Underground Infrastructure Pilot

Current Status - October 2017

OGC’s recently completed Underground Concept Development Study paved the way for this Underground Pilot.  The pilot will lead to verified, standards-based interoperability for ‘smarter’ underground projects in cities around the world 

Interested?  Contact Luis Bermudez, Executive Director of OGC’s Innovation Program lbermudez [at] opengeospatial.org.  


OGC Underground Infrastructure Pilot  

The Underground Pilot will create, test, and validate a reusable, standards-based underground information architecture that will enable cities around the world to rapidly advance their smart underground projects.

Milestones of the Underground Pilot (dates may change)

  • Call for Sponsors – Press release announcing the pilot and seeking organizations to work with OGC in considering sponsoring the pilot. (Complete, Sept 2017)
  • Call for Participants – Initial pilot architecture as approved by the Sponsors and directions on how to propose are publicly announced (CFP)
  • Participant selection – Proposals to the CFP are evaluated by OGC staff with recommended selection confirmed by the Sponsors (CFP + 3 months)
  • Pilot execution – Beginning with a kickoff workshop and ending in demonstrations, the development effort by the participants using online collaboration methods.
  • Demonstrations – Demonstrations of new capabilities in several cities with scenario and data based on the city using a common architecture. (CFP + 10 mo.)
  • Production and publication of engineering reports, best practices, draft specifications and change requests. (CFP +12 mo.)
  • Follow-on standards development in the OGC Standards Program

Deliverables of an OGC pilot:

  • Testing of running software from several organizations to insure interoperability of the independently developed implementations based on open standards;
  • Demonstration of policy oriented scenarios with the deployed code.  These scenarios show the previously unavailable capability from a non-technical point of view.
  • Documentation of the results of the architecture, testing and demonstration.  The reports then become the basis of procurement activities of operational systems.

Scope of the underground pilot will include demonstration of a common architecture and data model in multiple cities. The number of cities will depend upon the Sponsors.  
The Sponsors will identify scenarios with an initial focus on:

  • Street excavations
  • Large-scale construction
  • Disaster planning and response

The OGC Innovation Program Pilots

The OGC Innovation Program provides a fast-paced setting for geospatial technology users and providers to work collaboratively in an agile development environment to develop, evolve, test, demonstrate and validate candidate geospatial standards under marketplace conditions. Such initiatives have proven to:

  • Reduce technology risk through accelerating development, testing and acceptance of interoperability standards with the refinement of standards and best practices
  • Expand the market and improve choice by encouraging industry adoption of new standards and best practices, ensuring market availability of interoperable solutions
  • Mobilize new technologies through providing participants with real world experience and a platform to innovate while driving early adoption of standards
  • Provide cost effective method for sponsors and participants to share expertise and development while gaining early marketplace insight and advantage

Benefits to Sponsors of the Underground Pilot include:

  • Assess and affect market direction based on sponsor’s needs
  • Visibility as global leader in information technology critical to smarter cities
  • Amplification of funding by multiple sponsors’ common/similar problems
  • Leveraging effort up to 3.5 times based on participant in-kind effort
  • Accelerated process for workable interface specifications in 4-6 months
  • Follow-on procurements using proven standards-based architecture
  • Leading to safer and more efficient cities.

The Underground Pilot will build on previous OGC Pilot Implementation initiatives. This past experience shows results across the spectrum of spatial information systems

  • Aviation Pilot produced proven standards that are now operational for sharing of civilian aeronautical information management (AIM)
  • Empire Challenge Pilot enabled sharing of sensor data in the defense and intelligence domain based on the OGC Sensor Web Enablement standards.
  • GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilots defined the architecture for the Group on Earth Observations tested through an initial operating capability.
  • Arctic Spatial Data Pilot demonstrating the diversity, richness and value of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) to Arctic stakeholders.
  • Future City Pilot, Phase 1, demonstrated how use of CityGML and IFC together to enhance financial, environmental, and social outcomes for citizens living in cities.

OGC IP initiatives listed here: http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/past


Underground Infrastructure - Call to Action

Getting smart about the assets you can’t see

The cost and time required to build, maintain, and improve underground assets is substantial to both the owner and the stakeholders who interact with them. Multiple organizations build underground infrastructure without sharing its location to others that also interact in that space - this is a recipe for disaster, and often results in unintended strikes, damage, and even explosions. 

The Ordnance Survey UK reports “approximately £150 million is incurred directly by strike damage to third party assets alone by utilities across the UK with indirect costs around ten times this sum. Fatalities are a severe consequence with, for example, approximately 12 deaths and 600 serious injuries per year from contact with electricity cables.”

Spatial awareness of underground assets using standards 

Holistic understanding of the relationships between underground assets and above ground infrastructure is needed to minimize service breakdowns and mitigate the impact of disasters. “Mapping the underground infrastructure is extremely important for the operations of smart cities,” said Alan Leidner, Director of the Center for Geospatial Innovation at the Fund for the City of New York. “The OGC Underground Pilot project is the next step in making underground mapping a reality.”

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has been at the forefront of creating standards for the spatial industry for more than 24 years, and in that time has developed a rapid, inclusive, innovative, and effective user-driven method to create open, agreed-upon standards designed to benefit the industry - and community - as a whole. Based on 100 previous innovation projects, the OGC Underground Mapping and Modeling Pilot Project will deliver a tested, standards based architecture for Smart Cities to procure the next generation of underground information management leading to safer and more efficient cities.

See also:  

Businessweek Underground