"Map1Call" The "Bill8" Geomatic Solution for Municipalities
With the recent approval of Bill 8 by the Ontario Government the usage of Ontario One Call for all municipality locating and Excavation Damage Prevention became mandatory. As a result, the provision of Digital maps to the O1Call became an essential prerequisite.
During the last decade the Ontario Government has promoted initiatives for the mapping of municipal infrastructure and for proper Utility Asset Management systems implementation by municipalities.
A number of municipalities have implemented such systems to a variable degree of accuracy of infrastructure, however all such systems are designed for local usage and many do not provide the linkage functionality to O1Call.
A great number of small municipalities and communities have yet to start such Asset Management implementation. They still use legacy paper or CADD maps that their own locators use to provide locating and Damage Prevention services to excavation contractors.
The Provincial mandate intends to provide for improved safety and uniformity of locating services to the excavators, reduce and/or eliminate delays on locating services that cause excessive over-budgeting on public works, qualitative transparency on processes and the overall safety standards.
Bill 8 implementation was delayed for one year in order to provide additional time to municipalities to be ready and prepared. What we find is that many municipalities are in the process of doing so but they are facing challenges which "Map1Call" intends to support them in addressing.
1. Connectivity to the O1Call:
Municipalities operated for many years within their own territory and administration for the provision of locating services, using mainly a desk service based on EXCEL spreadsheets and their own unionized employees to perform the locates. Now they need to acquire systems and infrastructure to connect directly with O1Call, and retrieve locate requests from the O1Call which they need to complete in a reduced time frame (5 days) or get penalized.
Solution Product: "LocatorBase"
2. Peak shave locating services:
Municipalities employ their own locators who know well the infrastructure and provide excellent damage prevention services, based on paper maps or just field knowledge of the infrastructure. Yet, they can get overwhelmed with the surge of additional public works or municipal expansions. Addressing the additional needs and requests for supplementary services by the utility locating contractors who operate within the O1Call mandate, digital maps are required.
Solution: Peak Shave locating services
3. Digital Maps and GIS Systems:
O1Call uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and all members’ digital maps exclusively in order to generate locating service requests (locate tickets) and select the utilities to be located. In order for a municipality to participate and retrieve locates it needs to provide such Digital Maps in a GIS format. Many municipalities (the larger ones) have already acquired GIS systems and maintain a GIS and IT Department at extra cost. Most municipalities will need external support to convert their legacy and As Build maps to digital and integrate them to a GIS compliant to O1Call’s GIS. The cost for such a GIS system is in the range of US$50k- US$100k and GIS scientists' remuneration ranges at $80k-$120k/ year. In addition, the new infrastructure has to be mapped by other means, mainly using GPS systems and field GPS technicians by the municipalities.
Solution Product: Web Hosting services on "ESDN GIS System"
4. Digital Mapping:
New infrastructure can easily be mapped using GPS equipment of variable accuracy, as desired, along with above ground municipal utility infrastructure. Such equipment can be acquired by the municipalities and utilities and usually come by Trimble from the US at a cost of $5k-$20k depending on the accuracy desired. Data can be collected by technicians or summer students and then get integrated in GIS in-house.
There is a number of surveying companies that can provide such services as well. The real issue however is relating to the existing infrastructure already in the ground, mainly the Water and Sewer systems infrastructure. To further complicate the issue is the fact that these infrastructures have not been supplied by tracers which enable their locating and subsequent mapping.
Such mapping, for the sewer mains and lateral, can be done through the Sewer Safety Inspection programs (SSI) along with simultaneous mapping by tracer inclusion to the camera.
Solution Product: "Mercury" family of GPS products with options for 30 cm accuracy or RTK enabled for 1cm accuracy.
5. Legacy Data, Old Data and new Field Data Integration in various types of GIS systems
Municipalities have maintained legacy data since the early stages of their infrastructure installation stages. Technology advances from paper maps to CADD systems and lately to full scale GIS technology has made it very challenging for municipalities to constantly change and adapt, particularly due to the excessive costs and the consequent need for local taxation increases.
There is great need by the municipalities to address the "technology challenge" and comply with Bill 8 without significant increase on maintenance costs for infrastructure.
Additionally, there is scarcity of low-cost technical people willing to migrate to small communities from larger municipalities.
Solution: GIS Data Integration Services, including tracing and digitizing of paper or microfiche maps, CADD Data conversions, GPS Field Data Integration.