Did you know? ... Tracking Overlay

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Did you know? …

only 4% of the oil & gas vehicles with vehicle tracking systems use PatchMap overlays on their Automated Vehicle Location mapping solution. That means that the rest are looking at white space, pointing and saying “Where the hell are they? … does that look right? … is there a bridge out or are they on location?”

Having a PatchMap overlay on top of the tracking company’s map (usually Google or Bing) allows users of the tracking system to actually see if their vehicles are on the proper location or can suspect that they are in the ditch, 2 km short … kind of important, especially if they are out of cellphone range.

Many … most in the real frontiers, users of tracking solutions are using the system so that they have a certain amount of ‘Work Alone’ coverage but a real world, practical problem almost guarantees that they don’t. As soon as the vehicle leaves cellular communication, nobody knows where they are or if they are safe and sound. When the vehicle returns to cellular contact, the hardware that has been storing all the data, dumps it into the system … so if you looked at a daily cycle of in and out of cellular coverage, you would have the entire day recorded … but what if the vehicle does not return ? … you have no idea where or what circumstances your crew is in.

There is a solution but it is more expensive … typically the same providers that are now being used, offer combined cell / satellite communication boxes. These are the only ones that will give constant communication for a real ‘Work Alone’ solution.

This goes similarly for the helicopter companies that use flight following software. (none use PatchMap now, but all of them could). As you could imagine, helicopter companies working the oil & gas circuit know that they will need a satellite system due to the remote locations that they know they will be going to.

Mostly they use Google Maps as their base map, which PatchMap can be added to with about three lines of code … where they can see that the helicopter has stopped moving, the Lat/Long, last recorded speed and direction etc but as the ‘pings’ are two minutes apart, a lot can happen in that short period of time …. there’s a great deal of comfort knowing that the bird has quit moving on a wellsite and not suffered a hard landing somewhere nearby.

Both of these scenarios should concern anyone with employees in these situations … and all it would take to make it happen is whisper into the right ear (which I understand is also the correct one) “we would like your service better if you used a PatchMap overlay” …  competitive spirit would do the rest.


PatchMap is THE GPS Navigation system built for safe and efficient navigation anywhere in the Canadian oil & gas regions of Canada. It has over 100,000 kms of roads no other navigation tool has. GPS, PC and Web tools.


Small cost … isn’t it about safety ?

First you have to get there … Use PatchMap or GET LOST !

*** PatchMap-Web is a constantly updated web connected logistic map system … the cost is less than one helicopter’s flight following cost.    Maybe it’s time to play it safe !


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