In early 2022, Long Beach Transit was looking for solutions to the challenges they were facing in maintaining the condition of bus stops and bus stop amenities.
Long Beach Transit (LBT) is a municipal transit company that provides bus transportation in Los Angeles and Orange County. The company has a fleet of 250 buses across fourteen cities that cover 100 square miles. LBT has a ridership of more than 23 million customers.
LBT uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to both generate interactive and static route network maps and analyze ridership patterns across its service area. The GIS supports the transit business by enabling staff to plan, maintain, and locate transit infrastructure. GIS analysts regularly fulfill map and data requests and keep the GIS databases and web maps current as the bus timetables and routes are updated.
Check out more here: LBT GIS Data Catalog.
The project team was a coalition of three companies, Long Beach Transit (LBT), Environmental Research Institute (Esri), and Quartic Solutions. LBT uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform for their GIS and thus turned to Esri for guidance in choosing an ArcGIS based solution. ArcGIS Field Maps, along with a customizable survey template, were selected. Quartic Solutions, a woman-owned Esri business partner and premier GIS services firm, was chosen to provide GIS staffing and expertise to LBT in March 2022.
The project started.
A prototype was successfully tested.
The first stage of systemwide fieldwork is projected to begin in the summer 2023.
Public transportation in Los Angeles is essential to many people’s everyday lives. Long Beach Transit ensures everyone feels safe and can enjoy the entire bus experience, from waiting for the bus to reaching their final destination.
LBT (Long Beach Transit) has over 2,000 bus stops in its service area. While their Transit Customer Amenities (TCA) Department is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness at each bus stop, they have faced some challenges. Issues like how to maintain an up-to-date database of site conditions, ensuring ADA accessibility, and making sure amenities are maintained and available at each bus stop. The condition information about the bus stops is critical and necessary for making sound decisions, such as which bus stops need improvements.
TCA had a legacy solution in place that provided access to the bus stop data but, was looking for additional tools to help make their jobs easier.
Back in 2012, LBT developed a bus stop survey that contained basic information about bus stops. After using the old system for over ten years, the staff knew exactly what they wanted to change. They needed a solution that would help minimize data entry errors during the field data collection and that would have a new option for capturing photos. Being able to attach photos would really help staff record details of the visual conditions at specific locations. They also wanted a more streamlined user-friendly application interface. By standardizing the wording of the amenity inventory, they felt they could reduce data entry errors, such as typos and non-accurate descriptions. The plan was to develop a database that was better suited for storing the complex infrastructure relationships (1 to many relationships). Then, design an application allowing supervisors to review and approve work. Adding better tracking of data associated with bus stop amenities was also important.
The three organizations worked well together to address and resolve the complications LBT was facing with their previous legacy software.
The project team architected a cloud-based solution using AWS infrastructure and the Esri ArcGIS platform. The solution included both a mobile field map data collection application and an on-premise web mapping application.
A solid foundation for the project was built by cleaning and loading existing data into a new database. The data were organized into 14 related tables covering a wide variety of information such as passenger amenity types, amenity condition, comments, and pictures. Then, crucial data regarding ADA compliance was incorporated. The traffic condition data was added to enrich the dataset, including the site conditions, such as the stop area location and pedestrian crosswalks.
The field data collection application was created using the survey template that is included with ArcGIS Field Maps. The Field Maps App is available for download via the Apple App Store and/or Google Play Store. Once downloaded, the Field Maps App was configured for LBT staff, and tools to minimize user input errors, archive data, and easy editing were included.
Offline data collection is built into the Field Maps App. Once a field user is reconnected to the network, the local data stored in the Field App is uploaded to ArcGIS Portal.
Then, after the sync, a supervisor can view the approval screen, where all the new and/or edited records are presented in an intuitive table format, ready to approve.
More advanced functionality is available with the Service Planning Bus Stop Web Application when staff is on-premise. The Bus Stop Web App is a web map containing current LBT stops, active routes, and historical ridership data combined with the new bus stop amenity data. The progress of staff working in the field is easily visualized by viewing the color of the bus stops. Staff can quickly review a stop’s amenity data in pop-up menus by clicking on the map.
