GeoConX conference in Phoenix, AZ! SSP had record booth traffic with the conversation focused largely on the new Utility Network, including demos on our SSP migration tools to the Utility Network and on Esri’s out-of-the-box Utility Network tracing functionality. Thank you for stopping by! Your feedback has helped guide our discussions, and we encourage you to keep reaching out with questions in this blog post series. Without further ado, here is the fourth article:
How to Migrate to the Utility Network
In this post, I am going to break away from the model we’ve been using to guide our post topics; there is certainly a lot more to cover in this model, and we’ll continue in following posts. But in this post, I’ll tell you about the Utility Network migration process, which SSP premiered at GeoConX.
To come up with this migration process, we’ve been working with Esri. The result is a straightforward approach to loading your data into the Utility Network while keeping three key goals in mind:
- Integrity: Maintain the integrity of the network from the geometric network data
- Usage: Create a process that enables instant usage of the new Utility Network rules, tracing, connectivity, diagrams, etc.
- Configurability: Make the process completely configurable so that individual utilities will be able to make informed decisions on how their data is migrated
The second point, instsant usage, became an interesting discussion between SSP and several of our customers at GeoConX. The new Utility Network allows us to configure very advanced connectivity for devices such as Wye and Delta transformers, where we can map the internal GIS workings of the transformer terminals to match the real world.
This granular connectivity may prove useful as it relates to some ADMS systems and additionally for potential new GIS-based integration that may come up in the next 15-20 years of Utility Network usage. But the complexity of the model has proven challenging to many customers who just don’t believe we should be modeling this level of connectivity in the GIS … yet.
A Migration that Does What You Need it To
With that in mind, our goal at SSP was to design a migration process that would migrate your geometric network data into the Utility Network by utilizing configuration/rules that would allow customers like you to take advantage of the advanced connectivity (now or in the future) but that would not require all of the aspects of the granular connectivity to allow the network to function.
Our process begins with a mapping exercise, where we will map the following items between the geometric network and the Utility Network:
To learn more about any of these concepts, please read up on our previous Utility Network blog posts.
How the SSP Utility Migration Migration Process Preserves Integrity
The above mappings are completed and then fed into our SSP migration application, which reads your geometric network and translates its data into the Utility Network format, within a 10.2.1 intermediate staging geodatabase.
There are a few key reasons why we are migrating to a staging geodatabase within 10.2.1. First, we want to build your confidence in the data that we are going to load into the Utility Network. A significant aspect of the new network is the associations, including connectivity associations, structural attachment associations and containment associations.
Our migration application handles all of these associations within the staging database; it does so by creating the associations as linear records that can be visualized on the map. This allows the user to review them in detail before importing them into the Utility Network:
The second, and primary, reason we are using 10.2.1 ArcMap to review the staging database is because this is the software that the end users know and love already, thus allowing them to easily review all aspects of the data before importing it into the Utility Network (where all further review will occur in ArcGIS Pro).
Once the staging database is approved, we use a scripted “import utility script” to perform the following actions:
- Create a new Utility Network
- Import the data from the staging database
- Import connectivity, structural attachment, and containment associations
- Import network sources or sinks as defined in your 10.2.1 data (circuits, systems, etc.)
- Import corresponding Utility Network rules
- Build the Network Topology
- Trace out all circuits, systems or other networks
The end result is a fully connected Utility Network model in ArcGIS Pro that can be further reviewed, QA’ed, or traced. Each electric circuit, gas pressure system, or water pressure system is established as a Utility Network subnetwork. The ID of the subnetwork is persisted/saved on every feature within the subnetwork. All the expected traces can then be performed: upstream, downstream, protective device, and so forth.
Finally, a single linear feature is established for every circuit/system extent within the SubnetLine feature class. This provides for easy and fast rendering of a color by network map. All of this reads pretty well but a demo is worth a 1,000 words and pictures! Check out the demonstration of the full migration process here:
Our goal in creating this migration process, including the QA staging database, is to create a process that brings across your fully connected circuits and systems into the Utility Network, while taking advantage of every feature this new Utility Network has to offer. Our hope is to have each customer get involved with the new Esri Utility Network as soon as possible. We are expecting the beta release of the Utility Network in January 2017.
Looking ahead to the Utility Network Beta
To reduce the barriers to entry your organization might feel while begining to use the beta Utility Network, we’ve created a hands-on, two-day training program called the Utility Network Jumpstart Package. The Utility Network Jumpstart Package from SSP also includes the option of using the above-described migration process to load a subset of your own data into the utility network! Just ask us for details.
We were fortunate to talk to many of you in person at GeoConX about this program. However, if we didn’t connect and you want to know how you can easily get on the Utility Network beta release, please contact us, so we can explain all the details!
In the meantime, we’ll continue with our Utility Network education through this bi-monthly blog series. Please keep the questions and comments coming, as they ensure we are hitting on the right points for the utility and telco communities!