An iPhone owner uses Google maps to find his way around Gympie’s main street.
An iPhone owner uses Google maps to find his way around Gympie’s main street. Craig Warhurst

Revolutionary electricity networks

AN important new Queensland-based GPS innovation could soon have worldwide applications, following an agreement between Ergon Energy and internet firm Google.

An Ergon spokesperson said yesterday the new system had potential to revolutionise the administration of electricity networks and other large-scale utility infrastructure.

Developed in association with Google and its Australian Google Earth Enterprise reseller HEDLOC, the new system can achieve accuracy in navigation, down to an error of only one centimetre, Gympie Regional Council has been told.

Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Ian Petersen said the new system had potential to help locate underground services, including water, sewerage, electricity and communications.

“It means a council worker on the surface could potentially have a three dimensional representation of an underground sewer displayed on his mobile phone,” he said.

Cr Petersen said he had been impressed by the concept when it was explained to delegates at the recent Mackay annual conference of the Local Government Association of Queensland.

Ergon chief executive Ian McLeod said a joint team of information technology experts from Ergon and HEDLOC had co-operated in developing the system.

It was capable of showing a three-dimensional visualisation of Ergon Energy’s network, comprising more than 150,000km of powerlines and some 70,000-plus substations and high voltage transformers.

“It was delivered after three years of work to map Ergon’s network over the existing Google Earth system.

“This system, at the touch of a computer mouse, will allow our people to see an almost exact three-dimensional representation of where powerlines run and what kind of terrain or areas of a town or city they run through,” Mr McLeod said.

Gympie Times


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