The Greater London Authority (GLA) has awarded software and solutions company 1Spatial the contract to create a digital map of the utilities and pipes underground.
It is part of a pilot, funded by the Geospatial Commission, on the feasibility of creating a National Underground Asset Register (NUAR).
1Spatial and the GLA will work on the delivery of platform-ready asset data for the London Underground Asset Register (LUAR).
All the relevant learnings from the pilot will be included in any future tenders.
The work is based on the understanding that a digital map of underground pipes and cables could reduce the disruption caused when they are struck by mistake and save lives. It is estimated that the cost of accidental strikes on underground pipes and cables is £1.2 billion a year to the UK’s economy.
Claire Milverton, chief executive officer of 1Spatial, commented: “We are delighted to have been selected for this strategically important and exciting pilot. We have an excellent track record of collaborating with organisations across the UK and globally to build, implement and support solutions that automate data flows, data integration and data quality and we look forward to leveraging these skills for GLA during the pilot.”
The Geospatial Commission announced the plan for two pilots on underground assets in April, the other taking place in the North-East of England and involving Ordnance Survey, Northumbrian Water, Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid and Openreach
A momentum for the development of underground asset registers began to build prior to this, with the Connected Places Catapult (then the Future Cities Catapult), Ordnance Survey and the British Geological Survey planning a series of demonstrators as part of Project Iceberg.
There is currently no comprehensive underground map of the UK’s service network. Different organisations have their own maps showing the locations of such things as gas pipes and electricity cables.
Image from Future Cities Catapult (amended)