(TechAdvantage Expo 2006 Booth #840) — ORLANDO, Fla. — Feb. 17, 2006–Osmose Utilities Services today introduced the Osmose Mapping Center at the opening session of TechAdvantage Expo 2006, the 64th annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
“The Osmose Mapping Center was developed specifically for smaller utilities,” said Chief Technology Officer Mark Brule. “We’ve worked with hundreds of different electric cooperatives for literally decades, and we’ve seen up close the many challenges they face when it comes to maintaining accurate maps of their outside assets. The Osmose Mapping Center addresses these common challenges.”
Brule points out that many smaller utilities simply don’t have the resources available to invest in a Geographic Information System, or GIS, that allows larger utilities to update their mapping information on a regular basis. Instead, these smaller utilities typically work with local engineering firms to update maps on a yearly or even multi-year basis. In these circumstances, as repairs are made in the field, “as-built” sketches are sent back to the utility office. These, in turn, are sent to an outside engineering firm. When enough updates have been accumulated to justify the expense, new map books are produced.
“The Osmose Mapping Center gives all utilities, regardless of their size, the opportunity to invest in both a system inventory and a GIS,” says Brule.
With the Osmose Mapping Center, work orders and as-built drawings are sent by fax or regular mail from a utility’s operating districts to the mapping technicians at Osmose Utilities Services. If necessary, Osmose field technicians can validate the accuracy of the work orders by visiting the site. Osmose GIS technicians enter the new information and create a GIS database representation of the assets. Software validations are run to make sure connectivity is properly represented in the database. “The utility can then access continuously-updated map data on-demand by using a secure web-browser and internet connection,” says Brule. “There’s no new equipment to invest in with the Osmose Mapping Center.”
To make all the advantages of a modern GIS accessible to smaller utilities, customers can amortize the cost of a full system field asset inventory over the life of an Osmose Mapping Center hosting agreement.
“According to our research, 90% of utilities in the United States own fewer than 75,000 poles. Many of these utilities rely on a small number of senior employees, rather than an accurate, reliable, database, for institutional memory,” says Brule. “When these senior employees retire over the next few years, many of these utilities could have a difficult time knowing the condition and location of all their outside assets. The Osmose Mapping Center was designed to address this critical need facing the utility industry.”
For more information, visit Osmose in booth #840 at TechAdvantage, or attend the Technology Showcase session on “Outsourcing Your Mapping Department,” Saturday, February 18th from 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. in the North Lobby directly outside the exhibit hall. You may also visit www.OsmoseUtilities.com or call Bob Butera at (716) 725-4267 for additional information.