Three times a year, LBT makes service changes to its service network. To facilitate these recurring service changes, the solution also includes functionality to automatically add new stops and inactivate old stops if a new service change is initiated.
Like in every complex project, there were some obstacles to overcome. In this case, the challenge arose when incorporating the old 2012 amenity data. The data was collected as one big database table with no relationship classes. Specific amenities had multiple values and duplicate entries. In order to load the old data to the new normalized tables, Quartic designed an ETL model that appended and split data as needed for the improved schema. Data cleanup tasks, such as standardizing to coded domain values, were automated, resulting in a tidy dataset with increased data integrity.
The picture 5. is a screenshot of an example of the coded value domains - the left column is the domain name to be assigned to certain fields, and the right is the options for that domain. This prevents users from making spelling/formatting errors.
With the data being collected and turned into an easy-to-read format, LBT can provide up-to-date bus stop amenity and ADA information to the public and transit customers. LBT staff can more easily identify which bus stops have accessibility improvements and the condition of those improvements. They can collaborate with related government agencies, such as municipal public works departments, to better prioritize crosswalk and sidewalk pedestrian improvements.
The restructured data and new application architecture were tested in June 2022 by LBT staff by collecting bus stop amenities and ADA information. The test used the Metro Route 130 service transition to LBT Route 141. The first stage of systemwide fieldwork will begin in the summer of 2023.
Based on the successful conclusion of the prototype project, LBT will consider planning a larger system-wide implementation and rollout, incorporating the updated bus stop data into LBT's GIS databases alongside GTFS (General Transit Feed System) network, land use, ridership, and demographic information.
This is an example of how GIS technology can support transit operations and ultimately make public transit safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
"Quartic has extensive experience with a highly qualified GIS technical service team.”- Long Beach Transit, Service Development Manager.
The City of San Marcos wanted to have a way to share mapping data easily and directly with citizens. They developed an easy to use website that is now open to the public. Check it out here: City of San Marcos ArcGIS HUB
The data site hosts a full range of GIS data, most of which is available for download. To make it easier to find specific datasets, the data were grouped into categories. Data such as parcels, roads, jurisdiction boundaries, addresses, parks, trees and more can be downloaded with just one click.
The website, called the San Marcos HUB, has showcased the City's interactive web maps and web applications. The engine behind the site is Esri's ArcGIS Portal HUB application. The site was developed by the City with the help of a San Diego based woman owned small business Quartic Solutions . Quartic specializes in delivering GIS solutions to local government and utility organizations.
The City of San Marcos, CA Emergency Management Operations has implemented their Incident Status Dashboard using Esri's State and Local Government Tools.
The Incident Status Dashboard is a comprehensive web-based dashboard that offers information that may be used to make decisions and enables staff to give a more effective incident briefing.
Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can be used in various industries to enhance efficient data usage and, through that, better decision-making. Long Beach Transit (LBT) has realized the importance of good-quality data and the benefits of GIS. LBT is a municipal transit company that provides bus transportation in Los Angeles and Orange County. LBT has a fleet of 250 buses across fourteen cities. LBT has a ridership of 23 million customers.
LBT uses GIS technology to generate both interactive and static route network maps and analyze ridership patterns across its service area. The GIS supports the transit business by enabling staff to plan, maintain, and locate transit infrastructure. GIS analysts regularly fulfill map and data requests and keep the GIS databases and web maps current as the bus timetables and routes are updated.
In early 2022 LBT turned to Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) for guidance and support for their GIS operations. As an Esri Advantage program member, LBT uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform for their GIS. As a forward from Esri, Quartic Solutions, a woman-owned Esri business partner and premier GIS services firm was chosen to provide GIS staffing and expertise to LBT in March 2022.
