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The dawn of the holographic locate: vGIS equips locate workers with “x-ray” vision
Meemim, the creators of the world’s first holographic GIS technology, is rolling out vGIS to the locate industry through a partnership with Promark-Telecon Inc., a leading Canadian locate services provider. Responding to an industry need for accuracy, productivity and safety, vGIS holographic technology is expected to increase the speed and accuracy of locate services.
The first of its kind in Mixed-Reality visualization system, Meemim vGIS has partnered with Promark to test the holographic headsets in the field. Using the Microsoft HoloLens, Microsoft Azure cloud-services and Esri ArcGIS software, the system works to convey in-the-field and real-time holographic visualizations of serviceable objects, such as above-ground and underground pipes, cables or valves, and their supporting information. Meemim vGIS features to-scale infrastructure, real-time holographic 3D maps, and collaboration tools.
“Our industry is evolving and we are dedicated to staying at the forefront. This includes trialing technology that will increase productivity and accuracy. We must continue to equip our staff with the tools that help them perform their work more accurately and efficiently.” Scott Stewart, Vice President – Promark.
The holographic system with the help of a virtual dashboard, which is only comparable to those seen in sci-fi movies such as Iron Man, is expected to increase the speed of the locate process by displaying the exact path that should be followed by a worker. The mixed-reality headset will be used in conjunction with the tools currently employed by locate companies to ensure accuracy. The system will also capture discrepancies between GIS data and actual infrastructure and allow the locator to submit a record correction report to the infrastructure owner.
Meemim recognizes current technology limitations “With the current state of hardware and quality of GIS information, we do not expect vGIS to speed up every locate job.” says Alec Pestov, CEO of Meemim. “However, we see a real opportunity to significantly cut time in a variety of situations, including repeated jobs, tone signal issues and complex infrastructure common to large cities. Today it already covers a considerable volume of locate requests. As technology advances and GIS data quality improves, so does the scope of applicability of vGIS. It is not inconceivable to see how it could become the main tool for locates in the not very distant future.”
“We want to reconfigure the way that infrastructure personnel work in the field. That’s the core of vGIS.” Alec Pestov.
For the initial field trials, vGIS is also working with Enbridge, a leading energy delivery company. Enbridge recognizes mixed-reality potential and is moving forward with the pilot project to validate it in the field. Perhaps, this is the year that the utility and locate service provider work with visionary engineers to lay the foundation for the future of locate technology.
About Meemim Inc.
Meemim Inc. (Toronto, ON) is a vGIS and knowledge-management platform vendor with expertise in data presentation and visualization. Current applications, in addition to vGIS, include client customer service portals and the Meemim collaboration productivity suite for project management and small-team collaboration.
Founded in 1985 and head-quartered in Montréal, Québec, Promark-Telecon is recognized nationwide for its reliable, high-quality locating of public and private underground utilities. For more than 30 years, major utility companies have been trusting Promark-Telecon to avoid costly utility conflicts and perform safe and effective completion of excavation and underground activities. Promark-Telecon has extensive experience in managing both large and small utility locating contracts and offers the very best in locating service from coast-to-coast.