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Extending BPM to Geo Spatial software


BPM software – integrating Technology with Business

BPM software extends workflow capabilities to GIS tools
BPM software extends workflow capabilities to GIS tools

GIS 101!

Before discussing BPM software in a GIS context, let’s understand what it is. Geographic Information System software is designed to capture, manage, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information on a map. GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize our world in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.(1)

According to Wikipedia(2), the first known use of the term “geographic information system” was by Roger Tomlinson in the year 1968 in his paper “A Geographic Information System for Regional Planning”. Tomlinson is also acknowledged as the “father of GIS”.

In 1854 John Snow determined the source of a cholera outbreak in London, by marking points on a map depicting where the cholera victims lived, and connecting the cluster that he found with a nearby water source. This was one of the earliest successful uses of a geographic methodology in epidemiology.

There is a general perception about Geo Spatial software is that GIS systems are merely some sort of a mapping tool of areas displayed. But it can do a lot more specially in combination with the right tools and platforms.

One such tool is BPM software which optimizes GIS tools to make them highly effective. The advent of low cost hand-held devices and RFID tags is making such implementations along with IOT truly intelligent. It can do a lot more than just display maps. Predictive analytics and other advances in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are helping governments, communities and businesses prepare to respond in real-time as needs arise. By extending BPM with IOT to GIS we can achieve:

• Effective management of location based assets and standalone assets without connection to the internet using RFID
• Embed GIS tools such as map viewer within workflows
• Easily map processes with GIS data with rich set of process design tools
• Manage GIS data and route securely through workflows
• Transparent processes and clear audit trails for improved accountability and end user services
• Strong support for analytics and strategic planning
• Consolidated or drill down view of process performance helps leverage spatial data resources effectively
• Connect remotely to critical processes using BPM Mobile apps

There is a strong push in the following verticals for solutions of BPM with IOT and GIS:
1. Government: BPM integrates GIS technology with critical process management for e-governance and citizen services.

2. Utilities: Integrated BPM systems and GIS technology enable collaborative data management, approvals and decision making with flexible process management and secure workflows for implementation of public works

3. Defence and Security: Secure routing of inter departmental Defence and Intelligence data is enabled with business process management software and GIS technology.

4. Oil and Gas: BPM integrated with GIS tools enables routing of GIS data across departments such as production, facilities and pipeline management to improve regulatory compliance.

5. Municipalities: Municipal assets such as records and spatial assets such as base maps are digitized using GIS tools. BPM integrates GIS data for efficient and secure workflows within Municipal departments for infrastructure planning and development. These solutions can be deployed on handheld devices for effective implementation.

BPM with GIS – Use Case

A very good example would be a way to get an NOC for digging up public roads/areas to lay power cables to supply upcoming buildings or residential layouts. The municipality can have a website with a form to record the request. In the form, it can embed the GIS maps in order to collect the exact routing of the cable as per consultant’s plans.

It can check in real time for other utilities already laid in the soil and propose alternate routes if any fouling is observed. This will cut down the two and fro between the planned layout and changes suggested by the planning office. One can even update other utility providers like water and sewage boards if any crossovers are to be provided.

The benefits derived from BPM solutions with GIS and IOT are:

• Multi-channel delivery improves response and turn around
• Integrated system delivered on browser
• Eliminates IT dependencies allowing user to attach and send GIS assets within workflows
• KPIs, dashboards and drill down reports
• BPM as middleware connects with the GIS server to integrate GIS assets in workflows

1. Source: Esri
2. Source: Wikipedia