LBT goes through 3 service changes a year. The service changes involve a change of bus routes, stops, and schedules. Preparation for the service changes takes months and the collaboration of multiple departments. Quartic support these transitions by adding new bus stops to their geospatial bus stop bank, editing or adding route lines for static and interactive maps, updating the systemwide web map, and maintaining their GIS Data Catalog that is available to the public.
When the service planners at LBT consider limiting or expanding the hours of transit in an area, Quartic has assisted by visualizing the spatial component of ridership data for the area. This allows LBT to have an easy-to-read document that supports their decision-making. Ridership data is collected in various ways across the transit network. One example is TAP (Transit Access Pass), which is a contactless smart card used for automatic fare collection. The TAP data that is recorded includes the longitude and latitude of the bus stop where the card was used. This data is used to visualize the amount of boardings and/or alightings (departures) in the Long Beach area. The maps are helpful when service changes are proposed or when micro transit (small-scale on-demand transit) opportunities are being considered. Quartic has also implemented a monthly dashboard that provides average daily boardings at bus stops with the option to filter by route, time period, amount of boardings, weekday, and stop number.
Quartic has been a part of various projects at LBT. One major project was a collaboration with Quartic and ESRI to develop a prototype of field surveying that would streamline the collection of bus stop amenities, such as seating, shelters, lighting, and ADA accessibility. The three organizations used Field Maps and Enterprise to create a customized survey template in Field Maps that standardizes the amenity data collection, allows for picture attachments, and syncs to the LBT Portal, where a supervisor can approve the records. After a successful test of a prototype, LBT is planning on conducting the field surveying soon.
Another request was an improvement to the current Comfort Zones Application. Comfort zones are rest stops for bus drivers and can change when routes or bus stops are added or removed. The original map application consisted of individual maps for each route and did not allow for any feedback from the drivers or filtering.
Quartic combined Survey123 with ArcGIS Dashboards to create a dashboard with one map that the driver can filter by their duty number, weekday, and/or route. When a driver clicks on a comfort zone, they see a picture of the rest stop, the building address, and a link to Google Streetview. A right-side panel on the dashboard opens a Survey123 form where the driver can add or view comments concerning the comfort zone.
Making Los Angeles a better place to live for everyone is not easy, but the Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency (LAHSA) is up to the task. Every year they organize a homeless count that gives us a better understanding of the current situation and allows the city and county to plan accordingly.
Once again, LAHSA successfully organized a team of volunteers to hit the streets and count the homeless in the Los Angeles region.
The annual survey was held over the weekend from January 24-26 and utilized the latest location-based software from the industry leader, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri).
Quartic Solutions, a local women-owned business, assisted with the geographic information system (GIS) technology.
This year the count went smoothly, with over 6,600 citizens and staff enthusiastically signing up to volunteer using an online sign-up system. LAHSA had mapped out a network of dispatch locations, ensuring that volunteers knew where to start their shifts and that all areas of the region were covered correctly.
Homelessness in California is a huge problem, particularly in large urban areas such as Los Angeles County. To better understand and address the challenge of homelessness, quantifying the number and extent of homeless people is critical. Once a year, LAHSA conducts the annual Point in Time (PIT) Homeless Count to provide needed data for allocating resources. The state and city programs use the information the count offers to implement more effective and targeted relief programs.
Finding and counting the homeless in a large urban area such as Los Angeles has its challenges. Taking advantage of lessons learned from last year, LAHSA set out to create an application for the volunteers that was easy to use and dependable. This year the data collection utilized the latest location-based technology collecting not only a count of homeless individuals but also which census tracts they were discovered in. Using a lightweight mobile application made data collection easy for volunteers, and organized for LAHSA.
"The goal of the count is to get an accurate picture of the homelessness in our communities. With this information, strategies can be developed to reduce and end homelessness."- LAHSA
As part of Quartic’s commitment to combat societal ills and promote equity, Quartic Solutions took part in the count in two different ways.
Quartic was on the Esri team to develop a mobile application for the count.
The application developed by the team was based on Esri ArcGIS® QuickCapture. This simple application is the fastest way to capture field observations. It allows the user to count a homeless person or shelter just by pressing a button on their phone. The data captured included the location of the observation, the type of observation, and the ability of the user to view their results in an easy-to-understand dashboard format.
