The UI LABS impact starts in Chicago and extends across the country, with projects underway from coast to coast.
City Tech: Mapping the City Underground
In September 2016, City Tech Collaborative, under the name City Digital, announced that it had developed the underlying technology components to create a new underground infrastructure mapping (UIM) platform. The platform will generate, organize, visualize, and store 3D underground infrastructure data, saving cities and utilities millions of dollars in construction and planning processes.
Using the City of Chicago as a testbed for the platform’s development, the pilot team is deploying the new technology to create an accurate 3D map of underground assets, such as water pipes, fiber optic lines, gas pipes, electrical lines, and legacy infrastructure located in city streets and alleys. An engineering-grade, cloud-based data platform enables this critical infrastructure information to be securely stored and shared among the City of Chicago and utilities.
City Tech Executive Director Brenna Berman sees the importance of the UIM pilot: “By improving the accuracy of underground infrastructure information, the platform will prevent inefficient and delayed construction projects, accidents, and interruptions of services to citizens.” As a result of inaccurate or obsolete data on below-ground assets, an underground utility line is hit on average every 60 seconds in the United States, according to the American Public Works Association. State governments have estimated the potential to unlock $21 in value for every $1 invested in underground asset management by reducing accidents, damages, and delays.
The UIM pilot’s technology and processes were developed by a broad consortium of government, industry, and academic partners at City Tech. In addition to the pilot leads, the team includes ComEd, Microsoft, Cityzenith, Esri, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.