Academic journal article URISA Journal

Dynamic and Context-Based GIS Interoperability to Support Infrastructure Management in Municipalities

Academic journal article URISA Journal

Dynamic and Context-Based GIS Interoperability to Support Infrastructure Management in Municipalities

Article excerpt


Information exchange among infrastructure companies is critical in achieving effective cooperation in the service of society. To facilitate this information exchange, the problem of interoperability between different GISs needs to be resolved and much research effort has been devoted to this issue (Fallahi et al. 2008, Pundt and Bishr 2002). The available studies, mostly concerned with constructing spatial data infrastructures, show that interoperability is facilitated by using a common data format for transmission between different GISs. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have issued data model standards that are effective in resolving data-transmission problems.

In modern cities, essential supplies and services, such as natural gas, water, electricity, and telecommunication facilities, are delivered to local users via various entangled infrastructures. Achieving cooperation between these infrastructures is one of the problems concerning the administration of a city. These infrastructures typically are maintained by various companies, which make different design decisions when constructing their GISs and may use different GIS tools. This diversity results in difficulties in ensuring that the GISs are interoperable.

Consider a utility company that needs to carry out a maintenance operation on one of its infrastructure elements. A service or a supply may have to be interrupted in a particular area. For example, for an electricity supply company to repair a midvoltage line, the power may need to be cut. This type of interruption can affect the network elements of other infrastructure systems such as the local exchange or a field cabinet of a telecommunication network. Moreover, in some cases, a maintenance operation requires excavation to reach a subsurface element and in this process the delivery system of another organization may be damaged. This situation is likely to arise because of a lack of information about the infrastructure laid by other organizations. To ensure that other essential services are minimally disrupted, it is necessary to devise a mechanism through which the utility companies can share their spatial data. Evidently, some infrastructure company operations, such as investment for which existing low-voltage or midvoltage line is replaced, do not require service interruption, which does affect distribution networks.

In addition to maintenance operations, several emergency situations may affect the subsurface infrastructures. For example, in the event of a flash flood in a municipality, the subsurface electricity infrastructure or various distribution transformation centers may be affected. The consequence of a flood on an electricity network will be a power cut, which implies situation changes in the elements of the electricity network. These changes have a ripple effect on other infrastructures such as the telecommunications network.

In the metropolitan municipalities in Turkey, maintenance planning is coordinated by the Infrastructure Coordination Headquarters (AYKOME). The duties of AYKOME include gathering the maintenance and investment programs of the infrastructure companies and issuing relevant permission to related companies taking into account the activity, when and where maintenance operations will be undertaken, with special attention being paid to those activities where excavation is necessary. AYKOME has a Web site and all the maintenance or investment plans are collected over that site. The site has mainly two user interfaces to collect the information related with the maintenance operation. In the first interface, the operator describes the job, the planning date, and the steps to complete the job. The second interface is used to submit the location of excavation. The contact person of an infrastructure company adds the location by using interconnected drop-down lists. …

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