Ex-Game Developers Building SimCity Interface for Utility GIS
Ergon Energy delivers electricity in Queensland, Australia. It's "experimenting with open source gaming engines and physics models in an effort to capitalise on a massive geospatial data set from its ongoing laser-mapping project." That project, called ROAMES, is 10% done in its quest to map 150,000km of power lines in the state by June 2013 using LiDAR and imagery.
The vision is SimCity:
ROAMES research director Matthew Coleman said Ergon developers – including games industry veterans from companies like THQ – were building SimCity-like graphical interfaces to allow the firm to play out what-if scenarios with the data.
"The traditional asset management systems we're used to today are moving away from tabular data sets and bringing that to a very rich, game-like environment," he told iTnews.
"They'll be more like SimCity. Utilities will be able to play out scenarios – for example, 'what if I deferred maintenance of all poles for the next five years' – and the system should be able to show us the effect of those changes."