I just love this business. There is so much exciting stuff happening all the time.
Today I walked past one of our engineers’ desk and caught a glimpse of a Google Earth screenshot and being nosey I stopped to look. He wasn’t planning his holidays. He was editing a customer’s network monitoring package to embed it in Google Earth.
In short the customer will as his network monitoring screen see a map showing all his office locations in Google Earth. Each location will allow you to drill down and display the data being presented by his network monitoring service. This is likely to be everyday stuff such as bandwidth usage across a broadband connection or leased line but it could provide the Network Manager with immediate warnings when a problem is about to happen.
For example if a site connection fails a pop up could immediately appear on the screen as well as the usual email/sms alert.
In a Network Operations environment where large screens are the order of the day one might envisage a touch screen where staff can drill into the detail of a problem simply by standing in front of the Google Earth map and pointing.
The possibilities here are mind blowing. You could store the location data of support engineers for an at a glance decision as to who to send to fix a problem. You could provide near to real time weather (3 minutes is I think the current delay for cloud and rain radar data) information that might be relevant if the engineer is going to an outside installation.
You might store the location information for the nearest restaurant or hotel in case the engineer needs an overnight stay, perhaps even link to a reservation system (table for 1, 7.30pm medium rare steak and chips please).
My thanks to David Ward who deserves a specific mention here for this work. One might say “doesn’t this tie you in to Google”. I say hey – if this is what you can do with it so what.