Home' Position : Position Dec Jan 2016 Contents GIS technology has long been the
cornerstone of monitoring high
value, static and nomadic assets.
Furthermore, as one of the spatial
sciences' traditional domains, asset
management is an established testing
ground for GIS innovation.
The technology sits comfortably within
the greater majority of government
organisations and large scale commercial
enterprises, and has a firm hold on assets
positioned on the ground, in the air, and
both on and below water.
While mobile asset management has
been a feature of the GIS landscape for
more than 40 years, recent developments
in movement tracking software have seen
GIS capabilities expanded to redefine
how assets are monitored within spaces
confined by bricks and mortar.
Speaking of the new generation of
indoor mapping technology, MapData
Services general manager Cassandra
Barker said the technology will
profoundly change the way Australian
companies manage assets.
"For organisations operating large
fleets of mobile assets within sprawling
environments, the need to know the exact
location of equipment, infrastructure
and personnel has long stood as the key
motivation for adopting GIS capabilities,"
Ms Barker said.
"This new generation of asset tracking
software is set to take GIS capabilities
further than it has ever been before.
"So far we have seen the newest
addition being a suite of Wi-Fi or
Bluetooth enabled tracking software,
leveraging 'smart tags' attached to high-
value and mobile assets.
"As the asset moves around a facility
or work site, the smart tags periodically
scan ambient Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals
from nearby access
points to view the
assets' exact location
within a building.
actively view an
on an interactive smart
map and by analysing the
data, determine the paths an object has
travelled through a facility.
"The insights delivered include an
understanding of an asset's location, the
time it has been there, as well as whether
the asset has moved.
"From this, organisations can
begin to model the information and
gain a comprehensive and holistic view
of how assets are being utilised or stored
Ms Barker predicts hospitals,
universities and large-scale entertainment
venues will be among the first to actively
adopt the technology.
"This new breed of asset tracking
technology is ideal for any organisation
tasked with managing the movement of
significant inventories of transportable
equipment," Ms Barker said.
"For example, hospital administrators
and medical staff are able to quickly see
where a specific medical device is located
in real-time on a smart map.
"This proves especially valuable in an
emergency, when response time is key to
delivering optimal patient care.
"The technology offers hospitals more
than just efficiency gains -- there are real
cost savings to be made, especially in the
area of stock control.
"Figures out of the US suggest
approximately 4 per cent of hospital
equipment is lost or misplaced, which
equates to an average of US$28 million
Aside from monitoring equipment, the
technology is able to capture movements
of living, breathing assets.
Beyond personnel, organisations are
now actively monitoring movements of
'customers' -- be they shoppers, patients
Ms Barker said an interesting
application of the technology has been
within the law enforcement and corrections
"By fixing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled
wearable devices such as wrist or ankle
bands to inmates, corrections and law
enforcement personnel are able to
monitor inmates' movements within
a complex in near real-time via an
interactive dashboard," Ms Barker said.
Whilst in the retail space, indoor
location technology has gained great
traction as Australian retailers seek to
protect or extend conversion rates.
Ms Barker said Bluetooth sensors
and smartphones are other viable
options enabling retailers and consumers
to engage in an unprecedented manner.
"Stores seeking to uncover how their
floor space is used and where shoppers
linger the most are now utilising
Bluetooth sensors to map and analyse
customers' movements based on their
smartphone emissions," Ms Barker said.
"While no personal or identifiable
information is collected, the data reveals
valuable patterns and trends of how
shoppers behave and interact within a store.
"Understanding the geography of a
store delivers compelling insights into the
type of shopping environments that trigger
the most activity and can answer questions
often raised by retailers, such as how
to optimise a stores' layout to generate
revenue, how to improve customer
experience, as well as understanding
influences on store-to-store comparisons.
"Whether it's monitoring high-grade
medical equipment with smart tags or
the movements of human assets within
correctional, entertainment or retail
facilities, the latest tracking technology
offers decision-makers a level of granularity
never before seen in this country."
For more information, visit
An eye on assets
20 position December/January 2016
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