As part of our continual drive to help you deliver efficiency gains for your organisation, we are pleased to now support the use of location geo-coordinates against both 'sites' (customer locations) and 'resources' (operative home locations).
More precise location information will support the effectiveness of our new street-level routing features, allow for more accurate drive time calculations and support the display of locations on map views; ensuring your operatives get to exactly the right place, first time, every time.
We partner with Google to ascertain highly accurate geo-coordinates for location information.
- Increased precision of site and resource locations
- More accurate appointment drive time calculations
- Supporting the display of embedded map views for job and site pages
- Helping your operatives get to exactly the right place, first time, every time
- Improved levels of operational efficiency thanks to reduced time wastage
Please note: this is an opt-in feature that is not enabled by default. This is to allow you to test and migrate to use the feature in your own timeframe. Please read this guide then email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance on next steps.
Functionality & Feature Enablement
Coordinates are obtained from Google Services via the conversion of postal or addressable location information into location geo-coordinates.
Coordinates are securely stored as longitude and latitude fields in your database. When a user schedules an appointment, the drive time will be accurately calculated between the two sets of coordinates, using Google's advanced street-level routing services. If one of the locations in question does not have geo-coordinates stored then the drive time will fall back to being calculated using the distance between the central point of each postcode.
Coordinates will be generated and stored for two areas within Oneserve - 'Sites' and 'Resources'. Coordinates will be generated;
- On addition of a new site or resource record through the user interface
- The editing of the address or postcode fields against an existing site or resource
On initial migration to use this new functionality we will work with you to undergo a bulk calculation and migration for your existing sites or resources. During this process, the Oneserve team will help you identify any location information records that are missing coordinates so these can be reviewed into and updated.
This functionality is not enabled by default and so there is no impact on release upgrade. The following considerations will need to be taken on board before migrating to use this functionality;
- Users will start to see visual maps displayed on both the Job and Site pages
- If you are deliberately obscuring or using invalid postcodes for sites or resources, we will not be able to resolve or store geo-coordinates for these location records
- Location records with invalid postcodes will be flagged to specific admins users on a continual basis until these are resolved. A message will be displayed in the new 'Alerts' module until they are corrected and we are able to resolve coordinates for these location records. The alerts will only be viewable by specific user types.
Once the geo-coordinates settings has been enabled, a map with a pin for the location will be displayed on the job and site details page (providing the specific site has been resolved to coordinates).
The map will use Google Maps to and display a pin to highlight the exact location of the site based on the longitude and latitude stored. Users are able to interact with the map to manipulate the view or click to launch the map full screen in a new browser tab.
A new page has been created to make users aware of any data quality issues that need to be corrected to support the most effective scheduling and optimisation of appointments. This will include resources and sites missing geo-coordinates, such could be due to a missing or invalid postcode.
Please click here to view more information related to the use of the alerts page.
Considerations & Limitations
- If you utilise our developer APIs and create new sites through our 'Site APIs', geo-coordinates will not be currently be added automatically to your site location records. The sites affected will appear on the Alerts page and thus flag that geo-coordinates require updating. The sites will currently require users to update to the address fields using the front end application for the geo-coordinates to be generated and the site to be removed from the Alerts page.
- We are currently only able to support the acquisition of coordinates for addresses and postcodes recognised by Google. This may represent an issue if you are working with sites that are classed as 'New Build' or 'Not yet built' as the address and postcodes for these sites may not be confirmed or not yet recognised as valid addresses by Google.
- We plan to enhance our geo-coordinates feature in the future to allow for the manual setting and override of fixed geo-coordinates, however, this is not available in this release.
- You may also encounter issues accurately resolving precise 'door step' locations based on the way you are recording/formatting addresses in Oneserve. If you have sites that are not recognised as addressable points. We will be looking to add additional capabilities in the future to help you resolve these issues.
As part of the supported migration process, to enable the use of geo-coordinates we will help you to understand the quality and consistency of your data (in terms of full and accurate location/addressing information) and the prevalence of sites for which geo-coordinates cannot be resolved to ensure this is understood and can be managed within the existing functionality before the deployment of these new features for your installation.
The on-going management of working with geo-coordinates should not represent a significant change for existing day-to-day operations. Users will be alerted to any sites or resources that do not have correct or verified geo-coordinates so that they can manually adjusted as required.
Access to these new capabilities requires support from the team at Oneserve. If you would like to enable this feature please follow these steps;
1. Email Notifications@oneserve.co.uk if you would like to enable location coordinates.
2. Our technical team will confirm receipt of your request and outline the time frames and make you aware of any specific considerations before enabling the feature. It is likely that you need to invest some time in addressing existing data quality issues before enabling the feature in your live application.
Please note: If you decided that you want to disable this feature and return to using postcodes only, this option is available to you for a limited time only.