Developing a GIS system and managing network assets at a district heating company

Learn about Enea Ciepło, an enterprise that’s been using EC.GIS for 20 years. The system supports Enea in managing their fieldwork, heating network, and many more.


In Białystok, the district heating system meets about 80% of the needs of the city and of some objects around the Juchnowiec Kościelny (Kleosin) municipality.

According to the 1.01.2022 report, Enea Ciepło’s heating network includes 280,15 km of high-parameter water heating network, 15,15 km of steam network, 2065 water heating nodes, and 5 steam nodes. The length of the network built in pre-insulated technology is systematically increasing and totaled 164,985 km at the beginning of 2022. In 2021, the company delivered 3962 TJ of heat to residential and commercial buildings with a total space of 8796 m² and a capacity of 41901 m³.

Heat supplying the Białystok heating system is generated in three main sources:

  • Białystok Heat and Power Plant
  • ”Zachód” Heat Plant
  • Municipal Waste Disposal Plant (ZUOK)
  • Complementary supply from backup sources.


Industry: District heating
Country: Poland
Solution / Service: DH.GIS, GeoGrid, FME
Category: Network Asset Management 

Enea Ciepło is a part of the Enea Group, a Polish energy industry company. It operates in the full energy value chain, from coal mining to producing, distributing, and trading electrical energy. Until 2017, Enea Ciepło was known as Municipal Heat Supply Company of Białystok (MPEC Białystok). Its operations cover generating, distributing, and supplying heat energy.


At the beginning of the 2000s, MPEC Białystok noticed a need for a modern approach to network asset management. Such an approach had to be based on reliable knowledge about the network infrastructure and events.

In 2002, the company decided to implement a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the heating industry. Such a system would increase the quality of network data and accelerate access to this information. It would also allow the company to conduct network analyses, select more effective heating parameters, react faster to outages, and ultimately, lower the network maintenance costs.


The initial implementation (2003)

After acquiring experience and information about the existing and implemented inventory and network infrastructure management systems, as well as conceptualizing functional requirements, the company decided to purchase and implement GE Smallworld software and related Globema’s applications.

Globema’s implementation team faced a huge challenge, both due to the amount of work and seemingly unsolvable issues.

We divided the implementation into stages. To shorten the time of introducing the network geometry, technical infrastructure, and their interconnectedness, we set the priorities of introducing object data.

This is how, gradually, the DH.GIS system database started being created.

In the same year, Globema extended the system with subsequent DH.GIS modules:

  • The Main Module,
  • DH.GIS Calculations,
  • DH.GIS Outage Management,
  • DH.GIS Dispatcher,
  • DH.GIS Web, an app for browsing data.

The following tools supplemented the solution:

  • SuperEdit for map calibration
  • GE products – SOM DGN and ODBC for integration and using background maps.

The implementation included:

  • acquiring and saving external data,
  • managing industry data entry,
  • performing integrations with other systems,
  • adjusting the system to the client’s needs.

Globema also started to provide maintenance services after the warranty period. Our 2010 agreement also included system administration services as well as regular development works.

Solution – the system architecture

The initial solution architecture that we delivered to MPEC and later expanded with additional components was designed to provide the required efficiency and availability.

The heart of the solution is the Smallworld GIS base with external vector maps and different documents that are a part of the company’s assets.

Thanks to using FME, a platform for data integration and processing (also delivered by Globema), the data was collected, extracted, and integrated all in one place. Employees can browse and use this data during different business processes through the DH.GIS and DH.GIS Web applications as well as GeoGrid, a tool for mobile devices.

Initially, the Smallworld Spatial Intelligence (SI) product was used for preparing management analyses. Later on, it was replaced with a modern solution called GeoSpatial Analysis (GSA).

The system’s functional development in the following years

In the following years, the system was widely used and improved the network maintenance and customer service quality. At the same time, there were new ideas and needs for extending the functionalities, which resulted in intense work of MPEC Białystok together with Globema and the completion of subsequent projects.


Between 2007 and 2008 we added a new dispatcher position and, based on system user experiences, we adjusted the data model, display styles, and other functionalities. We also conducted programming trainings that allowed MPEC employees to develop the system on their own. Our next agreement in 2011 included updating the system to the newest Smallworld 4.2 version and integrating it with the Egeria ERP system.


In 2012, the Spatial Intelligence product was discontinued by GE and replaced with a more modern tool, Geospatial Analysis (GSA).

Then, 2013 was when we implemented the DH.GIS Real Assets module for asset management and delivered FME Desktop in the Smallworld version. It’s a universal data integration platform that allowed our client to clean, convert, and load data from different sources into the DH.GIS system.

