Page 11 - Tennessee 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 2
P. 11

The importance of keeping your database updated:
If a member does not regularly update their database, there is an increased risk due to non-notification. It is very important that members review their databases with TN811 at least quarterly but no more than monthly to make sure that their coverage area is up to date in our system.
It is important to note that we only make database changes (or “pushes”) into the production system on Tuesdays and Thursdays unless an emergency request is made by a member.
The easiest methods for keeping your database up-to-date are sending new files via email or using Member Service Area Mapping (MSAM). MSAM is a way for you to review your coverage area
or submit changes by drawing in areas to be added or removed. You can find more information about MSAM on our website at
Buffers and how we use them:
As a safety precaution, TN811 requires members to have a buffer on service lines. Buffers help make sure a member is notified on a ticket by fighting the
margin of error previously mentioned to reduce risk. Risks include database inaccuracies, map inaccuracies, human error, or even equipment error.
Members can pre-buffer their database before sending to us or we can work with members to create a buffer size that makes them feel comfortable and confident that they will be notified properly.
New trends in mapping/GIS that are relevant to utilities or damage prevention:
One new item that we have been working on within TN811 and GeoCall is a “zero buffer”. The member will
be able to request that we not buffer internally but use only what they send us. In this case, their database would only consist of centerlines of their facilities without polygon buffers. Of course, we would need written/email approval of this from the member. The zero buffer “may” reduce the overall ticket volume the member receives, but no guarantees can be made. Currently, we are still testing this feature out, internally.
Within our software, we have started
discussions around using vector- based location rather than raster. What this means is a faster display of mapping and ticketing, plus accuracy.
What is further out on the horizon?
New advancements and technologies in GIS within recent years include using drones for mapping of streets or other infrastructure utility
assets. Other technologies include virtual headset “displays” of what
is underground. Of course, this is still in early development. For this
to work properly, the underground facilities must be maintained in a quality GIS. Of course, GIS software is always improving and changing. New base maps are always being improved and become more accurate.
Thank you for reading this article to learn more about our use of GIS to protect critical infrastructure. We encourage all member utilities who are still working with paper maps to migrate to a GIS, and our GIS department would be happy to discuss any questions that someone may have about migration to a GIS, or GIS in general.
2021, Issue 2 Tennessee811 • 9

   9   10   11   12   13