Nova Scotia Power team wins international award

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA - A team from Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) has been recognized for its innovative use of satellite mapping technology via smartphone at the First Annual BlackBerry Mobile GIS Awards.

NSPI's GIS Connectivity Project team accepted the award during a video-conference with an international meeting of GIS (geographic information system) users.

"This is a real honour for our team," said project manager Brian Shannon.

"We are humbled that what we thought of as a very practical work process has been recognized as an international leading innovation. Our focus was to improve our model of the electrical distribution system in order to help enhance service reliability for customers."

The other team members are GIS project lead Anthony Bell, IT architect Chris Cruickshank, and business system analyst Jamie Simpson.

The NSPI team is using Blackberry Storms and Freeance Standard software in the field to collect technical data about individual components of the distribution system, such as transformers and disconnect switches, along with precise location information. The information is transferred from their Blackberries to Nova Scotia Power's GIS server, and technicians use it to update the electrical model.

The information is building a more accurate picture of NSPI's distribution system, which will help the utility better predict the impact of storms, dispatch line crews more effectively, and provide better information to customers and emergency officials during outages.

"Nova Scotia Power prides itself in its innovative workforce," said Rick Janega, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Power. "The members of the GIS Connectivity Project team are a perfect example of the kind of employees serving our customers, finding a cost-effective and industry-leading way to help provide better service."

The GIS on BlackBerry Awards recognize achievements in four categories. The NSPI team won as best application for field services. The awards were presented in conjunction with the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, CA, the world's largest gathering of GIS professionals.


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