Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate are working on a data standard for underground assets.
Named MUDDI (Model for Underground Data Definition and Integration), it is being developed for use on the Vault information platform for the roads and utilities industries.
Alexander Ramage, Transport Scotland’s head of management information systems, said in a blogpost that: “Although Scotland has implemented something that meets the specific needs of the roads and utilities industries there is no current standard for roads and utility organisations to provide their information to Vault in an interoperable manner.
“Each information source has to be manually set up for import to Vault. While meeting the needs of the Vault system the bespoke nature of the data supplied prevents this data from being used in other systems.
“I am working to ensure the MUDDI model is capable of being used in Scotland for Vault. Once the MUDDI model is capable of describing apparatus above ground as well as underground the Vault system would be able to accept data using this model.”
He said the team is currently considering three main use cases for MUDDI: in excavation, understanding where artefacts are underground to avoid them being dug up accidentally; environment; and disaster.
Work on the excavation use case has begun, with a draft data model now coming together. The model will be extended for the environment use case, work on which has just started.
Once most of the work on the latter has been completed work will begin on the disaster use case.
Ramage added that the MUDDI model should also conform to the FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable and re-useable).
He also acknowledged the work by Whitehall’s Geospatial Commission on the National Underground Asset Register, the national digital map of underground pipes and cables, the pilots for which have recently been completed. He said there will be similarities between this and the Vault platform.