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Case study: GIS pilot in Minnesota lays the groundwork for the future of underground utilities mapping

  • 9 February 2023
  • Author: Sarah Daley
  • Number of views: 5789
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Case study: GIS pilot in Minnesota lays the groundwork for the future of underground utilities mapping

CGA’s Next Practices Initiative is pleased to share a new living case study that details how CGA member Gopher State One Call (GSOC) partnered with the Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council to improve the 811 process through ticket-level visualizations of underground facilities.

The case study, titled “PILOT: Improving Efficiency and Reducing Damages by Providing Ticket-Level Visualizations of Underground Facilities to Designers, Locators and Excavators,” highlights the efforts of the Minnesota Utilities Mapping Project (MUMP). Led by GSOC and the Minnesota Geospatial Advisory Council and in partnership with key facility owner/operators, locators, software providers and other stakeholders, the MUMP sought to produce a first-of-its-kind tool that revolutionizes underground utility mapping for damage prevention stakeholders by leveraging widely accessible technology.

Read the Case Study

The newly developed GIS-based platform has the potential to drastically decrease the chances of a dig-in by making real-time, ticket-level mapped visualizations available to 811 system end users. The pilot program utilizes an open-source software solution that connects to GSOC’s ticket system to capture relevant ticket information – namely the geographic area of the ticket – and returns a digital report of the area. The visualization of buried facility data produced by the software is available to accredited end users for the duration of the 811 ticket. By providing increased visibility of buried infrastructure, the platform will enable design engineers to plan future projects more efficiently, locators to perform their job more accurately and contractors to excavate more safely.

Example of facility visualization available to accredited system end users within an 811 ticket excavation area.

The MUMP has completed the project’s pilot phase, which was localized to Glencoe, Minn., and is now focused on building support of additional facility owner/operators in the state and advancing to the production phase. Because of its pilot software’s ability to connect to nearly any type of system on the backend, the Minnesota Utilities Mapping Team believes its solution is scalable to the U.S. and Canada.

This case study examining the potential of GIS mapping is part of the Next Practices Initiative’s effort to document real-world examples of damage prevention technologies and innovations that are driving the future of the industry. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with CGA’s Next Practices Initiative to better understand the most pressing challenges facing the damage prevention industry and how your organization can contribute toward opportunities for systemic improvement.

If your organization would like to share an innovative approach or application that addresses persistent challenges in the damage prevention industry, click here to submit information for consideration by the Next Practices Initiative.

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