Vermont Electric Power Co. (VELCO) has developed a vegetation management program that is saving the utility hours of work and significantly improving the accuracy of treatment on its 12,000 acres of rights-of-way. VELCO is a statewide, transmission-only company that maintains 660 miles of electric line through the Green Mountain State. The company's Vegetation Inventory Program (VIP) combines orthophotographs and field data and makes network information seamlessly accessible to workers in the field and the office. VELCO built its customized vegetation management application with ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology.

By using ESRI's ArcPad Mobile GIS software for field mapping, VELCO crews are able to capture, edit, analyze, and display geographic information. VELCO used ESRI's ArcPad Application Builder as the development framework for its customized mobile GIS ArcPad application. With ArcPad Application Builder, users such as VELCO can design custom forms for data collection, create unique toolbars, build applets for specific tasks, develop extensions, and more.

"We tailored the vegetation management system to specifically fit the workflow for our crews in the field," said Jarrod Harper, VELCO’s team lead for CAD/GIS. "With the GIS application, field crews now can get very specific about where there is a need to use an herbicide or manually cut a tree. The application development was quick, inexpensive, and easy to use, and ESRI's ArcPad Application Builder made it possible to create a system that worked right into the workflow of our field crews."

Although the VELCO VIP system was designed for the company's vegetation management department, it has been adopted by other departments and is used for company work with helicopter line patrols, telecommunications, and the line crew.

"ESRI applauds VELCO's innovative development of a vegetation management system," said Jian Lange, ESRI's product manager for ArcPad. "ArcPad Application Builder was designed specifically to facilitate customization needs and support field staff with their specific projects and tasks."