One of the most important goals of utilities in this time of aging and shrinking workforces is improving the productivity of operations staff. Many utilities are finding that many tasks that used to require sending staff into the field can now be done much more efficiently in the office. I've blogged previously about obligue high resolution imagery from Pictometry, which has just released a plug-in for AutoCAD Map 3D.
At the Utility Symposium at Autodesk University last week, David Petterson from Pictometry outlined some of the uses that utilities and local giovernments are finding for Pictometry's high resolution oblique imagery. High resolution oblique imagery not only can provide orthophotography with resolution down to 4 inches (10 cm), but allows quantitative measurement in three dimensions.
Using Pictometry imagery can provide greater coverage of right of ways and allows the utility to validate encroachments. In many parts of the U.S. Pictometry provides historical data which can be used to pinpoint in time when the encroachment first occurred. Tree heights and offsets to lines can also be measured. Parcel owners can be identified and access points reviewed.
After storm events, Pictometry will refly locations that have suffered damage to provide a quick response to storm events.
But most importantly, high resolution oblique imagery can reduce the number of field visits (truck rolls) and reduce the time required per visit for visits that cannot be avoided. Oblique imagery means that everything above ground can be measured. The lighting is always good and it's available 24/7.