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Innovative GIS mapping captures pipeline locations

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World Pipelines,

Geospatial Corporation recently conducted a proof of concept project for one of the largest operators in the Permian Basin to capture rich spatial data and pipeline location creating an accurate and mobile map of both below ground and above ground pipelines. The solution is designed to work seamlessly with construction crews and keep a strong pace. Mark Smith, CEO of Geospatial Corporation said, “Our techniques and processes are extremely time efficient, while increases safety by using less people. In the end, we are providing data sets for operators’ systems of record that is traceable, verifiable and complete. As we spend more time in the Permian, we are confident we can provide additional operators with the most complete data and maps of their new and old infrastructure that will minimise risk while improving production rates.”

The Permian Basin of west Texas and southeast New Mexico is known as the most prolific oil and gas regions in the country and is bountiful with supplies. Operators like Pioneer Natural Resources, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Apache, Occidental Petroleum and Concho Resources have announced multi-billion dollar direct investments in the region to increase production. According to a recent report in Seeking Alpha “There's just not enough space in existing pipelines currently for the gas that is being marketed.” Mark Smith added, “We see operators challenged with moving their supplies within the old pipeline infrastructure as many drill old wells unconventionally and produce more supplies, it is clear that the infrastructure that has been around for decades is not the answer. As our clients invest in new pipeline infrastructure, it is an ideal time to gather accurate location and data that will be digitised and available for years to come. Accurate data sets, including x, y and z locational information will prove to keep operators safer, smarter and sustainable and ahead of any new regulations”.

The need to manage our underground infrastructure is being driven by a multitude of timely factors.

Nearly every city and municipality in the US is faced with the growing challenge of the problem of outdated infrastructure, especially water and wastewater systems that are breaking at a more rapid pace and/or contain contaminants such as lead. The oil and gas industry with new regulations are charged with knowing everything about their pipeline infrastructure from the wellhead to the home. These requirements encompass every part of the nation’s massive pipeline infrastructure from upstream, midstream and downstream.

Smart grids and new fibre networks are expanding at a rapid pace. Hurricanes and other weather events have exposed the need to move above ground infrastructure below for better performance. Waterways are being dredged to make room for larger shipping vessels and most utilities underwater are difficult to be renovated or replaced.

In every case, our clients need accurate data that starts with location to make the most informed decisions on these major infrastructure projects. With new sensors, robotics, and cloud based software for collaboration, owners are now capable of increasing the efficiencies to gather and manage this data that has immediate impact on cost and risk avoidance, providing impressive returns on investment. In order for these organisations to be more successful with delivering new infrastructure on time and on budget they are embracing technology. Although the country is in need of and greatly anticipating a major infrastructure bill, money for capital improvements are being unleashed through recent tax cuts, the formation of Public Private Partnerships, and grants for capital expenditures. Geospatial Corporation is in the right place at the right time. Billions of dollars are being spent to map the above ground to create intelligent platforms using machine learning for the imminent use of autonomous vehicles. The same will happen for the underground.

Geospatial Corporation is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the growing demand to accurately map and manage the country’s outdated underground infrastructure. Geospatial delivers locational 3D data, information technologies, software and program management services that provide a scalable solution to improve our client’s ability to securely, accurately and economically map and manage our global underground infrastructure including energy pipelines, sewers, water lines, conduits and cables.

Together with our mobile, intuitive GIS Platform we build long-term alliances with our customers in providing right solutions that bring success to our clients’ infrastructure management goals.

Pipeline mapping/technology consulting/program management

Geospatial is continually seeking emerging technologies to add to our suite of innovative sensor and data acquisition technologies allowing us to gather underground infrastructure data that will have a substantial impact on our client’s ability to manage their organisation. Geospatial’s pipeline mapping/technology consulting and program management leverages emerging technologies in providing right solutions – cloud, mobility, big data, analytics, Geographic Information System (GIS). Pipeline location and mapping in 3D – that adds value to your business, utility, institution, municipality or government facility. We are evaluating several applications for ‘Blockchain’ technologies and are very excited about the possibilities of utilising Blockchain within the infrastructure space.

