GIS Tech News (#40)

16 Jul, 2007

The Pipes, the Pipes Are Calling —
for a Change

Can new technologies fill in for the aging workforce in utility?

It’s not just the gas pipelines that are getting old. So, too, are the people working on them, according to the market research and consulting firm UtiliPoint International. To compile its report Aging Workforce and Aging Assets Trends 2007-2012 (released April 2007), the company surveyed 42 electric, gas, and water utilities "to determine the state of the aging workforce and aging utility assets from 2007 through 2012.” According to the executive summary, “45% of utilities report having at least 20% of their workforce considering retirement this year, increasing to greater than 60% over the next 5 years.” The authors warned, “The far-reaching effects of workforce retirement may prove to be more of a tsunami for utilities than a wave -- and they are coming faster than anticipated.”

The Pending Exodus
According to Ethan Cohen, director of utility and energy technology at UtiliPoint, “aging assets and environmental needs will require increasing capital investments” (Utility Automation & Engineering T&D eNewsletter, February 17, 2006). The report states, “As many as 94% of utilities agree that asset management is core to utility performance, and 60% agree that addressing the aging utility infrastructure is a very high priority.”

Liam Speden, Autodesk’s product manager for MapGuide Enterprise, has had numerous first-hand encounters with these aging assets, some dating all the way back to the time India was still a British colony. “In one of the projects I was involved in,” he says, “the customer still had utility data written on linen, dated in the1880s, which shows a lot of the old pipes underneath the city of London.” Read more>>

Spatial Tech (Column): GIS for the Utilities Industry

By James L. Sipes

Utility companies have some of the most demanding customers around. They expect to be able to turn on the lights, watch television, log onto the Internet, cook on their gas stoves, and call all of their friends and neighbors. When the power goes out, they wanted it fixed -- now! Read more


GeoWeb 2007
July 23-27, 2007 
Vancouver, BC, Canada
GeoWeb 2007 will focus on unleashing the economic potential associated with the convergence of XML, Web services, and geographic information systems, known as the GeoWeb. Read more

AutoCAD PowerDay
July 24, 2007 
London, United Kingdom
AutoCAD PowerDay, presented by Evolve, will offer sessions on many aspects of AutoCAD; participants sign up and pay for only the sessions they wish to attend. The sessions are designed for all user levels.
Read more

URISA 2007
August 20-23, 2007 
Washington, DC
URISA 2007, themed "Sharing Technological Inspiration: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," will begin with 12 preconference workshops offering education and take-home workbook materials. More than 200 speakers from around the world will present at URISA 2007. Read more

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.