Recent Work & Projects

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

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 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 utlitised 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.

Some examples of the tasks that have been written:

  • Checking data regularly and alerting certain users of issues;
  • Transferring and converting traditional mapping data to formats that can be used over the web;
  • Downloading and manipulating data from the web (such as BOM data) that is used in other applications;
  • Snapshotting certain data for historic purposes;
  • Manipulating spatial data so other applications can make use of it;

MIT scheduler is written in Node JS so it can utilise any of the NPM packages. Spatial data conversion is usually done using the open source GDAL libraries.

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.

The Road Maintenance module comprised of a traditional desktop application for the more advanced user and a web interface for the masses.

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.

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, 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 205,000. 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 is a traditional desktop application that connects to a Microsoft SQL Server database to store the large volumes of data. Most work these days to it, usually involves minor tweaks in refining results and updates to components to keep the application modern and efficient.