Tag Archive for: GIS

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This week, Vice President of Data Management and Visualization, Todd Pierce is diving into the synergy that exists among our suite of Locus applications. When combined, these four powerful tools—EIM, Locus Platform, GIS+, and Locus Mobile—work seamlessly to help you harness the true potential of your data within the Locus Cloud.

Let’s take a closer look at how each of these applications contributes to transforming your data landscape, click the video to learn more.

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      2022 has given us a wealth of new features and growth! Both of our platforms have undergone improvements to enhance our client’s user experience. Let’s look at all the new features for 2022.

      Environmental Information Management (EIM)

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      1. New Site Metrics dashboard allows immediate visibility into your data with clickable mapping. This is especially powerful for customers with multiple sites where they want to keep track of site activity and usage. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      2. Finding data can sometimes be overwhelming especially when you have hundreds, if not thousands, of locations and numerous analytical parameters to review. Locus added advanced database search tools to support multiple search terms and ‘exact match’ searches, making it easy to find exactly what you want with a couple of key words and a click. Never has finding the right results from large complex datasets been so easy. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      3. Locus has enhanced its API functionality to enable easier integration with external BI tools, including Tableau, PowerBI, and other apps. Now, customers that rely on external business analytical tools will have quick and easy access to data to combine with other internal data sources. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      4. Locus document management has been taken to the next level by allowing customers to link documents from any external library directly into their sites, monitoring locations, samples, and more.  This means with a simple click, users can go to lab reports, regulatory reports, and any other current or historical document associated with the site.  If you are using SharePoint, for example, to manage documents – they can be accessed directly from Locus software.  Document access and security will be preserved by existing document library access controls. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      5. 2022 was the year of “help”.  In addition to the advanced search, Locus added a new Help Browser to provide access to comprehensive documentation for every feature of the software.  It is similar to the familiar site map, only the links take you to help content.  With this new feature, users can view help in a single location vs having to access the information on each individual screen.  For new users, or infrequent users, this will be their new favorite feature. [/sc_icon_with_text]

      EHS & ESG Solutions

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      1. Locus’ Survey/Questionnaire tool enables you to securely & easily obtain data globally without the burdens of training or maintaining user lists. The survey system effortlessly supports data entry from external organizations (such as suppliers) or even occasional users internal to your organization, with a simple link click. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      2. Locus released a new pivot table tool that enables you to perform full data analysis on any query in the system.  Data may be grouped and organized by any value. Output options include bar charts, heatmaps, tables, area charts, scatter charts, and tree maps. In support of the output options, Locus has improved the ability for users to create dashboards more easily. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      3. Complex inspection and audit forms require branching, sophisticated, scoring, and automated responses.  Locus added new question types to its inspection/ audit module, including conditional questions based on responses to one or more previous questions. Locus augmented the scoring calculation mechanism and automated creation and tracking of corrective action. [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      4. In today’s world, users need access to environmental data on the go.  Locus augmented its mobile offerings to include configurable layouts for mobile users, with compact forms specially designed for smartphone and tablet access.   [/sc_icon_with_text]

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      5. Today’s managers want immediate access to the data they need. Locus new Landing Page feature makes it simple to configure the dashboards, bookmarks, and record lists. This enables the user to review just the areas they need to see and navigate efficiently to complete the work.  [/sc_icon_with_text]

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        Today is GIS Day, a day started in 1999 to showcase the many uses of geographical information systems (GIS). Earlier Locus blog posts have explained how GIS and maps support visualization of objects in space and over time. This post covers a specific visualization method called data dashboards.  

        A data dashboard is a combination of charts, maps, text, and images that enables analysis of data and thereby promotes discovery of previously unknown relationships in the data. Companies and organizations use dashboards to develop insight into the overall status of a company or of a company division, process, or product line. Dashboards are also a common function in ‘business intelligence’ applications such as Microsoft Power BI and Tableau. A printed dashboard is static, but an online dashboard can be dynamic; in a dynamic dashboard, interacting with one item on the dashboard causes the other items to update. Taken together, the visualizations on a dynamic dashboard can help you find the story in your data. 

        One reason dashboards are so helpful is that they allow humans to partially ‘offload’ their thinking. Cognitive research has shown that human ‘working memory’ handles at most four items at a time. A good visualization, however, reduces the number of items to process in memory. 

        Consider a large table of carbon dioxide emissions by country for multiple years; it can be difficult to keep all the numbers in mind if you are trying to find trends.

        If you plot the data in a graph, however, each series of data in the chart becomes just one line on the graph. It is much easier to compare lines on the chart than to compare columns of numbers.

