Cost Analysis widget

(Added at v2.7)

The Cost Analysis widget enables you to assign a cost factor for each feature you create. These costs are automatically tallied and provide an overall project or event cost. Additional cost factors can be applied, or the entire cost can be scaled based on factors not captured in the data. Costs can be assigned for the edit templates within each layer, and they can be different depending on the area the features are created in.

Configure settings

Configure the settings of the Cost Analysis widget.

General settings

  • Measurement Unit—The standard of measure to use for displaying length and area of features to be costed.
  • Measurement Symbol—Displays the cost.
  • Round Cost—Rounded final cost of the project.

    Individual line items are not rounded, just the final result.

  • Type of Project Area—As you sketch in features, a boundary of all the features in your project is made. This setting determines the type of area you want.

Project settings

  • Define geography for costing—This layer allows users to set cost equations of feature templates based on geographies.
    • Costing Geometry Layer—If your project consists of different areas of interest, and those areas have different costs associated with them, specify it here. This layer must be a polygon.
    • Field to Label Geography—The descriptive field of the costing geometry to display for users to choose.
  • Ability to Save and Load project settings—Configuring these tables and layers allows users to save or load the project.

    The settings in these tabs are optional. If you decide not to specify any of these parameters, the widget will still allow you to cost out features you sketch on the map. It will also provide you the final cost of all features sketched. It will not save the project, so if you relaunch the application, all your cost information is removed.

    • Project Assets Table—This table will be used to associate all drawn features to its project along with any costing geography so that a project can be reloaded at any time.
    • Project Multiplier Additional Cost Table—This table stores costs that are not associated with any feature, such as rebates, credits, sponsorships, and rentals.
    • Project Layer—This is a polygon feature layer that stores the details of the project along with the net and gross cost of the project.

Layer settings

If the feature layer has a field where you want to store the Project ID, you can specify it here. When you sketch a feature onto the map, the field specified here on its corresponding layer will be updated with the Project ID.

This tab shows all the layers in the map. You can select which layers you want to edit and use for costing out a project. If there are layers that not editable, the Editable check box will be unavailable.

Costing information

  • Feature Template—For the layers for which you enabled editing on the Layer settings tab, you will see each listed here as individual tables. There is a row for each feature template for its corresponding layer. This allows you to cost each feature template independently. You can have more than one of the same feature template as long as you have different Geography or Scenario settings for each.
  • Cost Equation—This is where you define the cost for each feature template.

    You can have a fixed number such as 100. Each time you sketch in a feature from this feature's template, you will see 100 in the line item. This text field also supports mathematical expressions. Additionally, there are built-in variables you can access to build complex expressions. These built-in variables are {MEASURE} to get the length or area of the feature, {TOTALMEASURE} to get the length or area of all the same drawn features, and {TOTALCOUNT} to get the count of all the same features. You can build an expression such as {MEASURE} * 100. If you draw a line, this widget will take the length of the line and multiple that value by 100 to get you the cost of that feature.

  • Geography—If you specified a cost geography on the Project settings tab, this drop-down list will show the distinct records.

    Geography lets you define cost by different geographic areas. For example, you have a costing geography that consists of high fire threat regions and low fire threat regions, and you have a feature layer for electric poles. Your feature templates for an electric pole are based on material, and one of the values is wood. For the low fire threat region, you set the cost to X, where X is the base cost of the pole. In the high fire threat region, you set the value of the wood pole to 2X, because it has to be treated to resist fire. If you choose to break down your costing by geography, you need to ensure that for each feature template, you have a none case. This is in case your sketch falls into an area that is outside of any costing geography, but still needs a cost associated with it.

  • Scenario—Scenarios behave similarly to geography, but without any spatial component. If you have different use cases where you need to have different costs, this is where scenarios are useful.

    For example, if you have a tree trimming route, you can define different contractors as scenarios so that contractor 1 costs X amount to trim trees and contractor 2 costs Y amount to trim trees. The contractors would be added as scenarios. You can have the same scenario in different costing geographies. In this example, contractor 1 can trim in both high and low fire threat regions.

    You can manage scenarios by clicking the Manage Scenarios button.

  • Actions—Allows you to delete or copy rows.

Statistics settings

If there is a need to understand statistical information in your project, use this area to set up those calculations. For example, if you are sketching several proposed detention ponds and you want to know the maximum amount of storage that is available across all the ponds, you can set that statistic using this setting. You are allowed to build new statistics while using the widget. Those statistics are not saved and are lost when the application is reloaded. The statistics you define here are persisted.

Use the cost analysis widget

Follow these steps to configure the Cost Analysis widget.

  1. Click the Cost Analysis widget button Cost analysis.

    The Cost Analysis window opens.

    Cost Analysis

    The top part of the widget shows you all the different features you can sketch onto the map. The middle section shows the list of features drawn on the map and the cost of each item. This area also shows you the total and gross costs of the design work. Also in this area, you can define statistics for your design. The bottom section shows the Reset button. Use this button to clear all the features you drew on the map.


    If you do not click Reset, and you reload the application, the features are still present in the underlying feature layer. You will need to use another widget, such as the Edit widget, to remove remaining features.

    Sketching a design

    Let's say you're a planner at the gas utility who wants to know the estimated cost to extend gas service to a new community. You use the feature template picker and choose Plastic PVC main, and sketch in the yellow path. The cost to install the mainline gas pipe is over $1.7 million.

    Gas valve design

    Next, you select a valve and place it at the northwest end of the design as well as eight additional valves along the ring where the houses will connect. Each value in this example is $1,000. You can see the values are added as a line item under Asset Items.

    Plastic PVC

    Last, you select Plastic PVC service line and sketch in the maroon-colored lines from the valves to the house. Once again, notice that the service lines cost line item is added. You can see the total for the project.

    You know that the contractor who will do this work gives a discount of $100 per foot if the project is over 1,500 feet. You create a statistic to see the total length of pipe that will be installed.

  2. Click the Chart button to open the statistics creator.

    Chart button

  3. Select the layer to create the statistic as well as the type.

    Add new statistics

  4. Return to the main widget panel and click the arrow to the right of the new statistics icon.

    Asset Statistics arrow

    The total length of pipe in this design is shown.

    Detail statistics

    With this information, you know that this design will qualify for a discount. Let's see how much money this discount will save the project.

  5. On the Asset Items header, click the right arrow.

    Asset Items arrow

    This takes you to a detailed view of the cost items and allows you to edit the cost equation.

  6. Expand the Pipe accordion.

    Asset Item Details

  7. Click the Summation button on the right side.

    This will open the screen where the planner can override the cost equation that was initially set up for this layer.

    Cost Equation

  8. Change the value to {MEASURE} * 900 to reflect the $100 discount, and then click OK.

    New Equation

    You now see the new cost of the mainline pipe, and also the new cost for the entire design.

    Total cost for mainline pipe

    The total cost decreased from $1.7 million to now $1.6 million. You're finished with this estimation and can now share the results with the project manager to discuss the next steps.