Several quality control features were also built into the application to make data collection trouble-free and more accurate. Having a visual of the boundaries of the area in which they were assigned kept volunteers constantly aware of the boundaries and reduced double counting. Finally, the application displayed a map to the collection teams, clearly showing a GPS track of where they had driven or walked. This valuable feature allowed the user to easily see if they had missed any road segments so they could go back and traverse any gaps.
Quartic also had two people, the company President, and Quartic's Director of Marketing, volunteering as counters on the night of January 25.
All volunteers' common goal is to commit to the community and make a difference. The ultimate goal is to make Los Angeles a better place to live for everyone.
Overall, the count was successful, and the QuickCapture mobile app collected the data seamlessly. The count was well-planned, and LAHSA is happy with the result.
According to LAHSA, in 2022, the number of homeless in the Homeless Count by the LA County Supervisorial District was 65,111. That increased from 2020 with the number of 1405 individuals. This year's results from the count are not published yet. According to LAHSA's just-released article, they will turn over the data collected to its data partners at the University of Southern California (USC). USC will perform the statistical analysis, and LAHSA expects to release it in late spring or early summer 2023.
The San Diego Geographic Information Source ( SanGIS ), a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), was able to improve processes used for maintaining the regional geographic information system (GIS) by implementing Esri’s current Parcel Fabric and ArcGIS Pro editing tools.
GIS Land Records in the San Diego Region are maintained by SanGIS joint powers agency. The SanGIS mission is to maintain and promote the use of a regional geographic data warehouse for the San Diego region and to assist in the development of shared geographic data and automated systems that use that data.
SanGIS allows the City and the County to combine resources to meet common objectives to reduce duplication of efforts, maximize resources, provide for an efficient method of sharing information and provide timely updated data to the public.
The combined County and City of San Diego geospatial land base is massive. The dataset consists of over 17 data layers, including lots, parcels, roads, addresses, and open space easements. GIS Database maintenance, including additions, deletions, and updates, are made by 4 - 5 full-time editors. Having a team of trained editors enables the region to have the most updated land base possible.
SanGIS was formed in 1997 and is responsible for the maintenance of
SanGIS decided it was time to update the GIS maintenance environment to a new solution that would enable more effective workflows and streamlined editing. Quartic Solutions, a woman-owned Esri business partner and premier GIS services firm, was chosen and tasked with migrating 20 years of legacy code, tools, and data integrity checks to a brand-new environment. Quartic and SanGIS have worked together for many years on various GIS projects in the San Diego region.
SanGIS was using a GIS editing environment that was developed back in early 2000. While the legacy system was stable, it was lacking current ArcGIS Pro functionality and there was a desire to improve consistency and communication. The old editing system consisted of stand-alone feature classes with their own individual topology rules. Data integrity was maintained by a mixture of ArcObjects Class extensions and custom ArcObjects ArcMap tools. All editing was done in ArcMap directly against a local Oracle geodatabase.
There are many departments within the stakeholders’ organizations, such as Sheriffs, Fire, and Assessors, who all need to be able to update parts of the SanGIS geodatabase. Because many of the Departments have separate networks, in the past shared editing was accomplished via two-way replication of feature classes to an ArcGIS Enterprise deployment in the cloud. The external organizations could then edit via their own check-out, check-in replica workflows. While effective, this model led to a lag between updates being shared as well as communication problems.
The impending retirement of ArcMap and the ArcObjects SDK, along with the release of ESRIs focused Land records solution Parcel Fabric provided the opportunity for SanGIS to migrate to a modern editing environment: ArcGIS Pro in combination with ArcGIS Enterprise service-based architecture.
The Parcel Fabric, along with the required web feature service, allowed for the smooth migration of this legacy code and workflows to a more modern service-based architecture.
