ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its cloud software and smart laser measurement solutions to capture, analyze and manage asset information.
xyHt, a magazine dedicated to the geospatial industry and for professionals and prosumers, released an in-depth profile of Spike in the July 2018 issue. The article, titled "Not Everything Requires Precision Accuracies", is written by author Matteo Luccio, who received a demo Spike device for his own testing. As part of the profile, James Pardue, Senior Vice President of Spike sales, was interviewed.
In the profile, Luccio discusses how Spike enables non-geospatial experts to be able to inspect, assess, and report features, and at an affordable cost. In addition, Spike is intended to be easy-to-use, and can be taught in less than one hour.
The full interview and profile can be viewed here (on pages 31-33).
In the United States, local governments are responsible for surveying their ground signs for compliance on a regular basis and keeping a detailed record of the history of the sign. This is no small task for a city to accomplish, and is typically time and cost-consuming. The Zoning Department with the City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was getting ready to start their signage inventory project, due to a new sign ordinance, when they discovered Spike.
Jeff Vaughn, the Zoning Inspection Supervisor with the City of Winston-Salem, says that they were initially going to hire land surveyors to complete the project, but ultimately decided to use Spike and their own staff for this assignment after speaking with a local sign company that was successfully using Spike. That sign company lent Vaughn their Spike for testing, and after quickly seeing how easy it was to measure the height and square footage of a sign, the city ordered their own Spike units. They initially started with one Spike and then quickly ordered more as they developed their workflows.
Equipped with Spike units and iPads, Vaughn’s team was able to collect, review, and verify compliance on 3,000 signs in less than three months. They developed a process with a team of six in-house employees across departments, which involved going to every ground sign not attached to a building in the city.
As part of that survey process for this project, Christopher Sparks, I.S. Project Coordinator with the City of Winston-Salem, and Vaughn’s team worked with their GIS department. According to Sparks, “the GIS team wrote a script that took the Spike files and imported them into Esri’s ArcGIS so we could capture all attribute data.” With a Spike photo, Vaughn’s team was not only able to capture measurement data, but also the GPS location of a sign.
Once positioned at a sign, a field inspector would take out an iPad with a Spike attached, and take a photo of the sign. In fact, the department’s record during the project was 150 photos of signs captured in one day with Spike. When back at the office the next day, an inspector, or Vaughn, would then take area and height measurements of the sign using the Spike mobile app, export a Spike XML file with photos to OneDrive, run the GIS script, and lastly import the photo with the measurement and location data into ArcGIS Online.
The photo and data would be reviewed on the map and marked as to whether or not the sign was compliant with zoning. Vaughn’s group reviewed every single sign, and marked it as quality assured (QA). They would follow by running another check making sure the sign was assigned to the correct property owner and correct zoning regulation, and generate a final report listing if a sign was compliant or not.
“The amount of time saved was greater for us because we didn’t have to hire land surveyors to go out and do the work. We also had tremendous cost savings by using Spike and using employees rather than an outside vendor, which could have cost $200,000-500,000 to inventory every sign in the city,” explains Vaughn. In fact, Vaughn and Sparks estimate that their hardware costs for this inventory project was less than $5,000.
According to Sparks, “from an IT perspective the project was a success. Spike and ArcGIS let Vaughn and his team accomplish what they needed to do. We now have a comprehensive sign inventory. Since the signs mostly belong to commercial properties, and they are not required to be in compliance until 2022, we can change a flag on the back end in ArcGIS, redo the intersect, update property owners, and notify the new owners. We have something in place that will last for a while.”
Vaughn and Sparks recommend Spike and ArcGIS to other cities and zoning departments. Vaughn believes that this solution “certainly helped us from an enforcement perspective, because we have an accurate count of the signs in the city and also an inventory for them. We can always see a photo of the sign and the history. We have several people who have changed signs without a sign permit, so Spike and ArcGIS have been helpful when we have to go back and enforce measurement. We can show what the sign looked like on one date and then prove how the sign was different on a later date.”
The zoning team is now using Spike on other projects. For example, they take Spike photos for all new ground signs, and then incorporate the photo and measurement and location data into ArcGIS to catalog the sign’s record. In this way, they always have a current inventory of all the signs in the city. They also plan to use Spike for measuring light poles and building heights to check compliance on height restrictions.
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Bringing Spike to Esri’s User Community in United States
ikeGPS announces a new distribution agreement with Esri, the global market leader in geographic information systems (GIS) software, whose solutions are deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including the world’s largest cities and many national governments. This agreement makes Spike, a smart laser measurement solution, available to Esri’s US user community, supporting the recent integration of Spike with Esri’s Survey123 for ArcGIS®.
Esri’s ArcGIS technology combines mapping and analytics to support commercial organizations, governments, manufacturing enterprises, utilities, and many other types of businesses. More than 75% of Fortune 500 companies use ArcGIS to meet business and mission critical goals. In addition, Esri’s product offerings include mobile apps for field data collection, which feed valuable data into ArcGIS that is used for mapping and analysis.
Survey123 for ArcGIS is a form-centric data collection app that works with Spike on Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets. Geared for the novice to intermediate user, this integration allows field workers to quickly, easily, and safely measure areas, heights, widths, and the offset location of assets that are difficult to reach, such as a building or road signage, simply by taking a photo with a smartphone or tablet, all within the Survey123 for ArcGIS app.
To use the integrated solution, a field worker attaches the Spike laser device to a smartphone or tablet, opens the Survey123 for ArcGIS mobile app survey, and takes a photo. That photo, measurement data, and location data are then populated into the field worker’s survey form and uploaded into ArcGIS Online®. Spike provides a photo verifiable and authoritative record of the asset being measured, delivering increased confidence in field surveys and measurements. Spike and Survey123 for ArcGIS fill the need for a complete end-to-end workflow, and one that is entirely mobile and easy to deploy, for field data collection.
“Esri is not only the GIS market leader, they are a trusted voice for new technology that can benefit organizations that rely on field activities and bring efficiencies to their day-to-day processes,” says Glenn Milnes, CEO of ikeGPS. “In addition to recognizing the value of integrating Survey123 for ArcGIS with Spike, Esri wanted to directly bring this powerful joint-solution to their domestic user community.”
"We recognize that collecting data on hard-to-reach objects is a common challenge for field workers in many of the organizations that use ArcGIS,” says Dean Garner, Partner Products Manager at Esri. “We are pleased to now offer our Esri user community a low-cost single device solution to solve these challenges, powered by Survey123 for ArcGIS."
Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, offers the most powerful mapping and spatial analytics technology available. Since 1969, Esri has helped customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Today, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including the world's largest cities, most national governments, 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and location analytics to inform the most authoritative maps in the world. Visit us at esri.com.