        Now consider making a map with countries color coded by emissions. Again, for each country, the map reduces multiple numbers to a single color for that country on the map. You can compare country colors more easily than columns of numbers.

        A dashboard that combines multiple visualizations further enhances data analysis. Imagine a dynamic dashboard showing you both the emissions chart and map described above. If you select a country on the map, the chart can highlight the line for that country, so you compare its emissions to other countries over time. Similarly, if you select a line on the chart for a specific country, the map can highlight the selected country to show how its emissions compare to nearby countries. This interactivity lets you drill into your data more effectively than using either the chart or the map by itself.

        Here are three examples of effective dashboards that are available online:

        Locus includes data dashboards in our applications. One example is the Site Metrics dashboard in EIM, Locus’s cloud-based, software-as-a-service application for environmental data management. The Site Metrics dashboard lets you perform roll-up queries across your portfolio of sites. A map on the dashboard shows all states with active sites. If you select one or more states, the dashboard updates the charts and tables on the right to show total sites, user logins, and record counts. Other dashboards can support showing sample locations of certain chemicals or counts of regulatory limit exceedances.

        A further example comes from the Locus Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) application. ESG metrics are becoming increasingly important measures for an organization’s performance. Data dashboards can help companies quickly visualize trends in their ESG metrics using intuitive mapping tools.

        This dashboard illustrates both spatial and time trends and provides the raw data necessary for auditability and transparent decision making. Having these features on a single combined view provides users with instant access to the key inputs for ESG prioritization, planning, and project implementation.

        As these examples from Locus show, data dashboards with integrated mapping are important tools for maximizing the value of your collected environmental and ESG data. For any dataset with a geographic component, it’s important to incorporate mapping elements in the outputs, to highlight trends and patterns that may not otherwise be visible in a chart or table. Modern software can combine these output formats in a way that tells the story shown by your data.


        Interested in Locus’ GIS solutions?

        Locus GIS+ features all of the functionality you love in EIM’s classic Google Maps GIS for environmental management—integrated with the powerful cartography, interoperability, & smart-mapping features of Esri’s ArcGIS platform!

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        About the Author—Dr. Todd Pierce, Locus Technologies

        Dr. Pierce manages a team of programmers tasked with development and implementation of Locus’ EIM application, which lets users manage their environmental data in the cloud using Software-as-a-Service technology. Dr. Pierce is also directly responsible for research and development of Locus’ GIS (geographic information systems) and visualization tools for mapping analytical and subsurface data. Dr. Pierce earned his GIS Professional (GISP) certification in 2010.

        To celebrate a milestone 25 years of success in EHS and ESG software development, we sat down with Locus President, Wes Hawthorne for a brief discussion. In this post, we ask him a series of questions highlighting the past, present and future of EHS and ESG.

        1. What are the greatest challenges that environmental professionals are facing?

        One of the persistent challenges we’ve seen for the past 25 years is that the responsibilities of environmental professionals are continually expanding. Previously, almost all environmental work was localized, with facility-level permits for air, water, waste, etc. That has expanded over the years to include new regulations and reporting requirements for sustainability, social metrics, and other new compliance areas, while the old facility-level programs still continue. This has led to more pressure on environmental managers to keep up with these programs, and increased reliance on tools to manage that information. That’s where Locus has always focused our effort, to make that ever-expanding workload more manageable with modern solutions.

        2. What are the most interesting trends in EHS and ESG?

        The current flood of interest in ESG is certainly notable as far as bringing corporate attention to the environmental field, as well as having requirements originate from the SEC here in the US. We have become accustomed to managing oversight from multiple regulatory bodies at the local, state, and federal level, but SEC would be a newcomer in our line of work. Their involvement will be accompanied by a range of new requirements that are common for the financial world, but would be unfamiliar to environmental staff.

        Across other EHS fields, we are seeing increased demand for transparency in EHS functions. Overall, this is a positive move, as it brings more attention to EHS issues and develops a better EHS culture within organizations. But this also drives the need for better tools to make EHS information readily available across all levels of the organization.

        3. What are the most disruptive technologies available today?

        As far as technologies, the ones most likely to have significant impact in the environmental field are ones that don’t require a significant capital investment. Although there are definitely some practical advantages to installing smart monitoring devices and other new technologies, procuring the funding for those purchases is often difficult for environmental professionals. Fortunately, there are still many technologies that have already been implemented successfully in other fields, but only need to be adapted for environmental purposes. Even simple changes like using web-based software in place of spreadsheets can have a huge impact on efficiency. And we haven’t yet seen the full impact of the proliferation of mobile devices on EHS functions. We are still working on new ways to take advantage of mobile devices for data collection, analysis, and communication purposes.

