I am working on a project that is looking at different electrical distribution networks across the UK. A utility company agreed to give me access to their data via their web map hosted using Electric Office Web. Unfortunately this was far too slow to be of any practical use so I was given the shapefiles that powered the webmap.

The problem

Unfortunately these shapefiles have been provided in such a way that QGIS pnly recognises them as a series of points. There is some metadata included in the attribute fields, but nothing I can use to perform any kind of analysis on to refine the mess of points.

I asked what GIS tool they used and the told me "EO" which I took to mean Electric Office. I have no knowledge of how EO functions or how it interprets data, or how it exports to shapefiles. Frustratingly, neither did the technician that had provided me the shapefiles.

The Data

Since I cannot disclose any information about the data, the project or utility company due to confidentiality, I have tried to set out as much information as I can without breaching confidentiality.

For a particular data set "Substation_locations". There are two (possibly three) accompanying shapefiles:

  • Substation_Locations (Pink points) is a point file and includes information such as the substation name, its geospatial location, ID, Asset Number, Asset ID, object ID but no data about the voltage of the network it is part of.
  • Substation_extents (Purple Polygons) includes the same information but provides a polygon for some of the substation boundaries. The ID, Name and Asset ID do match for the locations that have an accompanying polygon. Not much use as there is no additional data. There is also no data for substations that have no polygon.
  • Substation_annotations (Green points) is another point shapefile. Each substation_locations point is accompanied by three points in the annotation file. The attribute table contains fields; ID, Type, scale, text_size, Object ID. But the ID and Object ID do not match their respective substation ID's. Aside from their proximity to the substation_locations points there is no link between these two files and appears useless to QGIS.
  • connector_point_location (Yellow Points) another point file that seems to show locations where network connections are made between circuits. It has fields ID and Object ID, but again, these do not match any of the ID's in their respective substation_locations feature attributes. However, this file includes the information that is of value being the voltage of the connection. This data is not exclusive to substations and includes data for every connection between poles, towers, cabinets, meters etc. This makes it a more intensive process to perform Geoprocessing functions on.

I have included some images below to illustrate how this data appears within QGIS.

The Question

  1. If you have knowledge of how EO works, is there a way to export data so that it can be displayed in QGIS as it would in EO? These files were supplied as shapefiles but QGIS can interpret quite a number of other file types. I can't seem to find any information regarding EO and its export capabilities.
  2. Beside spatial joins between substation_locations and connector_point_location, is there a way to get the data in to the substation_locations attributes without creating many many duplicates or doing it manually?
  3. I also have access to AutoCAD Map 3D, is this a better tool to use for this type of analysis?

substation_extent (purple) substation_location (pink):

substation_extent (purple) substation_location (pink)

substation_extent (purple) substation_location (pink) substation_annotations (green) connector_point_location (yellow):

substation_extent (purple) substation_location (pink) substation_annotations (green) connector_point_location (yellow)

  • Electric Office is created by SmallWorld (GE) this normally sits on an Oracle Spatial database with modules that extend topological network design. Shapefiles will lose that connection. Is there anyway you can vpn into a pc with Electric Office? here is what is looks like youtube.com/watch?v=mvZjaaCudn0
    – Mapperz
    Sep 29 '20 at 19:23

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