GPRS Releases SiteMap, a GIS-For-Construction Platform
By Jeff Yoders
March 16, 2023
Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, based in Toledo, Ohio, provides services that include utility locating, 3D laser scanning, acoustic leak detection, video pipe inspection, underground storage tank locating, concrete scanning and drone imaging. What if all of that information was available in a GIS viewer and digital plan room? That’s the impetus behind SiteMap, the company’s recently released cloud platform that it says will bring site data and BIM together in one useful experience. SiteMap has been tested for the last year internally and with customers such as the University of Toledo.
As the GRPS portfolio expanded from its original business of concrete scanning to all its other services, the data it collected for customers became more valuable. GPRS acquired TruePoint Laser Scanning last June, and it found itself with an even more expansive library of site and construction data.
“We started standardizing our data collection processes,” said Brian Skelding, chief transformation officer at GPRS. “We liken it to the Google maps of the underworld, but SiteMap isn’t exclusive just to the underground space. It’s really the above-ground, above-grade options as well.”
Platform for Site Information
Every blue dot in SiteMap’s base map represents an individual jobsite at which the company has collected data. SiteMap has both a GIS viewer to visualize data on a map and a digital plan room where 2D plans, 3D model information and other construction information can be uploaded, but design information can also be referenced from geolocated points on SiteMap’s GIS viewer. Users can view the files in a directory or as visualized information on a map. Locational information can be added to documents for both above-ground and underground infrastructure. Facility managers can track records and reference them to map points visible in the GIS viewer.
The basic features of SiteMap are available to anyone who signs up, but features such as editing and importing files are available via a paid tier, with the full set of data import options available in a premium tier. The GIS viewer has data layers that users can turn on or off to view, such as only turning on oil and gas piping information in a certain area and turning off all other underground utilities.
“The attraction to the platform is allowing users that single repository where they can upload as-builts and permits and CAD files and whatever their hearts’ content is,” Skelding said.
While SiteMap’s repository is useful for contractors both before and during construction, Skelding said that GPRS hopes it is useful to owner organizations, too.
“If you’re Target or Tesla, you might want to be able to search a certain address or site,” he said. “We’ve introduced a variety of search functions—being able to retrieve data based on everything from core attributes to latitude and longitude.”
Remote sites that are not connected to electrical grids, that don’t have easy road access or that are otherwise difficult to access can be assessed based on scan mapping data to enable owners to make decisions based on searches and seeing the site in full context through the GIS Viewer.
Automating the upload and attachment of site and construction information that GPRS collected in the field was a major lift for the developers behind SiteMap, even with their experience and wealth of project data. Just over 5 million lines of code have been written to create the SiteMap user experience to date.
ENR Midwest Editor and Associate Technology Editor Jeff Yoders has been writing about design and construction innovations for 16 years. He is a two-time Jesse H. Neal award winner and multiple ASBPE winner for his tech coverage. Jeff previously launched Building Design + Construction's building information modeling blog and wrote a geographic information systems column at CE News. He also wrote about materials prices, construction procurement and estimation for MetalMiner.com. He lives in Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper, where the pace of innovation never leaves him without a story to chase.
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