Tags: The Power to Analyze and Act at Scale

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Mark Wilkerson
Mark Wilkerson

How Polaris’ latest upgrade makes fleet-level positioning simple

Companies that rely on positioning solutions at scale often face a logistical mess when it comes to deploying and managing their fleets of drones, rovers, or other satellite receivers. A day’s work may involve planning miles of underground pipelines in multiple locations or deploying several new groups of fleet vehicles to execute deliveries in a few new markets. It might require monitoring and adjusting the routes of drones across the country.

Whatever the task, the ability to access, automate, analyze, and control devices at scale is essential to efficient execution. If finding and acting on devices is too cumbersome, managing the basics of the fleet becomes more than a full-time task — not to mention a costly one. And for the product creators that provide these devices, the scale is only multiplied.

The good news is that it has never been easier to leverage Polaris’ positioning solution at scale. Our latest release introduces simple, searchable tags directly into the Point One UI and API, allowing you to find, analyze, and act on devices in real-time with minimal effort.

Tags for Your Devices

With tags, we’ve given Polaris users the ability to “name” their Polaris-connected devices with any number of key-value pairs directly within the GraphQL API. These tags can be used to identify and group your devices in whatever way you need. 

This feature allows users to append their own metadata to Polaris devices and then search for those tags in the UI and API, eliminating the need to scroll through large lists to find the relevant devices.

This is useful to any who build applications or analyze data from groups of devices. Rather than storing Polaris device IDs and having to match them to your application or analytics database of devices, you can simply tag critical device metadata with your own IDs from the start and directly pull this data from Point One’s GraphQL API. 

Building Apps Without a Database

On a fundamental level, this transforms how our customers integrate their system with ours. 

Legacy systems required customers to spend engineering time fetching vendor data, bringing it into their system, mapping it to their data, and then building systems to keep everything in sync. This resulted in months of engineering effort and thousands of dollars in recurring infrastructure costs.

With Polaris tags, you can work with our API as if it were one of your own native applications. Attach your own data to our devices and query things in our system with your native IDs, model numbers, regions, and more. With no pull->store->join steps, you can operate your devices in real time with the GraphQL API — something that was impossible with legacy systems.

Essentially, GraphQL becomes a one-stop shop for building location apps.

What’s in a Name?

It may seem like a simple addition, but sometimes, the simplest changes are the most powerful. In this case, there’s a whole lot of potential in the ability to name your devices as you see fit. Whether at the user level or the manufacturer level, customizable tags offer a host of substantial benefits in conjunction with these drop-in location app capabilities.

Simple Searching and Sorting

Tags make your entire database of devices searchable and sortable — under parameters you define. You can use the search bar directly within the Point One UI to find and sort devices individually or by group.

This allows you to filter and query your devices by tags, connection status, or whatever attribute you choose. Now, your support team can quickly find all your customers’ active devices and display them on a map in real time. Likewise, fleet managers can pull up all devices of a specific type or those that belong to a specific business unit to analyze data or make changes.

Let’s say you have drones deployed at several different job sites. You can now tag those drones according to their job site and even their specific task. From there, you can easily search those devices according to job site and task to check their status. Display them in a list or visually together on a map, and further filter results with other tags or device specifics.

This ease of searchability can save hours of back-end management. Through the Point One API, these updates take effect immediately, allowing you to name and group devices in real time. And again, it’s all based on your own names and metadata — not ours.

More Precise Analytics

What exactly can you do with that searchability, though? The first thing is to analyze device data in bulk. For instance, perhaps you have a heterogenous fleet of survey drones and survey robots. If you want to compare device data for only your drones or robots, you can apply the relevant tag to each type of device and easily isolate the data for either group.

In another example, say you want to compare survey data from rovers operated by two different teams. Instead of searching for each device and team member individually, you can quickly find the correct group of devices with a simple tag search. 

The Power to Act at Scale

Perhaps most importantly, tags allow you to manage your devices at scale, all with simple, drop-in functionality directly within the API. For instance, through the API, you could use an “autostart” or similar tag to tell a specific group of drones to execute a series of pre-programmed tasks upon startup. You might have them automatically find and connect to the nearest Polaris endpoint.

There are a number of possibilities for using tags in this way. A device provider could apply a tag like “unpaid” to a specific customer to shut down that customer’s devices until they pay their bills. Or, with our upcoming geofencing capabilities, a fleet operator could use geo-specific tags to initiate a defined set of tasks when its drones enter a designated area.

Because changes to tags can be pushed out to devices in real time, operators can trigger these or other actions immediately. As long as your devices are integrated with the API, all it takes is a simple tags edit via the Point One web app.

Precise Positioning Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Point One was designed to make reliable, accurate positioning accessible for anyone, whether you’re operating a handful of drones or deploying fleets worldwide. We’ve built the world’s largest RTK network, providing 99.9% uptime and centimeter-level precision in the US, EU, CA, AU, KR, and GB. Our industry-leading API enables seamless real-time device management. 

But we didn’t stop there — we’re always looking for ways to innovate and make the Polaris solution more intuitive and user-friendly. With tags, we’ve made it that much easier to attain fleet-scale precise positioning.

It shouldn’t be a headache to deploy, manage, and analyze your devices, regardless of your fleet size. With tags, Polaris offers streamlined searchability, precisely defined analytics, and the ability to control your devices at scale. That’s a lot of power in a simple new feature.

Skeptical? Why not experiment with tags for yourself with a free 14-day trial of Polaris!

Mark Wilkerson
Mark Wilkerson

Mark is Point One's Product Manager. He's a veteran engineer & technical leader with more than 30 years experience in large, distributed, and embedded applications.

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