        4. What do you think are the biggest innovations of the last 25 years in our field?

        We’ve seen a number of innovation milestones in the past 25 years, and while we didn’t invent SaaS, we’ve been largely responsible for adapting it and perfecting it for environmental purposes. One of the major innovations we’ve integrated into our products include online GIS tools where users can easily visualize their environmental data on maps without expensive desktop software. Another one was our fully configurable software platform with built-in form, workflow, and report builders tailored for environmental purposes, which allows anyone to build and deploy environmental software applications that exactly match their needs. There have been many other innovations we’ve incorporated into our software, but these two stand out as the most impactful.

        5. Where do you see Environmental and ESG reporting in the future?

        More and more, we are seeing all types of reporting being converted into pure data exchanges. Reports that used to include regulatory forms and text interpretations are being replaced with text or XML file submittals. This transition is being driven largely by availability of technology for EHS professionals to generate and read these files, but it is also promoted by regulatory agencies and other stakeholders receiving these reports. Stakeholders have less time to read volumes of interpretive text, and are becoming more skeptical of potential bias in how facts are presented in text. These are driving the need for more pure data exchanges, with increasing emphasis on quantifiable metrics. These types of reports are also more readily compared against regulatory or industry standards. For reporters, lengthy corporate reports with volumes of text and graphics are becoming less common, and the success of an organization’s programs will be increasingly reliant on robust data sets, since ultimately only the data will be reported.

        6. What has been the key reason for Locus’ success for the past 25 years?

        There are actually a few that immediately come to mind. One reason is the nature of our continually evolving products. By providing our solutions as SaaS, our software adapts with new environmental requirements, and with new technologies. If our software was still the same as it was 25 years ago, it simply wouldn’t be sufficient for today’s requirements. Since our software is updated multiple times each year, it is difficult to notice the incremental changes, but they can be readily seen if you compare today’s software with the original in 1997. And we’re committed to continuing the development of our products as environmental needs change.

        The other primary reason for our success is our excellent staff and the environmental expertise we bring to our customers. We simply could not provide the same level of support without our team of environmental engineers, scientists, geologists, chemists, and an array of others. Having that real-world understanding of environmental topics is how we’ve maintained customer relationships for multiple decades. And our software only has value because it is maintained and operated by staff who appreciate the complexity and importance of environmental work.


        Locus President Wes Hawthorne meets with Locus Platform dev team 2016Mr. Hawthorne has been with Locus since 1999, working on development and implementation of services and solutions in the areas of environmental compliance, remediation, and sustainability. As President, he currently leads the overall product development and operations of the company. As a seasoned environmental and engineering executive, Hawthorne incorporates innovative analytical tools and methods to develop strategies for customers for portfolio analysis, project implementation, and management. His comprehensive knowledge of technical and environmental compliance best practices and laws enable him to create customized, cost-effective and customer-focused solutions for the specialized needs of each customer.

        Mr. Hawthorne holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and B.S. degrees in Geology and Geological Engineering from Purdue University. He is registered both as a Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist, and is also accredited as Lead Verifier for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Low Carbon Fuel Standard programs by the California Air Resources Board.

        Want to discuss EHS and ESG solutions with our product specialists? Contact us today!

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          Tag Archive for: GIS

          Locus GIS+ will streamline SJW’s water quality and environmental management from watershed to consumer taps.

          MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 14 February 2023Locus Technologies, the leading EHS Compliance, and ESG software provider, today announced that San Jose Water (SJW), an investor-owned public utility providing water service to a population of approximately one million people in the Santa Clara Valley, has expanded Locus’ environmental information management software to use Locus GIS+ for advanced GIS analysis.

          SJW has been using Locus SaaS and mobile app since 2014 to manage its field data collection, water quality compliance, and regulatory reporting. SJW also uses Locus to track sewer discharges and well blow-offs.

          “Our responsibility is to ensure our customers receive the highest quality drinking water from their taps. We monitor the quality and cleanliness of our water in terms of state and federal regulatory requirements. In 2021, our highly experienced staff collected more than 1,000 regulatory and non-regulatory samples from our distribution system and treatment plant, generating over 23,000 data points. To manage this data effectively, we used Locus’ cloud-based software. GIS mapping capabilities are essential for our environmental data analysis. Locus GIS+ will allow quick data visualization and is a quantum leap forward with advanced analysis tools that use Esri’s Smart Mapping technology,” said Suzanne DeLorenzo, the Director of Water Quality at San Jose Water.

