A Closer Look at SiteMap® Annotations: Adding Value to Facility Data

A Closer Look at SiteMap® Annotations: Adding Value to Facility Data

SiteMap® (patent pending) is a powerful and comprehensive tool that enhances how project managers look at their work site. Years ago, these professionals would have to rely on cumbersome physical maps that were fragile, hard to keep track of, and hard to share with others. Project managers would also rely on physical copies of as-built drawings, which were often wrong or outdated. In this day and age, we no longer have to rely on physical drawings to figure out where to dig and where to avoid. Instead, we have elite companies like GPRS that are utilizing ground-breaking technology to locate underground facilities without ever having to break any ground. SiteMap® then takes that data and makes it shareable, readable, and digestible for just about anyone. This levels the playing field and creates a sense of communication throughout the job site. It also helps prevent utility strikes and other disasters. One aspect of SiteMap® that is often overlooked is the annotations provided by SiteMap®. Let’s explore further what those annotations do, and the important role they play. 

As-Built Data

As-builts are detailed drawings or plans that accurately depict the final construction or infrastructure as it was built, providing essential information for maintenance, renovations, and future development.

The Power of Annotations

Annotations in SiteMap® serve as a sort of bridge between the physical world and the digital realm where the data in SiteMap® lies. They allow users to attach relevant information directly to specific locations and pieces within their maps and facilities. This could include details about equipment, maintenance records, safety protocols, dangers, and much more. SiteMap® provides basic annotations, which can be viewed by clicking on a data point within your Map Viewer. These tell you things like the exact location of the utility when it was first recorded, and more. However, there are more benefits to annotations than you’d otherwise believe. 

 Enhancing Communication

Annotations foster effective communication among team members. By providing a platform for sharing information, they ensure that everyone has access to the same data. This serves to create a pathway for reducing misunderstandings and promoting collaboration. When a team is well-informed and communicated, the results of the project seem to benefit.  It’s well known that using tools to communicate is a smart move for the overall livelihood of the project and the results. In fact:

  • 79% of people who primarily use a project management tool to communicate with co-workers say it leads to improved internal communication. 
  • 73% of people say it leads to better internal efficiency
  •  62% of people say it delivers an increased rate of project success.
  •  52% of people say it leads to improved client communication. 
  • 41% of people say it leads to a better customer experience
  •  27% of people associate it with better employee well-being.

When it comes to something as important as understanding where subsurface facilities are, it makes sense to foster communication in any way possible. SiteMap® and its annotations could easily be considered a project management tool when used correctly. 

Streamlining Operations

With the proper use of annotations, facility managers can streamline their operations. For example, maintenance teams can quickly locate facilities and access their service history. This reduces downtime and improves efficiency. SiteMap® makes it easy to store information about your facilities, and even easier to understand the information stored. 

SiteMap®, and especially GPRS can do some amazing things. For instance, GPRS has innovated a new application for some of its technology. By 3D laser scanning an area where a thorough, SIM-certified GPR concrete scan and mark-out has been conducted, the in-house Mapping & Modeling Team can merge the data from the concrete scan markings with millimeter-accurate 3D point cloud data to create a comprehensive 3D model containing everything that GPR has detected within the slab (or underground, when doing a GPR utility locate) as objects in 3D. When you combine annotations with amazing features such as this, you’ll have a hyper-comprehensive and detailed view that is sure to keep everyone on the same page and as informed as possible. 

Improving Safety

Safety is a paramount concern for SiteMap® and GPRS alike. We strive to build tools that would help increase safety for all job sites and municipalities across the nation and beyond. Far too many utility strikes occur per year, with the 2022 DIRT report stating a 12.35% increase in damages/construction spending between 2021-2022. Further, incidents are on a three-year high, increasing yearly, with 163,726 in 2022. This is up by around 10,000 incidents from 2021.  It’s becoming more and more important to value safety, especially in a world that is rapidly expanding and building. 

Annotations can be used to highlight safety threats, equipment shut-off points, and other components that workers and the project manager would need to be aware of, helping to create a safer work environment. The more information that is provided, the safer a workspace can be. 

Better Record Keeping 

Annotations aren’t just helpful for the past and present, but also for the future. Consider annotations to be like notes taken in a class. While they’re helpful to take in the present, they may also help benefit your future, especially if the annotation contains information that seems insignificant at the time but could later prove to be useful. Even annotations mentioning a slight shift in a rock formation could hold the key to an earthquake later on. It’s a butterfly effect, with the smallest annotations holding the greatest possibilities. Because of this, annotations are an excellent asset for record-keeping, allowing you to note extras, even if they don’t seem relevant at the moment. 

SiteMap® is a powerful tool and solution for underground utility mapping. Backed by the amazing technology and 99.8% accuracy rating of GPRS, there’s little that SiteMap® can’t (or won’t) do. As technology continues to evolve, the annotation capabilities offered by SiteMap® are sure to evolve with it, creating a better vein of communication for future project managers and other professionals. SiteMap® is more than just maps, it’s a complete subsurface solution, solving the inconveniences and promoting the safety of a new underground facility management system. 

To learn more about SiteMap® and how we can serve you, contact us today.