During the FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa, New Media Labs were hired by Aurecon to architect and develop an Information Portal to be used by a Transport Operations Management Centre (TOC) for a major city of the host country.
The purpose of the TOC was to provide the public with information about any public transport mechanism at any time leading up to and during the running of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Secondary to this, the TOC was to monitor all public transportation issues that may have arisen and feed notifications of these issues to the relevant authorities.
New Media Labs were commissioned by Aurecon to implement an Information Hub for the TOC. We envisioned this as being served by a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 (MOSS) installation, allowing for rapid deployment given the timeframe of the project.
Aurecon briefed us to develop the simplest possible solution that utilized off-theshelf products as far as possible so as to minimize the risk and lengthy time frames implied by custom development. New Media Labs were happy to provide their knowledge and expertise in web technologies, SharePoint 2010 and Rapid Application Development.
The Information HUB provided the following key functional components to the TOC:
- Information Wiki
- Call Logging
- Information Request
- Status Updates of Facilities
- Complaint Reporting
- Incident Reporting
In addition to the above, the HUB also provided:
- Functionality and responsibility split between various roles and groups, e.g. Call takers and Supervisors
- Spatial Awareness via interactive ArcGis Maps
- Connectivity in the form of RSS and GeoRSS Feeds
The purpose of the Information Hub at the Transport Operations Management Centre was to provide the various users within the centre with all necessary information needed to ensure that public transport around match day events in the host city during the FIFA 2010 tournament ran smoothly and efficiently.
- The wiki provided information to the call takers in a structured, logical and consistent manner, which they could use to address queries they received by phone or email quickly and effectively.
- By utilizing wiki pages provided by Sharepoint 2010, we were able to quickly build a wiki for the TOC which was also easily updatable by members of the TOC during the tournament
- The starting point for interactions with the information hub by call takers was a wizard-based dialog. This dialog was the starting point to kick off the various required workflows and also acts as guidance for the call takers, whilst logging the calls answered
- Call Logging Landing Page as seen by a call taker
Call Logging – Answering a call
- One of the primary functions of the TOC was to handle incoming calls from the public and answer questions
- Call takers could utilize the wiki to locate the information required to answer any questions
- The system would allow for the call taker to capture the details of the question, if they were able to answer it, and if they need to respond to the caller once an answer has been found
- If an answer was not given, then this would initiate a system workflow, which ultimately would generate tasks to supervisors indicating that the information was not available and the wiki needed updating which they could then do
Status Updates of Facilities
- A status update is linked to some physical entity and reflects a property of that entity that may change over time. Two examples include a measurement of how full a parking lot is, or how congested a segment of road is
- SharePoint 2010 ArcGIS map web part was used to graphically represent the various FIFA 2010 World Cup Transport related facilities for Port Elizabeth, and stored the facilities status values in an underlying SharePoint list
- Monitoring complaints from the public, the TOC allowed for rapid notification to the relevant stakeholder of the issue at hand. Workflow was incorporated to provide feedback to the reporting individual and inform them that the issue has been reported to the relevant authority
- Incidents are events that have taken place that may or may not require some sort of action by a role player who is either internal or external to TOC
- Whilst some notifications may have emergency aspects to them the TOC’s role (and the Information Hub) was one of information sharing, the design of the system was to allow the relevant parties to be alerted to an incident, to monitor the progress of the incident and to track when the incident was resolved
Roles and Workflow
- Within the TOC were several different roles and group, each having their own responsibilities and actions within the TOC
- We leveraged off of SharePoint’s role based functionality and utilized the built in workflow engine to quickly implement the require business processes
- Within the TOC were several wallboards mounted across the center. A wallboard is defined as being any large-format display screen that is placed in a location such that it is visible and easy to read for two or more role players
- One of the primary wallboards was the Common Operational Picture (COP). This wallboard was primarily used by the Supervisors, but was visible so that any person within the TOC is able to quickly and easily get an overview of the current operational situation. A COP is a map representation of the area in question with various icons and indicators
Common Operational Picture
- We utilized the ESRI Flex Viewer supplied by ESRI and implemented various widgets within it providing functionality such as displaying various ArcGIS layers such as bus routes, facilities, incidents captured within the Information Hub, real time vehicle locations and vehicle tracking, and Status Updates from the Information Hub
- Common Operational Picture – Incident Tracking
Common Operational Picture – Bus Routes
Common Operational Picture – Vehicle Tracking
Development of the Information Hub was carried out on Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 and was accessible via numerous interfaces, for example Sharepoint Workspace, desktop browsers and mobile browsers.
Esri ArcGIS Server was used to serve all mapping components. Sharepoint presented elements from Esri via a Silverlight mapping component, whereas the Common Operational Picture was built with Adobe Flex and gave the users a rich, user friendly, Flash based UI.
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