Evolving Mapping Solutions: Making the Switch

Evolving Mapping Solutions: Making the Switch

Juniper SystemsLearning new software that will play a large role in your work life is daunting and the adoption period can sometimes resemble a cycle of trial-and-error. Data and mapping software, in particular, has a steep learning curve and while you’re learning, you hope the “error” part doesn’t extend to your data. So how can a user or a company make a much-needed leap forward in their mapping capabilities without experiencing a drop in productivity or dreaded loss of data?

It starts with a heavy amount of research, as Andrew Clarke, Field Operations Coordinator at SE3, a civil engineering firm in Kansas City, will tell you. There are many options available, some from well-known names that come with a comparable price tag, some are open source and buggy, and there are options in between. You may know the downsides to your current software, but how can you anticipate what new issues will arise when adopting new software? SE3 began by identifying the major issues they needed resolved from their current setup to help guide their search.

Accuracy First

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For SE3, they had not been able to gather data at the required level of accuracy for their mapping efforts. Before they could worry about the software component, they needed to improve their GPS hardware. The Geode™ GNSS Receiver, by Juniper Systems, stood out to them because of the sub-meter, sub-foot and decimeter accuracy options, where before they had only been working with consumer tablets that only provided accuracy to within 15 or 20 feet.

As part of a municipal contract with Kansas City, SE3 undertook an inspection of the city’s sewer lines, pumping smoke through the system and marking locations that needed repair. The Geode allowed them to map highly accurate points that would allow city workers to then navigate to those areas in need of repair.

Ruggedness Second

Their contract with Kansas City resembled much of the other work performed by SE3: outdoors, directly in the elements with heavy machinery, and the work would have them traveling all over the city. They needed a tablet that would withstand variable and challenging conditions while performing consistently and accurately. They found their answer with the Mesa® 3 Rugged Tablet. Between all-day battery life, a large 7” sunlight-readable display and both IP68 and MIL-STD-810G ratings, the Mesa 3 was able to keep up with the SE3 users and their atypical work environment.

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Accessible Third

The final piece of the puzzle for SE3’s mapping needs is software that isn’t prohibitively expensive, is user friendly and provides data in a format that’s easily shared. The software they used previously was one of those with a higher price tag which did not exclude it from also having application issues. Uinta™ Mapping and Data Collection software, launched in 2020, has allowed SE3 a more intuitive and organized platform on which to capture and export coordinates. As Andrew Clarke put it: “What has stuck out about it is the user-friendliness, Geode compatibility, and being able to use the software without being connected to the internet.”

Being capable of working both on- and off-line is essential for users who are out in the field. Uinta allows users to download area maps before even leaving the office, then the Geode captures accurate points on the downloaded maps. The templates for capturing data within Uinta are highly customizable and shareable, so once a user creates a template it can be used over and over again.

One unexpected feature that the SE3 team found useful was the ability to associate a photo with a mapped data point. This allowed them to provide visual confirmation of the mapped location and document areas of the sewer that needed repair with a photo of the damage. Uinta solved several pain points for SE3 and helped them develop a workflow that was unique to them.

Support From the Start

While the SE3 purchase journey is unique to their work and their needs, the deciding factor in any search comes down to what is important to that business and those users. What really drew the SE3 team to the Juniper solution was the offered post-purchase support so they knew they could get help throughout the adoption period. Uinta’s learning and its unique features are intuitive for professional surveyors and beginners alike and the Juniper support team is primed to help your team over that learning curve. Andrew Clarke said: “Our roll-out was smooth and easy. It was also so easy to call and find a solution to any question we had. The customer support is unlike what you get with other products.”

Here’s where the magic of the Juniper total solution comes into play: the Geode, Mesa 3 and Uinta software are designed to work together and the support you receive comes from the company that designs all three. In fact, Juniper products are designed and assembled in Northern Utah and customer support is housed under the same roof. With the help of Juniper customer care, SE3 was able to onboard users and start working without any downtime.

To learn more about how to build a Juniper total solution for your team to capture, organize and share mapping data, reach out to Juniper Systems here.


Photos: Juniper Systems

This page was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with Juniper Systems. NCM Content Marketing connects marketers to audiences and delivers industry trends, business tips and product information. the GPS World editorial staff did not create this content.