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Cartegraph AMS Self-Service Guide: System Configuration

In this session you will learn how to:

  • Populate the Cartegraph system with your existing asset inventory
  • Adjust the values a user can select when updating a record
  • Include cost details when completing a task

Getting Started

Before you get too far into using the system, you will want to explore some of the options you have related to system setup and configuration. 

You can decide which of these items you will address immediately …

                Do you have an existing asset inventory that you trust?  Let’s get it in the system now!

… items that you can tweak as you go….

                Don’t like the values you see in a list menu? You can adjust them from Library Manager.

… and decide what you want to make a priority now vs. grow into in the future.

                What cost will you be tracking? Start with just labor or also track equipment and materials now?

This session addresses the top priority items related to system setup and configuration. Later in your learning path is the Administration session, where you learn about all the Administration features available to you.


Inventory is the starting point.  If you already have an inventory that you trust, there are two main ways to get those asset records into the Cartegraph system:  GIS integration or Import.  If you don’t have an existing inventory or the inventory that you do have needs to be updated, use Cartegraph to create or update those asset records.

GIS Integration

The Cartegraph and Esri systems work together. If your data exists in a GIS database, you can setup a two-way integration between your Cartegraph database and Esri geodatabase. You do this by setting up an association: Identify which Cartegraph recordset and Esri feature class should be linked and then map the matching fields between the two systems. Learn more about the considerations and steps to setup your Esri Integration in the GIS Integration topic of the Administration session.


If your current asset inventory is in a spreadsheet or some other type of electronic format, you can import it into the Cartegraph system. First, the data needs to be saved as a comma-delimited file (CSV). Then set up a Cartegraph import format that defines how your data is imported into Cartegraph. Learn how to walk through these steps in the Import/Export section of the Administration session.  

Create Assets

Your assets are in the field and that’s likely where you are, too. Using the Cartegraph One app to create assets as you see them just makes sense. Review how to create assets using Cartegraph One.

Of course, you can also create asset records while working in your office. In the Assets session of the self-service guide, you learn even more about assets including topics such as asset relationships.

Lookup Libraries

Cartegraph uses lookup libraries as a way to provide end users with pre-defined data entry options. Lookups help you maintain consistent data entry, so searching is easier. Anytime you are editing a record and that record includes a field with a predefined list, the values in that field come from a lookup library. For example, City and Street are common lookup libraries. The same lookup can be used in multiple places.  When you use the Streets lookup field on a task record, water hydrant record, or sign record, all  those records are using the same Streets lookup library.  

Library Manager

You can add, edit and delete values from lookup libraries using Library Manager. It’s important that the values available to your users are ones that make sense for your organization. Learn more about Adding and Editing Records in Library Manager.

Some libraries are read-only libraries. Priorities is an example of a read-only library. Read-only libraries are accessible from Library Manager, but the Edit button is not available.

Libraries to Populate

Many lookup libraries in the Cartegraph system come pre-populated with values that make sense for most organizations.  If you run across a lookup with no values, simply access Library Manager, search for the library, and start adding values that are applicable to your organization.

The following are libraries that you should populate as you get started using the system:

  • Cities
  • Streets
  • Departments
  • Activities
  • Asset Types

It’s important that lookup libraries are populated with values applicable to your organization. Skipping this step could mean you either have many records with blank values, or have records with incorrect values because the correct value wasn’t available to select. 

Location Values

On records such as Tasks, there are two sets of address field: Basic Information and Locator Information. Locator Information is automatically populated for you based on the spatial location of the asset or task.

Adjust As You Go

The values that come pre-populated in lookup libraries are a starting point. They are built based on Cartegraph’s expertise and experiences with thousands of customers.  However, each organization is different, and you may choose to adjust the existing values.  You may start out using some libraries as they are and adjust over time. Or, you may adjust some values now before users inadvertently utilize values that don’t make sense for your organization. 

Learn More

We are just getting started with libraries. Our purpose here is to introduce you to libraries so you can focus on a few top priorities, then continue with this session. If you would like to further dive into libraries including the topics listed below, jump to the Library Manager topic of the Administration session. If not, continue on with this session.

Additional topics covered in the Administration session include:  

  • Managing the Activities library including Applies to flags and Key Date triggers
  • Removing values
  • Importing Library values instead of entering them manually


Tasks allow you to document the work you do to maintain your assets. You often apply resources in the work you do, and these resources result in a cost to perform certain activities.

In order to answer the question, "How much is this costing me?” you need to track your:

  • Resources
  • Resource Rates
  • Tasks that use those resources

There are three types of resources: Labor, Equipment,  and Materials.

Calculated Cost Example 

For example, I create a task to replace a sign. Someone goes out and replaces that sign (labor), drives their truck to get there (equipment), and replaces both the sign face and sign post (materials).

There are rates associated with each of these resources.

  • Labor:  John Hellman - $20 per hour worked
  • Equipment: Ford F-150 - $30 per hour used
  • Material:  New stop sign face - $100 each
  • Material: Wooden sign post - $65 each

So if John worked for half an hour ($10), drove his truck for 15 minutes ($7.50), and used both a sign face ($100) and post ($65), the cost to replace the sign is $182.50.

Once these resource records and rates are set up, the workers simply need to document who worked on the task, what equipment and materials were used, and the costs will automatically calculate.  Workers can also document Other Costs.

Start with Labor

Labor is a great place to start.  You will need a labor record for any individual who will be completing work. Each individual doesn’t need to be a user in the system, but if they are, you will want to link the labor record and user record. And finally, a labor rate is needed for each.

For records that were pre-loaded by Cartegraph, a $0 rate was created.  Simply replace your $0 rate with your laborers' actual rate of pay or the rate of pay for that position, and you’re set. As changes in pay rates occur, you will want to be sure to expire the old rate and add a new one, so you maintain your cost history. WARNING: Changing an existing rate will update historical costs if the laborer and rate were applied to historical tasks.

If you need to create records, follow these steps:

Other Costs

You can also have Other Costs associated with completing your work. Simply include the dollar value and description.

Learn More

We are just getting started with Resources. Our purpose here is to get you started with the most commonly used resource (labor) so at a minimum, you can start tracking your costs related to hours worked. If you would like to further dive into resources and associated costs, jump to the Resources session. If not, continue on with this session.


Now that you have completed this session, you should be able to:

  • Set up a GIS Integration or Import asset records
  • Add, edit and delete Library lookup values
  • Create Labor records and associated rates
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