Geoff Zeiss, PHD


Between the Poles

Abstract: Interest in mapping below ground including geology and utility and transportation infrastructure is accelerating. Highway construction projects can run into severe overruns when the underlying geology is unknown or poorly known. In the U.S. the biggest source of highway construction project delays are unknown or inaccurately located underground utility infrastructure. Paradoxically a lot of information about underground infrastructure is captured. A major problem is that it is rarely shared. Utility hits cost the U.S. economy an estimated $1.5 trillion in direct costs annually and many times that in indirect costs. Signs that mapping underground infrastructure is gaining increasing attention are becoming more prominent. The national mapping agency in France IGN has embarked on a ten year multi-billion euro national program to map all underground infrastructure. Chicago has embarked on a pilot of a low cost way to routinely capture and share digital information about underground infrastructure. Significant investment by at least one major international survey company in the latest remote sensing technologies, hardware and software, for geolocating underground infrastructure is opening up the next frontier in remote sensing. The development and improvement of standards for sharing location information about underground infrastructure has been initiated in the U.S. by the OGC and ASCE and internationally by the British Standards Institution, the French equivalent, and others. Together this is evidence that international efforts to map underground infrastructure is accelerating.

Bio: Geoff has been tracking the contribution of geospatial technology to the digitization of construction, operation and maintenance of energy, building and transportation infrastructure in his blog “Between The Poles” since 2007. From 2014 to 2016 Geoff was Editor for Energy and Building with Geospatial Media. Prior to that Geoff was responsible for thought leadership, evangelization, and industry messaging for the utility industry program at Autodesk. Geoff Zeiss has more than 20 years experience in the geospatial IT industry working with utilities, communications, and public works in enterprise IT around the world. In his early career, he was responsible for some of the largest successful implementations of location-aware enterprise design and records management software in the utility and telecommunications sectors. In 2004, he received a Global Technology Award from Oracle Corporation for technical innovation and leadership in the use of Oracle. In recognition of his efforts to increase the awareness of geospatial data and technologies in utilities and construction, Geoff received the Geospatial Ambassador Award at Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. He has actively supported open standards and is a director of the Open Geospatial Consortium.

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