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IoT Data Indoors

Similar to people discovering online maps in the mid 90s, our first implementation of ArcGIS Indoors was the recreation of our office building. This wasn’t mere curiosity though; the idea was to extract spatial data from several “Smart Campus” IoT devices in development at our offices and to track recyclables and consumables for the Cyberpark Technology Development Authority, which manage the multi structure facility where our offices reside.

Our experience with ArcGIS and Esri’s data models helped make the transition to Indoors relatively pain free. Although we are using CAD drawings on another Indoors implementation (a Medical Campus project in Istanbul), lack of an up-to-date digital floorplan for our offices meant using manual measurements, sketching them out in SVG format and finally integrating these into ArcGIS Pro.

As mentioned in the previous blog in this series, our primary goal is to create a rich integration with ArcGIS indoors and our Evolved.City technology. We look forward to the wide range of applications that will emerge when facility scale IoT and complex workflows integrate with Esri’s powerful ecosystem. This blog entry will cover our first experience in publishing real-time IoT data to Esri’s Indoors as well as our experiences with ArcGIS Indoors visualizations.

The first IoT device we integrated with ArcGIS Indoors was a multi-sensor setup proving real-time environmental data such as: temperature, humidity, noise, CO2 levels and motion. A simple way of accessing real-time data is through dashboards which can be activated by interacting with a device icon on the floor plan. But as mentioned in the previous blog, a shared geospatial platform should provide more than an intuitive entry point into tabulated data, it should allow for a user to visualize multiple layers spread across the spatial interface. This paves the way towards a general understanding of the spatial conditions as well as expose critical areas through the multi-layer data visualization. In our case we chose to overlay environmental measurements that indicate a healthy and productive office space, namely:

Temperature: represented via room background color Humidity: icon-based dot density CO2: indicated by dynamic icons which reflect safety related thresholds

It is easy to imagine how such analysis can provide an instant snapshot of environmental experience on settings such as factory floors, hospital wings, airports and so much more. These samples will be shared over the coming months.

At first glance our next case may seem a little tongue in cheek, but we believe it illustrates the power of implicit data extraction from IoT devices. The second device that we integrated with ArcGIS Indoors is basically a load cell that is communicating real-time weight change from our office coffee maker, which in this raw form isn’t all that useful. An Evolved.City workflow running in the background helps us detect with relatively good precision the amount and freshness of coffee in the kitchen. The workflow combines the simple weight parameter with rules and timers so that our ArcGIS Indoors kitchen can be consulted at any time when a jolt of caffeine is needed.

It is possible to find many industrial and health related applications where complex field data can be extrapolated by mapping simple measurements onto well-defined workflows. Another active example in proximity is an IoT device on our floor which provides input from a paper towel dispenser on our floor. This was requested the facility management in order to reduce paper waste, which may arise from dispensed paper length, early roll replacement and device malfunctions. This device can also feed workflows that automatically update cleanup schedules based on usage frequency.

It should go without saying that enhancing IoT devices with custom workflows can reduce the cost and complexity of electronics that need to be installed in the field. Where greater precision is required, these workflows can be further enhanced, or additional hardware / sensors can be installed in the application domain.

Overall, we’ve been very happy with our initial foray into this integration between Evolved.City and ArcGIS Indoors. The ability to access real-time geospatial data from a common platform and the capacity to create multi variable visualizations are simply the tip of the iceberg; we are looking forward to exploring a wide range of new applications as we dive deeper into ESRI’s geospatial ecosystem. In the upcoming entries in this blog series, we plan on covering topics such as: visualization of automated tasks (spread over multiple floors or buildings), asset tracking using our proprietary hardware and implementations that cross the bridge between the realm of indoors and GIS.


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