Speaker Bio & Abstract

Geoff Zeiss Principal
Between the Poles

BiographyGeoff tracks the contribution of geospatial technology to the digitalization of the construction and energy industries on his Between The Poles blog and other media. His areas of special focus are mapping underground utility infrastructure, BIM and geospatial interoperability for full lifecycle construction projects, substation design, and the application of reality capture and machine learning in the utility and construction sectors. Geoff Zeiss has more than 20 years experience in the geospatial IT industry working with utilities, communications, and public works in enterprise IT around the world. In recognition of his efforts to increase the awareness of geospatial data and technologies in utilities and construction, Geoff received the Geospatial Ambassador Award at Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. He contributed to the founding of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation in 2005/2006. He actively supports open standards as a director of the Open Geospatial Consortium. He is a Member of the National Underground Asset Registry Advisory Group, Geospatial Commission, Cabinet Office, in the U.K.AbstractImportance of good statistics to improve mapping underground utilities and reduce accidentsďIf you canít measure it, you canít improve it.Ē (Peter Drucker) is a maxim that applies to airline accidents, gas and oil pipeline explosions and leaks and underground utility damage during construction. Reliable metrics provide a foundation for assessing the social and economic impact of incidents and the effectiveness of new technologies and policies in preventing and reducing the severity of these incidents. Whereas reliable statistics have been available for the civil aviation industry since the early 20th Century, for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines since the beginning of the 21st Century, they are still missing for underground utility damage during construction. The commercial airline industry is a model of what reliable statistics and data for incidents and policies and technologies designed to reduce these incidents can achieve. In the last 20 year period the number of fatalities in major commercial airline flights was just over 400 (excluding 9/11). The number of fatalities resulting underground utility damage is about the same. Comparing civil aviation and gas and hazardous fluids suggests that reliable statistics is a key first step in improving our knowledge of the location of underground utilities and reducing incidents.