5-step process for creating a municipal asset management information model

July 31, 2020 Abdul Mannan Mohammed

The popularity of ArcGIS Solutions can be attributed to their ability to quickly address challenges across many industries. There are numerous free industry-specific configurations and solutions for local and state government, emergency management, telecom, defence and many others.

In this article, I will focus on the steps involved in developing a data model using the ArcGIS Local Government Information Model (LGIM) for municipalities. The data model addresses asset management and planning, improving local government operations and enhancing public services for municipalities using the ArcGIS LGIM. 

The term "Information Model" refers to more than just a data schema. In addition to the schema, it includes things like the Map Documents for our maps and apps (dashboard, web app, etc) as well as specifications for services to be part of the information model. LGIM is the harmonized information model of maps, map services, and GIS datasets that brings operations to life and connects silos of data. Users can configure the information model to meet specific business needs and load your current geographic data to quickly deploy the maps and apps.

Every city has aspirations for what they want to become. These aspirations get translated into actionable, real work initiatives, such as:

  • Improving emergency response times
  • Using less energy
  • Maintaining right of way assets
  • Meeting transportation and environmental quality needs
  • Coordinating and planning capital projects
  • Operating parks and government facilities in a safe and effective way

The ArcGIS Solutions for Local Government models can help you deploy focus maps and applications that adhere to the business needs of Land Records, Water Utilities, Public Works, Fire service, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Planning and Development and many others.

Although LGIM can be implemented "as-is" GIS professionals most often configure the LGIM schema to fit their unique organizational needs. The LGIM is a living data model that changes as the ArcGIS platform evolves and new configurations are added to ArcGIS for Local Government and ArcGIS for Water Utilities. In a similar context, we followed a five-step process to leverage the LGIM and Water Model to address specific data requirements that include a work order management system (such as Cityworks), asset lifecycle models, asset valuations and other standards, such as OSIM, PSAB, etc, as shown in the figure above.

1. Using LGIM as a Foundation

As you may have guessed, we started with the LGIM model database schema as the foundation of the whole process that addresses the requirements discussed above. While embarking on this journey, one of the most important considerations is to stay adhered to the LGIM data model and minimize changes to its core so that you’re able to leverage the focus maps and apps from ArcGIS solutions. We have also included the Water Geometric networks Editing and Analysis Solution to the LGIM to manage water, sewer and stormwater.

The harmonized information model of maps, map services, and GIS datasets brings operations to life and connects silos of data. Users can configure the information model to meet specific business needs and load your current geographic data to quickly deploy maps and apps.

2. Canadianize

This step involves creating a new feature classes and editing some of the domains and attributes. For example, we changed the values for a domain named "pipe diameter size" to the metric system and changed election administration boundaries to Polling Division.

3. Enhancing the Model to Support Asset Management

This step addresses three distinct data requirements, which are:

  • Cityworks: Cityworks is a system of record, engagement and insight for public asset management. It is a GIS-centric application that recognizes and leverages ArcGIS as an authoritative system of record. Ultimately, this translates into powerful user experience. End users can easily and seamlessly move between Cityworks and Esri applications to collect, view, and share data. The model takes into consideration recommended fields and domain values across all the assets in the schema.

  • Asset Management Planning & Modeling: To address the data requirements for analysis and reporting on the asset-specific analytical models, such as asset lifecycle modelling (remaining service life, when to rehab, replace, run to fail, etc.), risk modelling (calculating the consequence of failure, probability of failure, business risk exposure, etc.) and decision support models (helping to inform decision making on prioritizing interventions, cumulative reports on when, where and how much). Additionally, new fields, subtypes and domains were added to the data model to meet reporting requirements.
  • Asset Valuation: This step addresses the reporting needs to support Financial reporting (FIR) for Public Section Accounting Board (PSAB), such as schedule 51A, 51B and 51C. It provides the functionality needed to calculate the monetary values of assets in use and the depreciation of asset value over years. The model allows you to store the values of the acquisition costs, residual value and useful life necessary to calculate the depreciation of asset value over time.

4. Existing Data

The purpose of this step is mainly to make space for existing data in the data model in the form new feature datasets, feature classes or even attributes; this may include reference data and other datasets unique to the municipality that have not be covered by LGIM or the Water Information Model.

5. Other Standards

When performing asset inspection, one of the salient features of Cityworks is its ability to calculate condition scores based on the observation recorded by the inspector, and thereby write the data directly to GIS features or a geodatabase. When inspecting assets, municipalities have to comply with standards especially when that municipality uses a condition score for any decision making, such as pavement condition index (PCI). In this step of the process, we created additional fields and domain values in order to record such condition scores and their respective data. It’s important that the data model meet the compliance and standards set out by the federal and provincial bodies for municipalities, such as the Ontario Structure Inspection Manual (OSIM) or the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) or the Pavement Condition Index (PCI).

The final result of applying this five-step process to LGIM is a robust model capable of leveraging ArcGIS apps and maps to manage virtually all assets for a given municipality. Further, because the core stays intact with minimal changes, the LGIM is upgradable and can be Canadianized to support the data models needed for Cityworks, Asset Lifecycle Model and others. 

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here

About the Author

Abdul Mannan Mohammed

Abdul Mannan Mohammed is a Business Analyst with the Core solutions team at Esri Canada. He helps customers in the transportation, public works, municipal, oil and gas, and public health industries leverage geographic information and the ArcGIS platform. As a seasoned consultant, Abdul specializes in the design and implementation of enterprise-wide geospatial solutions, including integration with third-party solutions and business intelligence. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in photogrammetry and geoinformatics from the Stuttgart University for Applied Sciences in Germany. When not playing cricket or tennis, Abdul plays with data science and machine learning.

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