New York — The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announced that the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY) funded OGC to develop prototype data models for underground utility networks and for the soils that surround them. The goal is to ensure that underground utility data are collected in a manner that allows information about different utilities to be integrated and used interoperably. This will allow cities to create a coherent map of what is under the asphalt and will enable improved operations support, analysis, and modeling. The utility data models that are being developed through the OGC Innovation Program include water, sewer, gas, electric, telecommunications, district heating, and transit.

FCNY President, Dr. Mary McCormick, stated: “The development of standardized underground infrastructure and soils data models will make it possible for information from many sources to be brought together for valuable uses that will improve the lives of people everywhere. We applaud OGC for their leadership on this initiative and are proud to be sponsors and supporters of this important project.”

Alan Leidner, Director of the Fund’s Center for Geospatial Innovation, said, “The integration of underground data will make it possible to address a wide variety of infrastructure challenges and opportunities related to excavation, large scale development, emergency response, and disaster planning.”

Data model development builds on earlier work of OGC and the Fund in collaboration with countries and cities around the world, as documented in the OGC Underground Infrastructure Concept Study Engineering Report. This effort is critical to launching the OGC’s Underground Infrastructure Pilot Project. The pilot will create, test, and validate a reusable, standards-based underground information architecture that will enable cities to rapidly advance their smart underground projects. The pilot’s process will be based on previous successful OGC pilots in the domains of defense and intelligence, civilian aviation, and sensor web enablement. The pilot will define a reusable, validated architecture, along with return on investment models for cities to use in their next-generation underground infrastructure mapping and modeling projects.

A Call For Sponsors for the Pilot was issued on Sept. 4. A Call For Participants looking to build solutions around the requirements outlined by the sponsors will be announced after approval by the organizations sponsoring the Pilot.