How Geographic Information Systems (GIS) In Pipe and Pipeline Inspection Works

How Geographic Information Systems (GIS) In Pipe and Pipeline Inspection Works

The easiest way to get lost when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area is to assume you know where you’re going. Without understanding the lay of the land, you could spend hours going around in circles before finally stumbling onto your destination by accident. It isn’t enough to know the name and address of where you’re going — you also must have the context of the surrounding neighborhood to understand in which direction you need to be and how far you have to travel.

This is why most modern cars come equipped with GPS, to provide the driver with a map and detailed directions. Likewise, you can’t expect to understand your water and sewer systems without a complete picture of all its branches as well as other important details. This is where geographic information systems (GIS) pipeline mapping can be a huge benefit to utilities and contractors. Yet what is GIS, and how does it work? Read on to learn the answers.

How Does GIS Work?

Much in the same way that a vehicle’s GPS system integrates street names and landmarks with a satellite map, these systems compile data collected in the field with a geographic overview of a specific area. In terms of a utility pipeline, GIS data typically details exactly where pipes are buried as well as other information. This may include the locations of valves, repair histories and internal pressure readings. The information contained in these files may consist of maps, spreadsheets, photos or videos.

What Are the Benefits of GIS for Pipelines?

The advantages of using GIS in pipeline projects of any sort are numerous. Here are a few examples of what the technology can do for contractors or utility providers:

  • Planning: By incorporating data about terrain such as soil conditions, companies can harness what they know to plan future projects more effectively. They may be able to identify areas in which constructing pipes or digging trenches may be cost-prohibitive.
  • Maintenance: With this at your disposal, you can bring up a complete history of all repair work and overlay it on a map of your infrastructure. Using that, you can point out trends that could indicate where you’ll have to conduct repairs in the near future.
  • Inspection: When conducting inspections, this type of reporting helps provide crews with all the details they can use to react to situations quickly and decisively. They’ll be able to work faster and with fewer errors because they’ll have a more complete picture of the conditions than they would otherwise.
  • Accuracy: By integrating GIS into your pipe inspection, you can now see where every single pipe incident is located in the field. Whether it be pipe connections, cracks, sags, collapsed pipe, infiltration, or really anything else – you can now utilize a GIS map to locate the exact location of every single incident within your entire system. No more guesswork and walking with an old survey in hand. When combined with mobile GIS applications, you can literally drive right above the problem location just like you would with GPS maps!

Choose Tunnel Vision Pipeline Services for Full GIS Service

Our highly trained and experienced GIS technicians offer you the highest level of performance from this technology. We go beyond creating a static file, giving you a real-time, data-rich snapshot of your pipelines virtually anywhere you are and at any time.

We can provide you with fully customizable reports that give you a level of detail you can’t find with any other inspection software platform. To learn more about what we can do for you, reach out to speak with one of our representatives today.