Now that the concept of a spot has been explained, what useful purpose does it serve? Spots serve two main purposes:
- Help in the creation or editing of existing Frotcom places.
- Serve as the building block of the fleet's trip network.
Let us look at these in turn.
Frotcom places are used mainly for geo-fencing (alarms and events) and also as points of interest on a map. The first use is probably the most useful as actionable information can be gathered from place geo-fencing: alarm generation and customer visits reporting are two such uses. Although Frotcom supports sophisticated polygonal place creation, the process of manually creating places is tedious and error-prone (it is often the case that users create circular places at a customers geo-referenced address that matches the front door and not the parking lot, making geo-fencing useless). By automatically detecting spots and giving an option to convert them to Frotcom places, Frotcom Analytics helps to automate and remove the uncertainty of place maintenance.
Once all the spots have been calculated using the fleet's trip end places, it is very easy to connect the dots", using the very same trips. Just start in one spot and follow along a vehicle's trips and see to what spot one is led. Sometimes only one trip is needed to go from one spot to another, sometimes more than one are needed. But once two of these spots are known to be connected by trips, a link between the two is created. The process is repeated for all trips until the full fleet trip network is created. A very simplified representation of a trip network is represented below.
Spots are placed at the intersection of the connecting lines, representing one or more trips between spots.
But what useful purpose does this serve? Once this structure is known, Frotcom Analytics can gather statistics from the links, learning important things like "how long does it take to go from A to B"? Or "how much fuel is consumed, on average, when going from A to B"? This will allow Frotcom Analytics to go a bit further and detect that a given trip was somehow different from the others (see Trip Outliers) or help you determine what are the usual trip patters when going from A to B (see Frequent Trips).