American Society of Civil Engineers


Geospatial Databases and Augmented Reality Visualization for Improving Safety in Urban Excavation Operations


by Sanat A. Talmaki, (Graduate student, Research Assistant, University of Michigan, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2350 Hayward Street, Room 2340 GGB, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, USA. E-mail: stalmaki@umich.edu), Suyang Dong, (Graduate student, Research Assistant, University of Michigan, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2350 Hayward Street, Room 2340 GGB, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, USA. E-mail: dsuyang@umich.edu), and Vineet R. Kamat, (Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2350 Hayward Street, Room 2340 GGB, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, USA. E-mail: vkamat@umich.edu)
Section: Automated/Real Time Systems, pp. 91-101, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41109(373)10)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2010: Innovation for Reshaping Construction Practice
Abstract: The U.S. has more than 14 million miles of buried pipelines and utilities, many of which are in congested urban environments where several lines share the underground space. Errors in locating excavations for new installation or for repair/rehabilitation of existing utilities can result in significant costs, delays, loss of life, and damage to property (Sterling 2000). There is thus a clear need for new solutions to accurately locate buried infrastructure and improve excavation safety. This paper presents ongoing research being collaboratively conducted by the University of Michigan and DTE Energy (Michigan’s largest electric and gas utility company) that is investigating the use of Real-Time Kinematic GPS, combined with Geospatial Databases of subsurface utilities to design a new visual excavator-utility collision avoidance technology. 3D models of buried utilities are created from available geospatial data, and then superimposed over an excavator’s work space using geo-referenced Augmented Reality (AR) to provide the operator and the spotter(s) with visual information on the location and type of utilities that exist in the excavator’s vicinity. This paper describes the overall methodology and the first results of the research.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Databases
Excavation
Safety
Buried pipes