IMGS Intelligence 2023: Unveils Cutting-Edge Innovations and New Services

At the end of April, I visited Dublin to present our LOCATE EV and LOCATE Solar services at IMGS GeoIntelligence 2023. Hosted by IMGS, the Hexagon distributors for Ireland, the day was jam packed with the latest technology updates.

Ciaran Kirk, Operations Director of IMGS, gave two great product overviews, the first covered what’s new in the Power Portfolio and M.App Enterprise then, later in the day, the second offered a comprehensive insight into Hexagon Connect. Hexagon Connect is one of the latest product releases from Hexagon, it allows different organisations to share and collaborate while keeping their geospatial assets secure. Although designed predominantly for the emergency services, the audience could see several innovative applications that would make it useful across other sectors.

The star of the show was Spot, the Boston Dynamics dog that roamed the conference floor with a  BLK ARC securely mounted on its back. John Kerrigan, Ireland Country Manager for Leica Geosystems gave a sprint through the range of data capture devices that are available, the quality (and quantity) of the data that can be captured is really inspiring. Richard Goodman, Hexagon, followed with a demonstration of how the data captured by Spot can be utilised within Hexagon software to produce smart digital realities and giving examples of how digital twins can revolutionise standard work processes. There was also a fascinating talk by Andrew Paul of IMGS showing how ERDAS IMAGINE can take a complex task, such as identifying change, and simplify it using Spatial Modeler and machine/deep learning.

However, the standout talks of the event were two case studies that highlighted how Hexagon’s M.App Enterprise can radically change work processes for the better. The first from Dublin City Council was presented by Emmet Rafter, an Executive Building Surveyor. As part of his role Emmet was tasked with the transformation of the City’s Building Control process to a fully digital platform. The previous work process entailed excessive paperwork and office tasks, for example transcription of field notes, which resulted in administrative tasks reducing the amount of time that field inspectors had to complete their primary job of inspecting buildings. Dublin City Council were already using M.App Enterprise for a separate project so, when Emmet approached the GIS department with his requirements, they were able to promptly create the apps and functionality required. 

All this was done in-house, highlighting the configurability of M.App Enterprise. Dublin City Council now have a complete digital workflow, with M.App Enterprise deployed on tablets in the field and on PCs in the office. The key to the success of this project was Emmet and his team having a very clearly defined set of requirements, that the GIS department was able to fulfil with M.App Enterprise.

Dublin City Council were already using M.App Enterprise for a separate project so...they were able to promptly create the apps and functionality required.

The second case study focused on land and property portfolio management at Cork City Council.  Catherine Kelly, SEO at Cork City Council, gave an overview of the situation explaining that previous attempts to rationalise the management of data had unfortunately been unsuccessful. Therefore, when Stephen Fox, a Chartered Surveyor, joined the Council he was determined to improve the situation and implement a structured data management system to ensure records were easier to document and access. Cork City Council issued an ITT that was subsequently won by IMGS with their solution to utilise M.App Enterprise as a base with FME employed alongside. 

In this case, collaboration between IMGS and Cork City Council was key in designing a process that sanitised and collated the data. There were some difficult decisions to make along the way, including discarding data that could not be effectively sanitised, but both parties were flexible in their approach and worked together to ensure a successful solution was delivered. After a testing period, that was crucial to eliminate bugs from the workflow, the system went live earlier this year. Its successful implementation means Cork City Council are now looking to add further functionality.

This was a great day showing how data and software can come together to make people’s lives better and easier. Contact us to find out how M.App Enterprise can support your work processes with easy to develop field and office based