Improving Park Maintenance Efficiency Using a Mobile Application

Improving Park Maintenance Efficiency Using a Mobile Application

Ryan Trenholm (University of British Columbia, Canada) and Ramon Lawrence (University of British Columbia, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/IJMDWTFE.2018070101
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Abstract

This article describes the construction and evaluation of a mobile application for use by park maintenance personnel that features an interactive map allowing for real time positioning of the user in relation to equipment locations, and the ability to create, view, and edit maintenance logs. The application was evaluated by the Park Services department of the City of Kelowna in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The results of the study demonstrate that numerous tasks, especially locating equipment and logging maintenance, can be more efficient using mobile technology. Further, technicians are receptive to the introduction of technology in their work schedules and find it easy to integrate into their routines. An analysis of the time savings shows that the technology may save technicians 15 to 50 minutes daily which translates to thousands of dollars annually in savings per technician and increased productivity rates.
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Background

Commercial products by vendors such as Toro and Rainbird allow for controlling irrigation systems using wireless technologies. These systems when applied correctly can significantly reduce water consumption and manual technician intervention for irrigation activities. In (Fazackerley, Campbell, Trenholm, & Lawrence, 2012), the authors described an adaptive irrigation control system that uses wireless soil moisture sensors to measure water content in the soil and dynamically calculate the watering requirements based on those readings. The adaptive irrigation system reduced water usage by 50% when use in a city park which had a weather-based controller. In (Zhao, Bai, & Zhao, 2007), the authors describe an automated irrigation system that calculates and applies water to green spaces. The authors successfully tested the system in a green space located on the campus of Beijing Forestry University for six months.

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