Ordnance Survey supports the release of a new digital map of underground pipes and cables for the UK
Ordnance Survey helped build and develop the digital platform and is looking forward to users trying it out in North East England, Wales and London
NUAR is a new digital map that will revolutionise the way we install, maintain, operate and repair the pipes and cables buried beneath our feet. The digital map shows underground pipes and cables for utilities that make up England, Northern Ireland and Wales, whether that is gas, electric, water, internet or phone connections. Mapping out the locations of underground assets will make construction and development more efficient, reduce disruption and improve workers’ safety.
The Government estimates that accidental strikes on the pipes and cables beneath our feet cost the UK economy £2.4 billion each year and put workers’ safety and lives at risk.
The first phase of NUAR, also known as the ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP), has been launched covering North East England, Wales and London, and future releases of the platform will cover the rest of England and Northern Ireland. The new mapping platform contains data from the public and private sector organisations who own pipes and cables in North East England, Wales and London. This includes all of the major energy and water providers, such as Northumbrian Water, Wales and West Utilities, Southern Electric Power Distribution and National Grid, as well as smaller providers of these services, telecommunications companies, transport organisations and local authorities.
OS’s software development team have worked alongside Atkins, 1Spatial, GeoPlace, the GLA and the Geospatial Commission on a series of technology sprints to develop the platform and get it up and running.
The key task has been building the platform’s functionality to enable over 650 different underground asset owners in the UK to be able to exchange their data accurately and securely.
To do this the NUAR programme developed a specific data model. This model is based on an emerging standard, the ‘Model for Underground Data Definition and Integration’ or MUDDI. OS was instrumental in developing this as part of the Open Geospatial Consortium.
The platform provides users with a location-enabled service, allowing them to select specific areas and visualise the pipes and cables underground.*
The MVP is available to eligible organisations in the three areas. It is intended to complement current business practices initially and will allow users to both plan for future adoption and provide valuable feedback to enhance the service further.
Once fully operational across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, NUAR will help improve efficiencies in construction and development, reduce disruption to the public and businesses (from extended road closures and congestion), improve workers’ safety and is envisaged to deliver at least £350 million economic growth per year.
OS has supported the utilities and telco sector with accurate geospatial data and expertise for many years. To learn more about OS’s work in this industry visit the Control Today Shape Tomorrow webpage.
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