Recently the Navy Shore Geospatial Energy Module went through its fourth successful promotion release in the GeoReadiness Explorer Production environment, and the hype is heating up about it, so I thought I would give everyone a little background on the program and what NSGEM can do….
Commander, Navy Installation Command (CNIC) instated the CNIC Energy Program in order to provide guidance, policy, and tools for implementing mandated energy reduction and sustainability practices. The main goals of the program (as outlined in OPNAV policy OPNAVINST 4100.5E) are:
- 50% reduction in energy consumption by 2020.
- 50% renewable energy source consumption by 2020.
- 50% net-zero participation by 2020.
In order to meet these goals, CNIC adopted a Facility Energy Strategy that includes: reducing energy demands (facilities and building practices using less energy consumption), expanding energy supplies (adopting alternative/renewable sources), enhancing energy security (sustainable energy usage), and advancing new technologies (installing smart meters on each building, using GIS to leverage and provide metrics from available consumption information, etc). Ms. Sandrine Schultz, the CNIC Energy Program Manager, had a vision of an overarching geospatial tool that provides the Navy with centralized information access for tracking, measuring, and planning such practices. Up to this point, there was no effective way of visualizing and displaying the important tabular data in the business systems that tracked energy usage. GISi was consulted with reviewing current capabilities and building a suite of tools upon the GeoReadiness Explorer application already in place and maintained by NAVFAC (Naval Facilities and Engineering Command), and so began the birth of NSGEM.
As the NSGEM Team started development, the data sources were gathered and compared. The initial goals package (created by Booz Allen Hamilton) provided benchmark scores for energy consumption and set reduction numbers in place, which in turn established the baseline metrics CNIC needed to go forth in their mission. A Gap Analysis was performed initially to identify where disparities lied between the main data sources: iNFADS – the Navy’s real property database, CIRCUITS – the utility allocation and billing system, and the GeoReadiness (GRX) CIP – the worldwide geospatial data. This effort pinpointed further needs and issues, some could be resolved and some still in flux, and generated a Data Quality Score that is shown in the current interface. Gap Analysis layers are available as well, to highlight the specific facilities that have these particular issues.
They next proceeded to the development of the ETL processes. They were built to extract and transform the data from the business systems into spatial data that is published through ArcGIS Server as a map service. The published map service contains three layers depicting energy consumption and reduction efforts at the region, installation, and facility level. The GRX map publishing process is done via an ASP.NET web application called Map Publisher. The GRX Map Viewer is the front end of the GRX system. The Map Viewer displays the maps, layers, bookmarks, and other common functionality you would expect from a map viewer. Upon startup the GRX Map Viewer loads the appropriate map services, layers, tools, data and other configuration as defined by the map viewer instance created with Map Publisher. While the bulk of the NSGEM functionality revolves around the dashboard and the various tables and charts, it does leverage existing Map Viewer functionality to display and navigate to spatial data.
NSGEM was promoted into Production on the NAVFAC/RSIMS Portal on November 12, 2012. Upon release of the tool, it became apparent that there are many folks throughout the Navy that have a stake in its functionality and future. The various echelons have different reporting and analysis needs. One measure taken to support Headquarters with program oversight was to create the Regional Energy Map Books, which started with automating a map product. These automated processes provide high-level quality cartographic outputs for leadership at CNIC and NAVFAC to be able to view statistics and consumption information in PDF format for which the user(s) do not have to access a separate application. They are stored on CNIC’s own Sharepoint site, and will be updated on a quarterly basis for new consumption data. Another measure that was initiated was user outreach; a variety of individuals joined in the initial release training sessions, and new requirements stemmed from the awareness. The power users gave suggestions, data is being refined, and functionality developed.
The primary function of NSGEM and the REMB’s is really higher awareness and easier accessibility of energy consumption information. It provides the Energy Program with a one-stop shop for viewing and using consumption data. CNIC and NAVFAC now have the ability to reveal the story of data that has been isolated in a business system and to smoothly and dynamically transition across all necessary temporal (many years), spatial (zoom in/zoom out), and organizational (world, region, installation, and facility) scales. Development is currently underway to leverage and view specific billing information such as commodity and bill payer breakdowns. The tool will be able to not only show where energy issues are happening, but who may benefit from implementing new measures.
NSGEM is geospatially enabling the Energy Program with tools to track and measure with standardized methodologies their progress to reduction goals, pinpoint specific areas for improvements or restorations, view new and alternative energy sources geospatially, create sustainable practice methods, and increase overall energy usage awareness.