SDT’s Enhanced GIS Overlay System Offers Telecom Opportunities, Benefits

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | February 2012, Vol. 67 No. 2

Other market opportunities
As well as communications, Ezell believes there are great opportunities for SDT to utilize its experience and capabilities in all industries and sectors, including oil and gas transmission and distribution pipelines, water, gas and sewer construction.

“With the multiple layer capabilities in a geographic information based system, the various sectors of an industry can benefit -- from right-of-way acquisition and legal issues, through operations and network management,” he says. “This process then enables the digitization of all engineering and construction drawings, network documents and so on. We feel this is the way of the future with more and more processes being pushed out to the field level and the end results being available to all process stake holders via the digitization of the information in real or close-to-real time.

“The processes we’ve developed, and continue to develop, will eventually allow a project manager, his subordinates as well as the executives above him, to watch their project in real time as it’s being designed, engineered and constructed and then to have the end results saved in a digital environment which they can access from anywhere a network connection can be found.”

Will higher planning and engineering costs slow the application of GIS technologies in construction?

“I would not describe the process as ‘costly’,” answers Ezell. “Pricing is very competitive with traditional mapping and design, regardless of project size. The big difference between GIS and conventional methods is the amount of detailed data that can be provided by GIS. And the speed to market and overall quality of service is exponentially greater than traditional methods with costs in line with traditional methods.”

The greatest advantage for any scale project is speed to market and quality of the deliverables, Ezell believes.

“While it may take weeks or months -- depending on project size -- to gather all the field data using traditional methods,” he explains, “we are able to greatly improve most schedules and get permit applications and construction ready prints much earlier than ever before possible. To repeat, we can do this at the same price points as traditional methods.”