GeoUnderground/cloud-based GIS/Application development

A complete understanding of our client’s business processes is the key in providing proper and efficient solutions to develop a comprehensive infrastructure management plan. Our experience in needs analysis, design, development, testing and support of GeoUnderground and continued integration with custom software applications and new sensor capabilities helps us in providing right solutions to our customers. Utilising the latest data acquisition and mapping technologies helps to meet our client’s business needs to ensure that an efficient solution is delivered within time and budget. As technologies and capabilities continue to evolve, for both the installation of new pipelines and the management of these assets, new and powerful sensors and software like Blockchain will be integrated to track data, record changes and manage contracts.

Underground mapping, GIS and engineering

Geographic Information Systems have become a vital part of everyone’s daily life, most systems are too heavy, too expensive and too complex to be utilised by the average field person where the data is time-critical and actionable. Combining more and more sophisticated data acquisition technologies with GIS integration into a powerful mobile IT platform such as GeoUnderground, we provide a solution which allows our clients to increase the quality, quantity and efficiency of the data acquisition while reducing overall cost for utilities, municipalities, institutions and industries to locate, map and manage their underground infrastructure. Geospatial has vast experience in mapping underground utilities and developing and integrating GIS applications to provide our customers with economical and efficient solutions.

Emerging technologies

Unlike mapping above ground infrastructure, mapping the underground presents unique challenges to accurately and economically collect underground data in 3D providing both pipeline position and depth (x, y and z). Geospatial attempts to develop mapping programs that provide positional accuracy to approximately 4 in. (10 cm) in both location and depth.

To accomplish our goal of “Mapping our global underground infrastructure”, Geospatial is constantly seeking out and evaluating emerging technologies involving new sensors, software integrations and state of the art ‘data acquisition platforms’ such as in-pipe robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and low altitude satellite systems integrated with electromagnetic, thermal and combinations of sensors to accurately view, locate and map various types of buried infrastructure including critical pipeline leaks and other condition analytics. All critical data necessary to “Map the world’s underground.”

Global market catalysts

Accurate location and digital mapping/management information is priceless. The world’s underground infrastructure is the last ‘un-mapped’ frontier. Everything else from the bottom of the oceans to buildings and bridges have been extensively mapped. A map of the world’s underground infrastructure is the catalyst that will drive value in many markets:

  • Smart cities planning and development
  • Secure, intuitive Google Maps platform – GeoUnderground
  • Public Private Partnerships – data leasing
  • Integration of GIS and Blockchain technologies
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles – Various sensor and data platforms
  • Autonomous underground excavation possibilities
  • Building Information Management (BIM) with underground infrastructure integration
  • Low altitude satellite sensor platforms
  • Expanded internet – global accessibility

Energy, oil and gas, transportation and distribution, and facilities

Energy companies are under tremendous pressure to address challenges of energy security and sustainability in the changing geopolitical, environmental and economic scenario. Geospatial provides location, mapping and management solutions with proprietary software and emerging technologies to bring new value creation opportunities in upstream and downstream operations of oil and gas companies.

Government/Homeland Security

Demographic changes, urbanisation and climate change are just a few of the long-term and systemic trends reshaping government. Serving the needs of citizens, meeting the expectations of multiple stakeholders in challenging infrastructure and environmental governance needs to be agile and effective. It is important to understand exactly where our infrastructure is located with the ability to communicate this and other critical information from the field to first responders and various agencies


Geospatial Corporation delivers Locational 3D Data, Information Technology, Software and Program Management Services that provide a scalable solution to improve our clients’ ability to securely, accurately and economically map and manage our global underground infrastructure including energy pipelines, sewers, water lines, conduits, and cables.

The future looks bright for the vertical markets we serve. Our underground infrastructure is the only unmapped part of the world we live in.

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