The Esri Parcel Fabric is designed specifically to handle many of the data quality control issues that previously had been implemented through custom programs such as ArcObjects tools and class extensions. Issues such as maintaining Tax Parcel history and external organization updates are a core part of the Parcel Fabric product, which simplified the upgrade tasks.
Quartic was tasked with migrating the legacy code, tools, and data integrity checks to this brand-new environment. Most of the dozens of old custom tools had out-of-the-box replacements. A good example of this was the incrementor tool. SanGIS had created a tool to sequentially update the assessor parcel number on new polygons, but this was an out-of-the-box tool in Pro.
Old approach vs. New approach.
Once prototyping and testing were complete the data migration models that Quartic developed allowed for the final migration to occur over a single weekend with no downtime.
A total of 17 feature classes and 5 standalone tables had to be migrated to the new environment. Most of these were related to the Parcel Fabric. The migration process used a combination of geoprocessing models and Python scripts to automate the migration.
During testing, users practiced editing using the new interfaces making sure they could take advantage of the new functionality while still achieving predictable and accurate results. There were Approx. 5 months of testing and data model refinement.
In an effort to reduce custom programming, the decision was made to not migrate any of the legacy custom tools. All workflows would be designed using out of the box ArcGIS Pro tools. Editors would then identify if there were functions remaining that really needed to be added via customization for the purposes of timesaving and data integrity. There are a few custom tools that editors identified that will be deployed in future phases of the project. To date, 4 required development, with a further of at least 1 one approved for the future.
Quartic delivered a new modern editing environment that utilizes the latest Esri software and architectural practices to SanGIS. The JPA seamlessly migrated from a 20-year-old environment to the next iteration of Esri’s GIS software without hiccups. The project ensures that SanGIS will continue to meet its goal of providing a current land records system for the entire San Diego Region.
SanGIS editors are quickly coming up to speed in using ArcGIS Pro and are impressed with the new tools and features available to them. They are also regularly discovering new Pro tools and features that allow them to edit more efficiently and accurately than in the past.
The web-based services have also been streamlined and have simplified the collaborative editing environment. The County Assessor can easily create their own Tax Parcel updates directly in the fabric. This has led to a substantial reduction in the duplication of work.
"Since SanGIS went live with the new ArcGIS Pro editing environment, there have been no platform or system issues, and Parcel Fabric has been running smoothly.”Program Manager at SanGIS
For more information about SanGIS: email@example.com
We are excited to announce that Quartic will have an exhibit booth at the Esri UC for the first time ever!
The expo is open July 11th-13th, and our booth number is #2114. We are organizing many exciting booth plans, so stay tuned for details!
More about the event here:
The event focused on techniques for measuring ROI (return on investment) and best practices for maximizing the benefits of utilizing current GIS solutions and cloud infrastructure. There were several speakers from Esri and Esri Business Partners, including Adam Carnow (Esri), Harry Moore (Esri), and Timo Luostarinen (president of Quartic Solutions).
We recently participated in a panel that answered students' questions about working in the GIS industry.
Along with SDG&E, Helix Environmental, and Black Sage Environmental, Quartic Solutions discussed topics centered around working in the real world for students interested in the GIS industry.
HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS:
Community outreach is very important to Quartic Solutions- in fact, being involved in our local GIS industry has helped us form our amazing team.
Our CEO, Jodi Luostarinen, was invited to join the Esri Partner Advisory Council (PAC).
The PAC is a vital organization created in 2011. It is made up of business executives who were selected based on their exceptional leardership qualities. It is crucial for the ongoing development of the Esri Partner Network. PAC members have the responsibility to represent the entire Esri Partner & Alliance channel, sharing their experiences and recommendations to drive mutually beneficial improvements in the program. In return, Esri has a strong commitment to act on feedback from the PAC, making the group the defacto "board of directors" for the partner community.
The PAC meets in person during the Esri Partner Conference, Esri Annual User Conference, and an Annual Fall Meeting. Otherwise, the PAC gathers online for an hour on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
The Fall Annual Meeting is coming up- this year's meeting is being held at Esri HQ in Redlands from November 11-12 2019.