A Geofence is a user defined region on a map. Examples include your company workshop, regular delivery areas, or other regions of interest to your company. Multiple geofences can be created in the BIGmate monitoring software and they can apply to the whole company, selected divisions or particular equipment. There are many benefits to setting up effective geofences and a few tricks to it too. Here we run through some of the finer points and provide ideas on how to use geofences to your business' advantage.
TOP 3 BENEFITS OF USING GEOFENCES EFFECTIVELY
- Identify Theft
2. Reduce Recreational Use of Company Vehicles
It is expected that employees will use company vehicles to travel to and from work, and to complete pick-ups and deliveries but excessive use outside of these sorts of activities will cost your company money. The BIGmate monitoring system reports on how long a vehicle has been outside of a designated zone and you can then notify drivers of their actions. Identifying if a driver is routinely using a vehicle for recreational purposes will help you eliminate this behaviour and save your company money in fuel costs and payable work hours.
- Increase Safety
With fleet tracking and geofencing in place employees will be prone to safer driving behaviour while at work. It also provides them with an added sense of security, knowing you can track and send help to where they are in case of a breakdown or if they are forced to go off-course. Distinguishing driver habits will alert managers if something is out of the ordinary.
DISPLAYING GEOFENCES IN AWS
If your company has been enabled for Geofences in AWS, a new Geofences map layer will be available when you click on the Map Layers button in the Tracking screen. The default display is Equipment shown and Geofences hidden. Click on the Show link next to Geofences to enable that layer. Note that you can have multiple layers shown at the same time but only one layer can be active.
CREATING EFFECTIVE GEOFENCES IN AWS
Working with Geofences
Click on Map Layers, then click on the Geofences layer name to make Geofences the active layer. You will notice that the Equipment list at the bottom of the map will change to a Geofence list. As you move your mouse pointer over the Geofence list, the currently highlighted Geofence will be highlighted on the map in green. To display further information about any Geofence, click on the Geofence in the list or on the map. The Geofence will be highlighted in red and a panel will open to the right of the map showing details including the Geofence name, notes, whether entry and exit alarms are enabled and which equipment the Geofence is applied to.
Creating a new geofence
Navigate to the Geofence Management Screen by opening the Geofences Tab from the right hand side menu under the Administration Section and click on the link View, Edit and Create Geofences.
Then select Add New Geofence, and complete the details panel with Geofence name, notes, whether entry and exit alarms should be enabled and which equipment the Geofence applies to. Mark out your new geofence on the map by left-clicking to place points. Points should be placed in a clockwise/anti-clockwise direction.
Use enough space
When you’re creating a geofence in AWS, you need to make sure you leave enough space around the actual boundary to allow triggering. In the example below left, the geofence around the horizontal road has a very narrow perimeter, which could lead to the device entering/exiting the geofence the whole way on the road or just not triggering at all. The geofence around the vertical road also looks as if it might overlap slightly. It is always a good idea to allow a 20m buffer around the actual required site to allow for inherent inaccuracies within the Google mapping system.
Setting a geofence around a building
Generally speaking, if you haven't included a road in the actual selection, you dramatically reduce the chances of triggering the geofence events. As you can see from the geofence on the left below, there is only one spot where there is a bit of road in the geofence. If there is not a log at the exact time the vehicle is parked in this spot, the event will not be triggered.
The vehicle approached on the Edina Ave Road, so it would be a good idea to include that road in the geofence. Over and above that, the only spot to park is effectively an urban canyon. If the device has an integrated GPS antenna, it would likely struggle for a fix. In this example, the logs are 5 minutes apart. It is sheer luck that there was a log at that time. Especially, since the vehicle did not ignition on or off at all.
The greater the interval between logs, the larger geofences will need to be to stand a chance of being triggered.
The other important thing to remember when creating geofences around buildings is, where a vehicle enters and exits the geofence “under roof”. In this case, both the ignition off and on will likely not have a fix due to the vehicle being under a roof, so it is once again very important to try and get a point outside the building first. This is a lot easier with a big enough geofence.
Include the entire block and all parking spaces
Use the satellite view to get a feel for the layout of the building on the actual block. That way you can make sure you include all possible areas that the vehicles could access. In the example below, the parking area at the back of the building is not entirely included. It is also possible to draw the geofences with the satellite map layer active. In the correct geofence example on the right, some of the access road as well as the entire parking space has been included.
We hope these tips help you on your way to creating better geofences. If you need more help, or you're on the new BIGmate monitoring platform and need some advice contact our Support Team on 1300 477 787.