The City of Burien, located about 15 miles south of Seattle, has a population of about 34,000. As a friendly community with rich heritage, Burien boasts well-established neighborhoods and a small-town atmosphere within a short drive of the state’s metropolitan center.
Burien uses a combination of GIS web services, Cityworks Server AMS, and networking to conduct field operations for Public Works crews. The City has two separate crew divisions, Street and Stormwater, using Server AMS. Stormwater crews began using Cityworks Desktop 4.5 with DataPump to manage their work orders and service requests. When Stormwater migrated to Server AMS, they brought the Street crews online to access and maintain their work in the field. With this transition to Server, street assets had to be inventoried and added to the GIS.
“With four major street inventories happening concurrently, the results are brought into Cityworks frequently through GIS,” stated Fernando Llamas, Addressing Coordinator, City of Burien. “This is one of the reasons I love Cityworks for what it is. I can update GIS, and my crews can see the new asset in the field in real time, even through versioning.”
The crews can now see all the assets they have to manage in one system. In addition, they can easily map, find assets, and give updates to the GIS department if a discrepancy exists.
When crews find an issue with an asset in the field, they create a work order, perform the work, track associated costs, and in the instance the GIS needs updating, submit the work order to the GIS Department. All of this is done by field crews not connected to the City’s network.
Rugged laptops with Verizon Wireless 4G cards are installed in each crew truck and connected through an encrypted VPN to a service provided by the City. The VPN service, Netmotion, transforms the laptops into traveling offices. The VPN tunnel connects laptops directly to the City’s intranet where Cityworks Server AMS resides. It also snapshots the network connection in case a laptop loses connectivity so internal resources continue as if the laptop is still connected. Once the laptop comes back online, it restores the current session as if the user never lost the connection.
Llamas continues: “The turn-around time from problem to resolution went from being 72 hours and/or days before our Cityworks usage, to now an average of only 24 hours using Cityworks. This, of course, depends on the severity of the work or request. Nonetheless, within the same day, an asset can be worked on with the problem resolved and also updated in the GIS. Service requests are also worked on out in the field as an administrative user enters them from the office, resulting in quicker response time and less duplication, with only one crew responding instead of all of them.”
by Fernando Llamas, Addressing Coordinator, City of Burien, Washington