Recent Work & Projects

Below is a sample of some projects that Meier IT Pty Ltd have been busily working on.

Population ModellerPlanning and Development

As the name suggests, this application is all about populations. Written for a local government client, it is used to model both current and forecast residential and employment populations. This information is then used for planning and development purposes to help make logical decisions for present and future needs. For the data to be accurate, the modeller gathers information from a variety sources including spatial property, zoning, overlay constraints, building and flooding layers along with rating information such as bin numbers and land use. This data is then formulated to produce present and future population figures that can be drilled down to a property level.

The modeller is uploaded with the latest source data every 3 months and has information going back to 2002 when the project started. During this time, the modeller has seen the residential population within the council area go from 125,000 to 245,000. Not that the application had anything to do with the growth but it did keep an eye on the progress and an insight to the future.

The population modeller started life as a traditional desktop application over 20 years ago but has recently had a major upgrade so it now operates as a web application. The gathering of the data done quarterly is performed in the Safe FME product and then transferred to a Microsoft SQL Server database. The application then uses this data to model populations using criteria specified by the user.

Quality AssuranceBusiness Processes

This project involved writing software to help manage the process of regularly checking and maintaining QA procedures and policies. QA processes are assigned to employees on a regular schedule for them to audit. During the audit, system improvements or non-conformance records can be created by the auditor for further actioning. The software keeps track of the process making sure the protocols are followed and performed on time.

Features of the system include:

  • Colour coded Gantt view of the scheduled audits.
  • Full audit history of any changes to values made in the system.
  • Email reminders of when audits are due and closed.
  • Create ad-hoc system improvement records without the need for an audit.

The software runs as a website in the cloud and is using PHP with a MySQL database.

Emergency OperationsBusiness Continuity

With the COVID19 pandemic fast developing, this project had a sense of urgency. The project was for a local government and was all about making sure that business functionality was maintained during an emergency situation such as a pandemic or natural disaster. All local governments provide many critical functions for the communities they serve but having a dispersed workforce and many broad functions can make it difficult to get immediate up to date information to make quick decisions and see any emerging issues. The software written for this project provided:

  • Alerts and web forms for managers to enter current details about staff availability and the status of business functions.
  • Dashboards that highlighted employee and business function statuses that could be drilled down for more detail.
  • Highlighting of business functions that were of high importance and making sure that backup employees available.
  • Daily situation reports.
  • Synchronisation with council's HR system.

Apart from helping this council to manage the impact of COVID19, the software written for this project will continue to provide many benefits for the future. Processes have been put in place that will help with normal day to day tasks and the council will have an up to date business continuity plan ready to go for any other emergency that may occur in future.

Behind the scenes, the software was developed using Node JS and on the client side various open source components are utilised to display the information in the browser.

Pool ManagementSafety and Compliance

This software manages the pool facilities owned by a local government to make sure the pool water is safe for public use and complying with state guidelines. The application lives in the cloud and provides each pool facility with its own dashboard and super easy to use screens to record pool tests and other related pool information. Alerts are automatically created when certain values fall outside the recommended ranges. Alerts are also emailed when test recordings have not been entered within a certain timeframe. Council officers who are responsible for the pools have access to a centralised administration dashboard where all pools and alerts can be monitored. Charts for each facility have been created showing pool testing information overlayed with acceptable ranges and weather information.

Future plans for the application include a module where the operators can order pool supplies from their preferred suppliers.

The server in the cloud is using PHP with a MySQL database whereas as the council's site is leveraging off an existing site written in Node JS that pulls the directly information from the cloud server.

CCTV Asset ViewerPipe Infrastructure

This software links together pipe infrastructure and information that is captured from CCTV cameras that run underground along the length of the pipe. The exact location is highlighted in a map of where the current position of the video is playing or where photos were taken. The benefits include knowing where to dig to fix blocked pipes and finding where sewer house connections join the main pipe. Observations by the CCTV operator such as the condition of the pipe and any comments are visually shown in the interface. A defect database is also automatically updated to help with decision making on how best to deal with problem pipes.

Originally it was written as a desktop application which has been actively used since 2003 but has now also been rewritten as a web application. It was a reasonable challenge to emulate the existing desktop application in a website because of the differing technologies. However the end result produced a nice clean and responsive interface that can be easily accessed and integrated with existing corporate mapping systems.

For those who are curious with numbers, one of the clients that is using the software has almost 30,000 CCTV videos and 90,000 photos of their sewer assets equating to about 5 terabytes of data that includes 3,000 hours of video. Over the 15 year period each sewer pipe within the council has had on average 2 to 3 CCTV surveys performed.

The Sentinel ProjectDashboards

The Sentinel project has been built for a local government client to keep a lookout for any issues that may be occurring and to make sure key performance indicators are being met. Each dashboard module allows the user to filter or drill down to quickly retrieve information that may be of concern.

The dashboards hook into various existing databases that are used in production so the data displayed is "live". Currently dashboards sets are being provided for:

  • Customer Requests;
  • Payroll - overtime, allowances, leave;
  • Organisational Structure;
  • Internal Tasking;
  • Help Desk Ticketing;
  • Capital Projects

Behind the scenes, the software was developed using Node JS and on the client side various open source components are utilised to display the information in the browser.

