In many cities across Canada today, the city governments own their own fleet of snow plows, responsible for clearing away snow on the streets and sidewalks alike so that car and foot traffic is not blocked. This is quite important, seeing how many Canadian cities see a lot of snow in winter, and thus, many vehicles may be deployed to clear away the snow in a timely manner. But when a snow plow fleet involves many vehicles, such as over 100, it may be tricky to coordinate all of those vehicles without some geospatial data analysis to help out. Vehicle GPS tracking makes this level of coordination possible, and GPS fleet management can be done with the aid of geospatial data analysis firms. What is there to know about vehicle GPS tracking and such data analysis? It’s quite a flexible and broad field, after all.
Snow and Plows
Vehicle GPS tracking can and often is used across Canada, the United States to the south, and many other developed nations as well, for snow plows and many other vehicle types. First, one can think about how vehicle GPS tracking benefits snow plows. Ever since 1996, GPS has been used in automobiles, and for snow plows, this makes coordination much easier. Otherwise, if a city’s snow plows are not coordinated in their movement and area of work, inefficient work will be done. Some plows may get in each other’s way, and some snow plow operators may get lost or they may finish their work and sit idle, unable to find work on their own. A city does not want snow plows just sitting idle out there, especially since many city or state laws do not allow vehicles to idle and pollute the air for no good reason.
This is where geospatial data analysis and GPS vehicle tracking comes into effect. Geospatial analysis crews can track where each snow plow is going and at what speed and when, and this makes it much easier to set up zones of work for each one and ensure that all areas of the city get snow plowed away in a timely manner. That, and an idle vehicle’s operator can be told where to go to find more work, cutting out that inefficiency. Given the size of some Canadian cities and how much snow they might get during winter, it’s vital to keep all snow plows moving in their designated areas to eliminate wasted time and ensure that all areas get plowed.
Fully equipped snow trucks have plenty of work to do: Canada’s ten snowiest cities all average over 55 days a year of snowfall where more than two millimetres of snow lands on the ground. Thus, cities such as Montreal have plenty of snow plows vehicles on hand, and Montreal boasts a fleet of 172 such vehicles to clear roads and sidewalks. The city of Montreal has also reported that in a typical case, if seven inches of snow has fallen, then it can be totally cleared in under five days. A foot of snow will require five days of work to clear away, and coordinated snow plows can get that work done on time.
Other Uses of GPS
It is clear that geospatial data analysis is greatly useful for snow plows, but GPS doesn’t end there. The field of geospatial data analysis is rapidly growing in Canada, the U.S., and across Europe and Asia, and it can be used to track anything from vehicles (private and commercial alike) as well as handheld devices such as cell phones and laptops. Tracking portable electronics is useful for marketing purposes, while GPS trackers in vehicles are often used for job monitoring and safety alike. A company jet or car may have a GPS tracker in it to confirm that the vehicle is going where it should, and this may help prevent dishonest vehicle use. And in more dire situations, such GPS trackers are vital if the vehicle is stolen, and geospatial data analysis firms can locate the vehicle for recovery. The same is possible if the vehicle gets lost or broken down, such as in a blizzard or flooded areas. Search and rescue teams can home in on the GPS signal and rescue everyone, and retrieve the vehicle if possible.