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Reducing excavation damage to subsoil infrastructure with INSPIRE

Stijn Goedertier, Steven Smolders and Ken Bragg

(Submission #233)


It is estimated that there are over 600 000 kilometres of underground cables and pipelines in Flanders, which are maintained by several hundreds of operators. To avoid excavation damage during construction and maintenance works, it is crucial for all parties involved to have timely access to accurate location data for this underground infrastructure. A lack of information can have devastating consequences. In July 2004, for example, excavation works caused a gas explosion of a high-pressure pipeline in Ghislenghien, where 24 people lost their lives. Since April 2015, the KLIP Digital platform developed by the Flemish Government has enabled excavators to request digital map information from cable and pipeline operators in an area of interest through a single point of access. The information exchange is based on the IMKL data specification, an extension of the INSPIRE data specifications for utility and government services (US). The platform brings together more than 7000 requestors and over 200 cable and pipeline operators. To integrate with the KLIP Digital platform, cable and pipeline operators need to take two steps. First, a data transformation is defined according to the location data requiring conversion into the IMKL format. The second step involves connecting the backend systems of operators with the KLIP Digital platform, and executing the required data transformations for each plan request. We have helped several cable and pipeline operators to connect with the KLIP Digital Platform. Due to the heterogeneity of source data, FME, a data integration tool created by Safe Software, was used to define and execute the transformations. To facilitate integration with the KLIP Digital Platform, a Web application was developed to automate map requests, trigger data transformations and return digital map information for the requested area in IMKL format. The KLIP Digital Platform, which processed over 200 000 requests in 2015, has led to significant cost reductions as cable and pipeline operators no longer need to manually process requests, reducing the lead time of the request procedure by more than half. Realising a specific use case of the INSPIRE US data specifications, the KLIP Digital platform shows how INSPIRE data harmonisation can deliver tangible benefits for reducing project costs and ensuring public safety.


Topic Area:  [2.2] Technologies and tools required to deliver INSPIRE
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional fields

Comments:   Utility and Government Services (US) Interoperability Benefits Data Harmonisation Technology and tools

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