CITY INSPECTION STAFF GOES WIRELESS
At 13:15 on the 8th of November, 2000 a 6.5 magnitude earthquake occures on the Verdugo Fault, epicentered near
the Burbank Airport. A magnitude 5.5 aftershock occured 9 November, 2000 at 09:30 AM. There was a total of 190 damaged
structures reported. Glendale building inspectors deployed immediately and,
using the KIVA remote inspector product on hand-held Sony Vaio picture book and HP Jornadas connected via CPDP,
were able to log the inspected structures as red, yellow, or green tagged to the database in real time.
The inspectors also entered the dollar damage amount and detailed comments about the nature of the damage.
Officials for Glendale’s Building and Safety Section announced that the City has
successfully rolled out one of the first complete wireless building inspection systems in
Southern California. This system was based on an application developed by Utah-based
Kiva and uses handheld computers operating on a wireless communications network. It
was created to maximize resources and to offer more timely access to building permit and
City inspectors have traditionally utilized paper and desk administration methods to
access documents. The new wireless system will allow inspectors, while in the field, to
send and retrieve information directly from the City’s new permitting system. In addition
to daily inspections, the system will assist workers with collecting and reporting damage
statistics in the event of a major local disaster. The system was recently tested during a
Los Angeles Countywide Emergency Operations drill during which it was demonstrated
that City officials would be able to respond effectively even if the cellular
communications network is crippled.
The core system, developed by Kiva, is designed to connect various municipal functions
like Planning, Public Works, Permitting and Neighborhood Services. This data
warehouse resides electronically on the City Campus and is shared by City departments
all over Glendale via a wide area network. In response partly to Glendale’s request, Kiva
also created an Internet application (KivaNet) to make this data available to authorized
users with an Internet connection. Inspectors in the field would not ordinarily be able to
access this data unless they called or came back to the office to do the manual research.
The KivaNet application allows the remote user to do a multitude of tasks such as adding
results and annotation to inspection reports; researching ownership and permit
information; and even creating and editing permits. The City of Glendale will phase in
implementation of the product’s other functionality after it establishes business rules for
E-commerce and a telecommuting policy for its employees.
The success of this project has been largely due to close cooperation between the City’s
business and technology experts and the various service/applications providers. By
trying to foster a business partnership relationship between provider and client, each
party’s stake in the development of the solution depended on the success of the other.
This is why Glendale’s Building and Safety section was able to break new ground rapidly
and maintain a stable production environment at the same time.
A running total of the damage dollar amounts was created from the KIVA database and forwarded to the
L.A. County Emergency Operations Center.
- Structures Reported Damaged: 190
- Structures Inspected - Red, 44 representing $46 miillion in damage
- Structures Inspected - Yellow, 53 representing $3.5 miillion in damage
- Structures Inspected - Red, 50 representing $92 K in damage
- Total Damage - $50 miilion