Monitor Power Outages with Virtual Earth

Progress Energy has the right idea. With the help of iFactor Consulting and Virtual Earth, they are able to illustrate to their customers where outages are in areas they are servicing in Florida.

  • They're using the line drawing to show their coverage areas.
  • They're using custom pushpins to plot out where outages are happening and the magnitude of the outage (large, medium, small, very small).
  • They're use a clustering pushpin to show multiple outages in the same area.
  • They use polygon shading to highlight down to the street what area the outage is happening in.
  • The details of the outage are included in popups when you hover over a specific outage.
  • You can see details of an outage including number of customers currently affected, maximum number of customers affected, time the outage began, and the estimated time until power is restored.
  • You can put in your address and zoom down to the street level to see where your house is respective to an outage.
  • You can select a county from the pull down list to zoom down to that county and see if there are any outages

Progress Energy even put up a "Summary" link to see a graph of outage history and a table of outages by county. You can see how many active outages there are and how many affected customers at any given time. Wow, now that's stepping up to the plate! Most of these energy companies hide behind their phone support and legacy systems. I was in Seattle last winter when the wind storm knocked power from my house in Woodinville for 7 days. The best thing I could get was AM radio updates and a .pdf file which only was updated once. It would be nice to see more power companies step up and get this information out there and more available. My family was in a crisis and had no idea when to expect power! Kudos to Progress Energy for being a leader. Now, does Progress Energy service Seattle? No? Anyone? Bueller?


Comments (5)

  1. Progress Energy has the right idea. With the help of iFactor Consulting and Virtual Earth, they are able

  2. ericwfrost says:

    Sweet stuff! but how do you see the map if you don’t have power to boot your computer :-O I guess it’s good for media and they could report on the radio.

  3. Chris Pendleton says:

    During the Seattle storm I didn’t have power at my house for 7 days, but we had power at Microsoft within 2 days. I would go to work for updates on the storm.

  4. ejarvi says:


    Cable modem subscribers were hating life but we were on DSL and had uninterrupted access.  Power was out but phone lines were unaffected.  I was in Sammamish for 7 days without power but we had a generator + DSL + communications via amateur radio with a bunch of other people who were similarly prepared and relaying information over the air they had received on other frequencies — I opened up my wireless access point for the neighborhood and guests came over to charge their laptop at my house – the linemen and crews did a tremendous job in our area and I have nothing but admiration for the professionalism of their response – but there was a lot of room for improvement in terms of communicating information to news outlets and just the general public – in hindsight a mapping system like this would have been nice for those with access to be able to check on and share informatino back with others rather than having to call an automated phone system and have them tell you a vague message.

  5. ccatto says:

    Hey Now VE,

    This information has been great.



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