On the Mark: Editorial

The “Future of Damage Prevention” may conjure up images of advanced technology, devices sending signals from on-site markers to distant satellites to offices far, far away. Certainly advanced heavy equipment, locating equipment, various GPS and GIS devices and marking systems will have their roles in bringing us closer to zero damages. But more than anything, the wisdom and experience behind the machine and collaboration across the aisle—human driven change and pro-active innovation—will take center stage. And those on the front lines, the utility excavators and locators in the field, will be at the forefront of a future free from gas explosions, mismarked lines, injury and inefficiencies.

In this issue, Planet Underground digs a little deeper into one particular stakeholder at the crossroads between all parties in the underground utility construction and locating system—the one-call center. It has been, at least in the US, for the last few decades, the place where technology, human action in the field, and data access, all meet at one time or another. 

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