Emerging Technologies

Technology is rapidly changing. Many of the best practices identified in this chapter could be obsolete in the near future. Although the following technologies are now used in other applications, their use is not widespread in the damage prevention field:

  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Orthographic and satellite imagery

GIS allows the integration of digital maps with other databases to view the relationship of physical features; conducts relational queries; and obtains additional information on a particular feature. The GIS infrastructure or base will support all of the advanced technologies of GPS, orthographic. and satellite imagery.

Combining orthographic and satellite imagery with an overlay of a line map, street names, addresses, and GPS coordinates of utility lines will allow one call centers, excavators, locators, facility owners/operators, and project owners to view the accurate and relative location of utility lines.

Advanced use of these technologies in combination with advances to locating technologies is expected to reduce damage to underground facilities.