Imass develops mains avoidance service for Utilities
Imass Ltd, an Infoterra company, has successfully developed a web-based service for third parties to access utility network records.
Utility companies receive numerous requests for information from other utilities, highway authorities and building contractors, as they need to understand what is actually underneath a specific area of land.
Currently many utility organisations process these requests manually - staff need to fire up their GIS-based network mapping system, locate the area within the system, print the required information on a map and mail.
This new mains avoidance service from Imass will enable a utility company to process these requests online with immediate information delivery. The user, once registered, will enter a secure site and be able to input a location, such as a street name or post code. The exact area of interest and size of plot can then be selected using a simple map-based interface. Once a data format is chosen the data is delivered and only then can the user view the utility network information. This service allows utility companies to set strict access controls which determine exactly what records the user is allowed to see, and includes the option to charge the user for information.
"Some early attempts at such a service were difficult to use - consequently many utilities continue to use highly trained technical staff to undertake this essentially routine activity. We are currently trialling our service with two companies, which is proving very positive indeed. One service we are hosting, and the other has been installed on the customer site," commented Dave Curry, product development manager for Imass Ltd.
"We are confident that our service will provide a user-friendly and efficient service, in keeping with today's customer-focused utility industry," continued Curry.
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