The Challenges Surrounding GIS Information: Who is the best in charge of GIS information when it comes to underground infrastructure? Are municipalities the answer?
Thomas Tym of Berntsen International, Thano Tziforos of American Survey & Engineering and Thomas Young of SeeScan touch on these often debated topics when it comes to mapping the location of underground utilities.
Besides legal concerns over data ownership, the issue of cost and time spent to acquire this information and store that for future use are ongoing topics bringing industry professionals together.
Though they don’t currently share utility data, Tziforos mentions the GIS Consortium in Chicago as being a possible model for bringing municipalities together to share mapping information.
Young also points out that cities and municipalities may have the most interest and stake in knowing where their underground utilities are buried. Could they not host the data, and keep it up to date, becoming a repository of information for those entering their jurisdiction?