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GIS Conversion Brings Maps into the Future

Holy Cross Cooperative (HCE) is a member-owned utility serving nearly 55,000 customers in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado and surrounding area. HCE owns and maintains more than 2,725 miles of underground and overhead conductor lines in a 2,858 square mile area. With significant infrastructure in place, asset management was challenging and could be handled more effectively with a well-implemented GIS. HCE’s outdated CAD-based GIS was unwieldy to use and maintain, and it became clear that the GIS needed to be updated to be an effective tool. HCE’s current GIS solution was on an outdated CAD-based platform which used numerous and disconnected sources of data to create the electrical system’s territory.

Problem

ESC encountered a mountain of data, consisting of AutoCAD drawing files, paper maps, location documents, schematics, and one-line diagrams, all of which had to be captured, reviewed and converted into useable information. The downside to the existing system was that HCE did not have one source from which their whole system could be viewed and was difficult to maintain due to a myriad of data stores, sources, and formats. The new data structure would need to be based on an industry-standard format to ensure that the HCE would have flexibility.

Approach

ESC recommended centralizing all data into a single, consistent data structure. Data was first converted into common and easy-to-use formats, represented by shapefiles and an ESRI personal geotabase, to meet the requirements of centralized data. Following the conversion, additional steps of standardization, quality assurance, and validation took place to ensure data integrity. The logical data was customized to meet HCE’s requirements and house all necessary information for utility operations which would lead to improved ease-of-use and streamlined workflow.

Result

The execution went as planned and ESC was able to meet the client’s expectations. With the new GIS system, the client is experiencing improved ergonomics and easier system maintenance, as well as increased safety, faster processes, and better communication. ESC’s solution allowed the database to be integrated with the other systems essential to the utility’s operations.