© 2018 Allan Kapoor

Pipeline Manager: A Browser-Based Tool to Facilitate Implementation of an 800-mile Active Transportation Network

Greater Philadelphia Region, Pennsylvania

ROLE

Project Director, Lead Designer at Environmental Planning & Design

DURATION

SKILLS

Software Concept Development

Prototyping and Visual Design

Usability Testing

Custom Javascript

TOOLS

ArcGIS Javascript API

HTML/CSS

ArcGIS Pro

Adobe XD (prototyping)

8 months (ongoing)

CHALLENGE

The Circuit Trails, Greater Philadelphia’s vast trail network, is currently composed of more than 300 miles of completed trails, with a vision of completing more than 800 miles of trails across a ten-county region.

Tens of millions of dollars in funding have already been secured, but a major impedance to realizing the vision is the complexity inherent in coordinating efforts between a range of organizations, trail managers, and volunteers across different jurisdictions. 

CLIENT

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) is one of PA’s most active and influential environmental organizations, with over 30 programs from statewide policy advocacy to on-the-ground local and regional projects.

OBJECTIVE

PEC hired Environmental Planning & Design to develop a custom application to coordinate the hundreds of trail projects that will make up the Circuit Trails network and to enable regional organizations to track progress and provide support.

SOLUTION

EPD created the Circuit Trails Pipeline Manager, a custom browser-based application, using FileMaker, ArcGIS Online, and Javascript. The application is currently in the final stages of beta testing and is scheduled for rollout later this summer.

The Pipeline Manager will serve as the central hub for managing each Circuit Trails project, including coordinating tasks, sharing files, and maintaining details on the project's status and challenges.

The relational database structure generates a unique dashboard for each organization – including an auto-generated “to-do list” of Circuit Trails-related efforts.

Users of the tool can explore an interactive map of the entire network. Spatial data is hosted on ArcGIS Online, so PEC can easily update the network as the project progresses.

Each trail project has its own Project Hub, where affiliated organizations can view and update project details.

Each Project Hub has an Organizations Tab, where project roles and contact information is easy to access and update.

The Project Hub also includes an intuitive system for managing project-specific action items. An action’s status can be easily updated if it is completed or hits a road block. This provides an easy way to monitor progress on specific actions, and provide support where needed. 

PEC and other regional organizations can view the status of the entire system and auto-generate summary analytics to track progress and support grant writing.

MY ROLE

As Project Director and Lead Designer, I played a central role in all phases of the project. I:

Worked with PEC to define the application’s functionalities.

Specified the back-end data architecture, including how databases of organizations, projects, and action items all relate to each other within the application.

Designed the front-end user flows - how users accomplish tasks and move through the application.

Developed several iterations of mockups and designed the final versions of all interactions and screens.

Wrote custom JavaScript to integrate GIS data hosted on ArcGIS Online and display it as an interactive map viewer within the application.

Designed and conducted usability tests on the beta version with project stakeholders to ensure that the application is intuitive to understand and use.

EPD employed a FileMaker specialist to build out the application to my specifications.