In 2013 we also implemented our own software, GeoGrid, acting as a SaaS service. GeoGrid is used by the fieldwork technicians. It allows them to access data and geographically located GIS model of the heating network.


Between 2017 and 2018 we implemented the Collisions and Technical Connection Conditions module. It’s used during repairs and new investment processes for managing the network routes in relation to other companies’ networks.


The most important benefits of implementing the DH.GIS system at MPEC/Enea Ciepło, as described by our customers, include:

Support in managing the heating infrastructure

  • convenient access to reliable technical and exploitation data about the network and other objects. Data can be accessed at any time by any authorized employee through the GIS.Web/Net application and Google/GeoGrid
  • organized documentation and the option to connect it to the objects in the database. This simplifies arranging the technical documentation and issuing technical conditions
  • more effective operations due to the option for working directly with data. Data is updated on an ongoing basis and it’s easy to generate reports and analyses
  • the option of printing plans and maps containing data from the system. They are useful for exploitation and technical services in their everyday work
  • improved and standardized claim processing
  • support for claim processing related to owned plots and handling charges from foreign network infrastructure belonging to other industries
  • improved process of identifying places to build the network and complying with the law

Support in maintaining and exploiting the network

  • support in maintaining the ongoing network operations as well as creating an inventory of the condition of the network fixtures, object power switches, and heat source performance
  • the option of quickly locating network events, registering outages, and analyzing their causes and effects
  • savings related to reducing energy and heat loss, possible thanks to fast switches and the option to locate breakages
  • limited outages and related costs

Support in planning the heating system expansion and modernization

  • shortened planning and designing process thanks to having a spatial network image and information about real estate and land use
  • more precise cost estimations and lowering the risk of offering services in areas lacking network assets

A way for browsing data and performing business analyses in the spatial context as well as aggregating data from different applications and systems, also external ones. This allows our client for:

  • sharing reliable, consistent data needed for performing analyses and engineering calculations, searching for and visualizing lists of infrastructure elements according to the current needs
  • preparing technical and marketing analyses more efficiently. These are used for taking more informed development decisions and in different plans and reports, including reports required by law
  • preparing reports and statistics about network infrastructure performance in a more efficient way
  • support for customer service, e.g. handling outage reports

The system’s structure, details, and openness make it possible to:

  • integrate the DH.GIS system with other systems and modules at the company
  • integrate with the Termis system that monitors the current latch position
  • use modules provided by Globema, such as Calculations, Outage Management, Dispatcher, and Real Assets
  • together with Globema, implement modules initiated by the users, such as Collisions and Technical Connection Conditions
  • integrate with other applications that are built at the company based on data coming from the DH.GIS system and telemetry systems – telemetry map with rich contents


We asked Bogumiła Roszkowska, Deputy Manager at the Technical Analysis and Documentation Department at Enea Ciepło, to sum up the long-term cooperation with Globema in terms of implementing and developing the DH.GIS system. She quotes the famous martial arts master and actor, Bruce Lee:

“The only way for development is to raise the bar continuously, the only measure of success is the effort we put to achieve it.”

Throughout almost 20 years of using the DH.GIS system, it became an essential, everyday tool for Enea Ciepło employees.
Many factors contributed to this outcome. The most important is engagement and systematic cooperation with Globema that guaranteed continuity of the system’s development adequately to the arising business challenges and needs as well as a wide range of applications for DH.GIS at the company. It was and is still possible thanks to its users’ creativity that find new areas for using modules such as Outage Management, Calculations, Real Assets, and Collisions but also additional external components like GSA and FME.

Some examples include using GeoGrid for supporting fieldwork technicians, using the Collisions module for supporting the process of coordinating different investments, and using FME and GSA for conducting a variety of management analyses.

The system is continuously supported, both when it comes to maintaining its operation and updating to new versions, software administration, and completing development work.

The GIS system is the most universal tool for spatial data processing and its development is entirely up to the needs, invention, and cooperation of its users and designers/developers.

Learn more about our Customers’ success stories


Network Inventory System for years – Smallworld in Netia

Learn how for the last 20 years, Smallworld has been helping Netia develop the network, manage the infrastructure, and introduce cutting-edge services.

Smallworld GIS  |   Network Inventory Management  |  Telco


Network inventory supports Polenergia’s growth based on M&A

Learn how we standardized the network management at one of the largest energy distributors in Poland and organized data about 30 areas covering 11 thousand customers.

EL.GIS / Smallworld   |   Network Inventory Management  |  Energy

Schedule a meeting to achieve similar results at your company!