Hyderabad, India: Geospatial Users Forum was organised at Geospatial World Forum 2011 to have participants from organisations that have implemented geospatial projects in unique verticals gather with an aim of ‘learning by sharing experiences’ and ‘learning by sharing mistakes made’. The geospatial gyan from the practicing gurus in the trade is what the participants stood to gain. The Forum aimed to address questions like – what do the users in a particular geospatial vertical domain want? What they get? And why they get it?
The forum started off with a merged theme on water and electricity and was chaired by Dr. Richard Williams from Trimble. The lacunae and limitation of existing business models based on centralised generation, transmission and distribution were highlighted and the impracticality of such an approach in modern day electrical power sector were discussed by Eli Nasr from the Electricity and Water Authority of Bahrain. He also emphasised that ‘future grid’ is only possible by using GIS as a bonding medium in planning, designing, producing power infrastructure. He stressed on the importance of integrated business solutions with no silos.
If today, a pizza was allowed to be delivered emulating the Indian Electricity Act 2003 which states that – “Every distribution licensee, shall, on an application by the owner or occupier of any premises, give supply of electricity to such premises, within one month after receipt of the application requiring such supply” – imagine the situation. This was a rather humorous analogy drawn by Arup Ghosh from NDPL. He, apart from highlighting the role of geospatial technologies in the power generation and distribution sector, explained how the national scale project on Unified Identity (UID) will help in fault identification once all systems are in place.
The third speaker Matthew Thomas from Spectra Energy USA presented some startling facts about the 20 – 30% savings on annual budget just through the use of aerial imagery integration program for their oil and gas operations. He vociferously advocated the need of real time integration of various systems and the urgent need of data mining tools. He very candidly discussed the problems and speed bumps in implementing GIS-based solutions in his organisation, the most glaring being the resistance to change which also resulted a gap between central office and the field. Speaking on similar aspects, the last speaker in the session on power and electricity listed the mistakes done by his team in the early years of GIS integration with their legacy systems at Reliance Energy. The use of US-based data models which were not compatible with Indian systems, the error from capturing feeder pillars as point features and the yet unsolved problem of underground cables at various depths appearing and at times functioning as a single vector in digitised maps.
Source: Our correspondent