          “Locus’s mission is to help organizations, such as San Jose Water, to achieve their business goals by providing them the software tools to manage key data associated with water quality and compliance reporting,” said Neno Duplan, CEO of Locus. “With GIS+, SJW will have all the tools they need to perform a wide range of geospatial data analysis across their distribution system. Our water quality management cloud-based software, coupled with GIS+ and Locus Mobile for field data collection, provides our customers with a highly scalable and feature-rich application that gives water utilities strong analytical power and advanced GIS capabilities.”

          Locus GIS+ is powered by Esri’s ArcGIS platform and offers various advanced features— including enhanced cartography, comprehensive spatial data analysis, and the ability to use the customer’s map data through integration with ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS.

           

          ABOUT SAN JOSE WATER
          Founded in 1866, San Jose Water is an investor-owned public utility and is one of the largest and most technically sophisticated urban water systems in the United States. Serving over one million people in the greater San Jose metropolitan area, San Jose Water also provides services to other utilities, including operations and maintenance, billing, and backflow testing. San Jose Water is owned by SJW Group, a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SJW. SJW Group also owns Connecticut Water Company in Connecticut; Maine Water Company in Maine; and SJWTX, Inc. (dba Canyon Lake Water Service Company) in Texas. To learn more about San Jose Water, visit www.sjwater.com.

          Locus looks back on the last 25 years of pioneering EHS, ESG, and water quality software.

          MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 11 April 2022Locus Technologies, the leading EHS Compliance and ESG software provider, today celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding, and with it, a quarter-century of customer success. Locus looks back on its founding as a Silicon Valley leader in EHS & ESG software with pride in its leadership through expertise, stability, and innovation. 

          Locus was founded in 1997 with a revolutionary vision that set the framework for what is now widely known as environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and environmental, health, and safety (EHS). Locus envisioned a simplified and data-driven approach, offering software in the cloud, on mobile devices, and as a service. The company pioneered SaaS (Software as a Service) model in EHS, ESG, and water quality management spaces in 1999 and never installed its software on customers’ premises. 

          Over 25 years, Locus has pioneered cloud environmental solutions, online and mobile GIS (Geographic Information System) services, has revolutionized environmental information management, and AI and IoT technologies for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to forward-facing municipalities and the US Government. 

          Locus recently broke new ground by releasing the first Visual Calculation Engine for ESG Reporting. Locus’s visual calculation engine helps companies quickly set up and view their entire ESG data collection and reporting program, enabling full transparency and financial-grade auditability throughout the entire process. 

          As the industry continues to evolve, competitors merge and disappear. New markets emerge and grow. Locus remains a constant in the environmental space, an innovative and independent pioneer. 

          “For 25 years now, Locus has brought together industry-leading experts in EHS, sustainability, and technology. Although regulations and requirements have changed over the years, that combination remains at the core of what Locus does, as demonstrated by our stability and long-term customer partners. We look forward to continuing our path of growth using those same values for the next 25 years.” said Wes Hawthorne, Locus President.  

          Locus Founder and CEO, Neno Duplan is proud to look back on the growth of Locus over the last 25 years. He said, “Locus did not start in the clouds, but back in 1997, we had a rather good view. Locus’s vision for better global environmental stewardship has not changed since its inception. We focus on empowering organizations to track better and mitigate the environmental impact of their activities. That vision has come to fruition through the Locus software services used by some of the world’s largest companies and government organizations. Locus’ SaaS has been ahead of the curve in helping private and public organizations in not only managing their water quality, EHS compliance or ESG reporting but also turning their environmental information into a competitive advantage in their operating models.” 

          Locus will provide environmental field and analytical data management software for Evergreen Natural Resources.

          MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 17 March 2020 — Locus Technologies, industry leader in environmental software, today announced that Evergreen Natural Resources, a privately-held energy company based in Denver, Colorado, has chosen Locus environmental software for their data collection and management.

          Evergreen Natural Resources has selected Locus’ environmental software, EIM, after proof of concept and usability testing. They will seek to utilize Locus EIM as a laboratory database management system, and for regulatory report generation, while also taking advantage of Locus’ premium GIS tool, GIS+, as well as Locus Mobile.

          “With over 2,600 unique locations that require routine sampling, Locus’ environmental and GIS software allows us to collect, manage, visualize, and analyze data. Locus EIM aligns with our strategy to increase availability and reduce our internal application infrastructure footprint,” said Cesar Zayas, IT Director of Evergreen.

          “Evergreen Natural Resources is a rapidly emerging company in the energy sector, and their decision to utilize Locus’ powerful environmental software shows their objective to manage their data quality at the highest level. Our scalable software will match their continued growth,” said Wes Hawthorne, President of Locus.