December 31, 2014

Case Study: New Perspective of High Consequence Areas (HCAs)

Detecting changeCommitted to ensuring that its integrity management system contains the most accurate and current information, a large gas utility serving the western United States set an aggressive, 90-day timeline to update its structure files. With 1.5 million structures located along 7,000 miles of linear transmission corridor running through a combination of rural to densely populated environments this was not a simple undertaking.

The effort was critical for the company to achieve its goal of building a state-of-the-art foundational dataset to serve as the backbone of its integrity management system.

The utility had existing orthogonal aerial imagery of varying quality and resolution that was helpful and could be used for drawing basic outlines but it didn’t allow for in-depth analysis of buildings and areas. It was impossible to tell the number of stories associated with a structure and the images weren’t clear enough to determine land use.

“Our existing imagery allowed us to see that there was a building in a specific spot, but the quality wasn’t high enough that we could determine if it was being used for residential or commercial purposes,” explained the utility’s asset integrity specialist. “We sometimes could tell if there were multiple stories but couldn’t be certain. In understanding our high consequence areas, certainty is a must.”

Because the images didn’t offer sufficient views, the integrity management team would end up referencing multiple data sources to try to verify information. This practice often proved to be problematic. Relying on data from unconfirmed sources created confusion or led to more questions about a property, resulting in the need for a field visit to inspect the site and confirm data. It quickly became evident that this method would not allow the utility to meet its timeline and they needed a better solution.

Learn how Pictometry® aerial imagery helped this utility identify its high-consequence areas and stay on top of change.

Read the Case Study

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