Smart Grid technology offers great prospects to GIS professionals

Smart Grid technology offers great prospects to GIS professionals

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Colorado: GIS plays an important role to help the utilities industry manage the smart grid for an energy-smart future. And that means there is a growing need for professionals with a solid foundation in GIS technology to monitor electrical distribution systems, analyse power usage and plan future load growth to meet the changing needs of communities.

“Professionals with an understanding of the spatial analysis and visualisation aspects of GIS are capable of creating and improving smart grid implementation strategies,” says Stephen McElroy, GIS program chair at American Sentinel University. “The ability to organise data and to manage infrastructure assets within an enterprise GIS framework is a fundamental aspect of a well-conceived smart grid system.”

Through the evolution of the smart grid, an information- and analytics-driven modern version of the more-than-a-century-old electrical grid, utility operators will need a GIS-based view in order to make smart decisions about making data be understood quickly and easily shared.

The ability to display infrastructure data on a map is much more meaningful than presenting it in spreadsheet format based on a list of addresses. “A well-made map can be read and digested quickly by a variety of users such as utility managers, utility field crew members and the general public,” says Dr. McElroy.

He notes that most utility companies have mobile-enabled web portals to alert customers about outages because they’re a simple and effective way to disseminate information to a broad constituency in a timely manner.

Source: American Sentinel University