Geomapping

Published: | Updated: March 4, 2021

Definition - What does Geomapping mean?

Geomapping is the process of converting raw data from surveys into a geo map that helps by providing a visualization of the location of utilities quickly and accurately. The land and sub-surface survey is carried out using GPS and presents in detail site characteristics including roads, buildings, mountains, rivers, estuaries, underground utilities and pipelines.

In trenchless technology, the ability to precisely locate existing sewer and water utilities is essential as excavation is carried out below the earth’s surface, out of sight.

Geomapping provides a useful representation of the site conditions above and below ground. This helps in the planning and designing of suitable routes before the final design is approved, and equipment and machinery are moved to the location.

Location awareness of different utility lines is necessary prior to undertake any new installation or renewal project to ensure that the workers and the community involved are safe and healthy.

Trenchlesspedia explains Geomapping

During trenchless installation or rehabilitation, there is always a chance of striking existing utility lines in the vicinity. Identifying pipelines is critical in order to avoid causing damage to existing pipe networks.

Locating old pipeline systems using utility maps may not always be accurate and up to date, and locating using these maps can also be time-consuming and costly.

Water pipelines, sewage pipes, natural gas pipelines, oil pipelines, chemical pipelines, electric lines, and fiber optic lines are some of the crisscrossing networks of pipelines below the surface. Without proper geomapping pinpointing the exact location of utility lines, it is highly possible to cross bore into one of the existing lines during drilling.

Importance of Geomapping

Geomapping techniques help avoid mishaps such as dangerous cross bores by providing information that is accurate and the locations of utilities which can be stored and retrieved at will. Inconsistencies in data if found at the site can be noted and updated for future work.

Geomapping determines the precise position of subsurface utilities by using GPS technology combined with radio waves that accurately creates “As-built” maps that closely match the actual utility location. Geomapping software is used to overlay the GPS coordinates on various digital maps. One of its main benefits is its ability to store and retrieve information about utility location almost instantaneously.

Geomapping Technology

Geo-mapping combines different technologies like robotic CCTV cameras, electromagnetic sonde hardware, GPS collection devices, and GIS software. The CCTV operators collect the GPS data in the field and exactly associate it to the specific asset identified and update it into a geographic information system (GIS) map.

Each asset such as manhole covers, valves and the like are given a unique identification number and stored in the GIS database. Future data can be added to the GIS database to continuously update and improve the quality and accuracy of existing information.

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