Augmented Reality Meets Utility Visualization

By Ander Pierce 

A variety of fallouts can precipitate from a damaged infrastructure during excavation: sinkholes from water drainage; suspension of utilities from internet, phone, electric, and gas companies; environmental fallout from sewage or oil; or an explosion caused when a spark hits a damaged gas line. These kinds of accidents cost facility owners hundreds of thousands if not millions in clean-up and damages. Considering the costs and dangers associated with these kinds of mistakes, it is no surprise that safety is the number one priority of many construction and excavation operations. Getting accurate locates is critical to the safety and mission of excavation teams, yet busy and demanding work schedules, deadlines, and poorly mapped areas create direct conflicts with the priorities of safety and precision. Many locate technicians struggle with the balance between accuracy and speed while they rush to complete all of the days open tickets. And, poorly mapped regions slow work and add an element of uncertainty to the technicians and onsite inspectors in the field.

For many One Call Support outfits, the current method of locating underground assets prior to excavation largely depends on a utility locate technician detecting an electromagnetic field induced on the utility for location purposes, and then placing marks along the detected line. Ideally, detected lines are double checked against existing records to ensure accuracy, but often existing records may be inaccurate or nonexistent. Poorly mapped areas that conflict with the locates flagged by technicians slow down productivity and often provides challenges in safely excavating around critical infrastructure.

Updating existing geospatial data with accurate locations can greatly speed up future projects, saving locators hours in the field and giving excavation crews unparalleled levels of confidence in where they dig. Once a line is physically located either by traditional locate techniques or ideally when it is first installed, next generation GNSS receivers, such as the Asteri X3 paired with Tri-Global’s UtiliPad, are capable of marking locates with cm level accuracy. Companies that invest in this kind of highly accurate GIS data collection can reap benefits in efficiency and certainty in the future. When that location data is uploaded into GIS data and paired with augmented reality (AR), locators can literally see the desired line beneath the dirt by viewing the field through an iPad or Android device to double check their work. Additionally, this technology allows onsite inspectors to oversee excavation with remarkable ease and precision.

AR technology is already available to help utility companies and municipalities to create time saving and safer records of their infrastructure. New or existing geospatial data can be transferred into mapping software and used in conjunction with an AR mobile device technology such as the Argis® Framework provided by Argis Solutions. This improved workflow is robust, field ready, and offers superior communication between location technicians and central support. One Call Support Departments and Companies that have implemented AR within their field operations have found the technology provides a higher confidence level in locate operations thus increasing overall safety and accuracy in their excavation while investing in the future productivity of infrastructure maintenance.

Damage Prevention Professional Magazine is a quarterly industry publication with a print circulation of 30,000+ and digital circulation of 70,000+ throughout the United States and Canada, along with a contingent of international subscribers. This publication addresses cross-industry concerns to damage prevention stakeholders. This article was originally published in the Special Issue: Underground Utility Locating

Podcast: Digital Politics with Karen Jagoda

Paul Hoemke, Business Analyst at Argis Solutions, did fascinating podcast with Karen Jagoda at the Esri UC earlier this month. Listen to the whole podcast at Digital Politics with Karen Jagoda. We've reproduced a few of the highlights here.

Argis Road Trip: Risk Mitigation

The Argis Road Trip is continuing on to San Diego. See how the trip went and learn something about how #AR can effect risk mitigation.

On our way through Moab, Utah, we took a hike to show you how augmented reality helps mitigate risk. Sounds exciting, I know. But the truth is: what we’re about to show you revolutionizes the way you and your teams will harness GIS data. 
Dusty dirt paths to the naked eye become rich veins of information through the Argis Lens. 
But simply being able to view these assets wouldn’t be revolutionary, would it? So what we’ve done is allow you to interact with them.  
The Attribute Window makes crucial information regarding any asset readily available at the touch of a screen. In Moab, for instance, we could view the lengths of the trails or the last time they were maintained.  The Argis Lens brings all the rich information that surrounds us right to your fingertips. 

See the rest of the story here on our blog by subscribing or by following our youtube channel. 
 

#argisroadtrip #AR #esriuc

Argis Road Trip: First Stop

On our way out of town, we stopped by Colorado’s world-famous Red Rocks Ampitheatre, to show you how, together, the Argis® Framework and Lens bring GIS data into the real-world.
Using data gathered through Esri’s ArcGIS Online, we rendered Red Rock’s assets into the Argis Lens, transforming invisible information into visible resources.  Resources such as the electrical lines used to power the ampitheatre’s unforgettable performances. All this incredible information can be viewed from any perspective in the field, live or cached, with our without Wi-Fi. 

ArcGIS Online Map of Red Rocks

ArcGIS Online Map of Red Rocks

Side-by-side, it’s easy to see why a three-dimensional perspective of your data is simpler and far more intuitive for anyone to use than a two-dimensional map.
Augmented reality may seem like something of the future, but here’s now, and it works.  

Follow the rest of the journey on our youtube playlist or follow #argisroadtrip on twitter to hear the rest of the story. See you in San Diego! 

See You At Esri's UC

Connect with Argis Solutions at Esri's User Conference 2017

Argis Solutions has had a productive season resulting in many chances at Esri's User Conference to share our mission of being the premier provider of Augmented Reality Visualization to the Esri GIS community. We will be showing the impact our award winning Argis® Framework and our newest product the Argis® Lens throughout the conference. We invite you to join us:

SUZ Demo Theater 2016

SUZ Demo Theater 2016

UPDATE:  Meet President, Brady Hustad during one of two hands on session Tuesday and Thursday in the demo theater.
5:30pm - 6:15pm Hands on with VR and AR 3D GIS, Demo Theater Presentations SDCC - Demo Theater 13 - 3D GIS  
DESCRIPTION Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are becoming hot topics in every 3D-related industry, including GIS. This session will cover a brief overview of some of the emerging topics that are demonstrating the application of VR/AR in GIS as well as provide a few minutes for some users to try some experimental Esri VR/AR experiences.
 

Argis Solutions will be in booth z15 in the SUZ

Argis Solutions will be in booth z15 in the SUZ

If you are unable to hear these informative talks or you have more questions, we invite you to find us in the Esri Start Up Zone at booth z15 and experience the Argis® Lens for yourself. With giveaways and promotionals, it will be worth your while.
Can’t wait?  Contact our Client Relations team to schedule a trial license to see firsthand how the Argis® Lens can bring ROI to your company by adding the AR Advantage to your workflows.

Stay in Touch
Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @ArgisSolutions or by subscribing to this blog for the last information and updates as we prepare for Esri’s User Conference, or schedule a meeting now so we can be sure to connect. 

Thank you and see you in San Diego! 
 

AWE Video: Locating Underground Assets at Remote Sites

Excerpt from Augmented World Expo 2017 

Brady Hustad recently spoke about Locating Underground Assets at Remote Sites  at the Augmented World Expo (AWE). This talk focused on our impact on Whiting Petroleum's workflow in the field with their One Call Department. Check out the talk below or on our YouTube channel: 

The AWE was a new conference for Argis Solutions, but full of great potential for the future development of augmented and virtual reality.  Since our products are in the field now,  Brady answered many interesting questions at the end of his talk that delved into the questions of commercial adoption and application of Augmented Reality in industry marketplace. If you would like to experience our Argis Lens firsthand, contact us today to request a trial license to see the AR Advantage can improve your workflow.