geoAMPS Blog

How DOTs can address utility crossings in projects

flickr / Washington Department of Transportation

When planning new road transportation projects or improvements to existing infrastructure, the state department of transportation (DOT) not only must focus on the project at ground level, but also the impacts below and above ground.

That is because this is where existing utilities are located. Proper inventory and tracking of these utility crossings is essential to the success of the transportation project, maintenance of utility infrastructure and the continuation of utility service. It also is necessary to receive full reimbursement of funds that the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) deems the state agency is eligible for the project.

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Technology to help utilities with transmission tower siting

circulatiing / flickr

Siting electric utility infrastructure and transmission lines can seem mind-boggling without the right project planning tools. Utility organizations must plan new transmission line projects carefully, accounting for multiple factors, from proximity to the grid, to existing infrastructure and property ownership. All the while, the utility must plan the expensive project in the most efficient way possible.

New technological advancements, including Web-based, utilities infrastructure management software and geographic information systems (GIS), are available to help power companies efficiently navigate the multitude of challenges in transmission tower siting.

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Efficiently manage utility inspections and maintenance

Karl Baron / flickr

An ongoing challenge for large electric utilities is inspection and maintenance of ageing infrastructure. Towers and power lines stretch scores, sometimes hundreds of miles. There can be a wide disparity in the age of towers and lines. These factors, combined with the tough decisions or where to send limited crews, present a unique and difficult challenge.

Establishing a centralized Web database of project and organizational information, accessible by a Web-based software system allows utilities to manage infrastructure inspections and maintenance accurately and efficiently.

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5 Mobility Answers to Real Estate Management

When it comes to keeping the power flowing, challenges emerge from every direction. Limbs falling onto lines, vehicles hitting poles, or strong winds disrupting service to a neighborhood are only a small sample of the things that can call our crews out to restore power.

Mounting a new pole, removing the limb or installing a new power line are usually simple challenges. Linemen are professionals and have the experience needed to complete the job.

What I have seen, though, as a regular challenge throughout the industry is that accessing information about the infrastructure and real estate property management.

There are solutions that are on the market thought to handle this test, providing field agents with on-the-go access to real estate management information that they need while in the field. Not only that, but other information from infrastructure to payments can also be accessed remotely from wireless devices like smart pads and smart phones. The industry’s reliance upon mobile technology continues to grow especially as real estate management and right of way management software solutions continue to advance.

Here are five benefits mobile technology provide when dealing with real estate management in the field:

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5 ways property management software helps utilities

Kevin Dooley / flickr

Organizations in the energy utility industry face daunting challenges to provide consumers with vital services while minimizing costs. Software solutions are available to help utilities with real estate property management and other areas of   concern.

Here are five of those areas of concern and how the right software can provide solutions that will benefit the organization and the consumer:

Real Estate Property Management – Development of new transmission lines spanning many miles requires agreements with property owners. Encroachment agreements that provide access to the infrastructure must be tracked and easily obtained to ensure maintenance of the assets and the immediate surrounding area.

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Renewable energy sources get boost from technology

flickr

This article also appears on www.altenergymag.com.

The 2014 numbers are in and it’s great news for alternative energy. All the primary sources of clean, renewable energy are being developed and consumed globally at greater levels.

As the respected Worldwatch Institute cites in its 2015 global status report, released in June 2015, renewable energy continued to grow during 2014 against the backdrop of increasing global energy consumption, particularly in developing countries, and a dramatic decline on oil prices.

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Combatting low oil prices through technology

This article also appears on the Oilfield Technology website.

The dramatic drop in oil prices created great uncertainty in the world market. The outcome was grim. The price for oil was cut in half. Tens of thousands of workers were laid off. There were company closures and mergers. Scheduled projects were canceled or shelved indefinitely.

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How to protect your organization against hacking

In June 2015, a federal investigation began into a data breach that may have compromised the personal information of some 4 million current and past federal employees. Premier Blue Cross reported that in January 2015 hackers stole 11 million records, including credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and email addresses. Home Depot said in 2014 that 56 million credit card numbers and 53 million email addresses of customers had been stolen. There have been other recent victims of cybercrime: Anthem, Sony, JPMorgan, EBay and Target.

Incidents of hacking have dominated the news of late. Whether the suspects are individuals or foreign governments, the criminals are creating uncertainties and nervousness within the global community that is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Internet for storing information, commerce and communication.

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How to Implement a Land Management System

Increasing responsiveness and maximizing resources are important factors in how transportation agencies improve their business in today’s data-driven, performance-based environment. The ability to deliver projects on time and within budget is one measure of a transportation agency’s performance. The effective delivery of real property by the right-of-way office is fundamental to achieving this agency objective. A well designed and implemented information management system can substantially improve this capability. Adding geospatial capabilities (GIS) to the system to replace reliance on hardcopy maps and tabular information and to give additional management and analysis functions can significantly increase its usefulness.

Understanding the critical factors necessary to successfully implement an information management system can ensure the best value for the necessary outlay in resources and can substantially improve the realization of the system’s full potential. Obtaining strategic buy-in from agency executive-level decision makers to pursue implementation will provide the necessary foundation for system.

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The Risks of Not Implementing a Property Management System

A primary purpose of [a property] information management system is to facilitate standard business operations and support information and decision making by providing easy access to both internal and external information relevant to meeting the goals and operational needs of the transportation agency and the real estate office.

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Return on Investment for geoAMPS Land Management Software