Civic ProjectsCapital Works

Meier IT developed the user interface that shows all the planned, existing and recently completed infrastructure projects within a council area. The application is a public facing website which shows a visually appealing thematic map highlighting the stages of the infrastructure projects. Project information such as what the project involves, its status, commencement and completion dates can all be found by simply clicking or touching the project on the map. Further information can be requested through a custom made contact form as well allowing the user to receive updates on an individual project's progress.

Meier IT worked closely with the Council to make sure the data was presented correctly on the site and ensure the various departments were satisfied with the final look and feel. The site is running through a Node JS application on one of the Council's existing servers.

Water Network Isolation TraceWater Infrastructure

This project was built for a local government to perform isolation tracing on their water networks. It provides an easy way to quickly determine what properties and pipes are affected when a break occurs on a water network. It also highlights the valves that need to be switched off to stop the water flow to repair the break.

The site contained the following features:

  • A super easy to use interface and lightening fast results through a website.
  • The system caters for complex situations such as dead end pipes that may not be in the immediate vicinity of the break.
  • Multiple breaks can added to the result set.
  • Affected property list can be produced and exported to Excel.
  • The water pipe datasets used do not necessarily need to be topologically correct as the system allows for certain tolerances.
  • Can be integrated into existing mapping systems through url calls or using the REST API.
  • Caters for all screen types from mobiles to wide screen monitors.

Originally it was written as a desktop application which was used for many years but has now been rewritten as a web application. The web version was written in Node JS along with a separate Windows service application to do the network tracing calculations.

A demonstration site has been developed so please contact Meier IT if you would like to see the software in action.

Draft Planning SchemeConsultation Site

The Draft Planning Scheme project was built for a local government as a consultation site where the community could provide feedback prior to the new planning scheme being adopted. Users are able to easily view the various maps against the property dataset and quickly link those to the associated sections in the Statement of Proposals document to find out how it may be affected.

The site contained the following features:

  • Over 30 maps including Overlays, Strategic Valuable Features, Strategic Frameworks & Local Area Frameworks.
  • Links to the relevant sections in offical Statement of Proposals document and the offical PDF maps.
  • Dynamic legend to show what the various cartographic styles represent.
  • An information tool where a property could be queried to quickly find out how the scheme affects the property.
  • A feedback form where users can pinpoint the area where they may have a concern.
  • Some maps also contained alternative options which the user can quickly toggle between.
  • Caters for all screen types from mobiles to wide screen monitors.

Behind the scenes, the site needed to run on existing infrastructure provided by the council and use the same datasets that their corporate mapping service was using. A lightweight Node JS application was used on the server to dish out the files and submit the feedback information. On the browser side various open source components were utilised to display the information in the browser.

The SchedulerWorkflow Automation

The Scheduler started life to meet the simple need of being able to run a task regularly for a system we were developing. Sure an existing task scheduling application could have been used but the issue with that was it wouldn't have easy access to previously written functions within the system. More control over certain aspects such as logging and where information was being stored was also needed. Soon after writing the scheduler, it quickly grew to perform all sorts of tasks to automate workflow and could quite easily be bolted on to other new or existing systems.

The power and flexibility of the scheduler comes from the fact that it can use previously written functions and any number of NPM packages. It also can be used like a traditional scheduler and run external applications. Flexibility to schedule tasks can be configured to run from every minute or to once a year. Every minute and hour schedules can be restricted to run at certain times of the day (eg business hours).

Some examples of the tasks that have been written:

  • Checking data regularly and alerting certain users of issues;
  • Emailing reminders and reports;
  • Transferring and converting data to formats that can be used elsewhere;
  • Downloading and manipulating data from the web that is used in applications;
  • Snapshotting certain data for historic/backup purposes;
  • Making sure websites are running correctly and notifying administrators when there are issues;

The Scheduler is written in Node JS so it can utilise any of the NPM packages. It also works well with coding languages such as Python.

Road MaintenanceAsset Management

Software to manage the maintenance of unsealed roads and make better evidence-based cost saving decisions.

Data is gathered from roughometer devices at regular intervals depending on the class of road. Grading of roads are then prioritised based on roughness and need.

Some of the features of the system include:

  • Producing inspection reports so roads are not missed;
  • Automatic uploading of roughometer data with manual override if necessary;
  • Producing grading reports based on priority;
  • Visualise the road data through maps with numerous thematics;
  • Creating charts for individual roads to find patterns using the historic roughness data, grading intervals and rain amounts.

Originally written as a traditional desktop application but has since been converted to a web application to take advantage of the more modern interface components and accessibility.

Data Asset Tracking SystemAsset Management

The data asset tracking system, also known by its abbreviated name of DATS, is like a document management system for spatial data. So instead of documents, spatial data can be checked out, changed and versioned back into the system. DATS provides a great framework for spatial data with a full audit history and making sure rules are followed so the data is consistent and correct.

As well as versioning, other features of the system include:

  • a data dictionary for spatial data;
  • automatic asset numbering when checking in data;
  • a job system to help manage workload;
  • automatic data forms for data inputting.

DATS has been in use since 2005 and is run as desktop application utilising an Oracle database as a central repository. Over the years, upgrades have kept the system modern with the most recent change involving the conversion of the built in map viewer to use the corporate web mapping service.