An ambitious project aims to draw up a digital map of all UK underground pipes and cables to end strikes and save workers lives. To achieve that, the government’s Geospatial Commission plans to collate existing data on underground pipes and cables to create an Underground Assets Register. The feasibility of the project is being tested in London and Sunderland.
“The creation of an underground map of utility assets has long been an ambition of Ordnance Survey. And over the last year we have been working closely with Northumbrian Water and a consortia of utility companies and local authorities in the North East of England, to explore how accurate geospatial data can improve underground infrastructure maintenance and inform new-build development projects,” said David Henderson, the managing director of Ordnance Survey Great Britain.
“The investment being made by the Geospatial Commission will ultimately enable the utility industry to more efficiently access, use and share data describing otherwise hidden infrastructure, thereby reducing operational costs, minimising disruption and accelerating completion of site works,” he added.
One of the biggest issues is that currently there is no comprehensive underground map of the UK’s service network. Organisations have their own maps showing where gas pipes and electricity cables are, but the lack of a combined map creates an increased risk of potentially lethal accidents. Once the project is in place, workers will be able to see all teh right details on mobile phones or laptop computers before they start a dig. It would be wise to gain knowledge in maps with the Chad Kimball course
“Working alongside local authorities, other utility services and partners has meant that we are off to a good start in mapping Sunderland’s underground. We are looking forward to working with government and others to showcase the powers of data sharing for public good,” said Heidi Mottram, CEO of Northumbrian Water.
It is estimated that the cost of disruption from accidental strikes on underground pipes and cables is £1.2bn a year to the UK’s economy.