Intercounty Electric Cooperative is rolling out GPS technology in its service area.

Intercounty Electric Cooperative is employing the use of the latest technology and professionally trained people to assist in providing its members with the reliable service on which they depend, the organization announced last week.

Over the next several years, members will see personnel from Davey Resource Group in Intercounty service territory, starting with the Licking area. Davey Resource Group will be using a Global Positioning System, a useful tool for map-making, land surveying, tracking and surveillance. GPS satellite signals from space will provide three-dimensional data (latitude and longitude) and topical view of Intercounty’s electric distribution system. Along with this technology, Intercounty has implemented Geographic Information System software to capture, store, analyze, manage and present data that is linked to the existing system into the new mapping system. Using the technology, Intercounty said it will be able to create interactive queries (user created searches), analyze information, edit data, maps and present the results of all these operations. GIS is the merging of cartography and database technology. Consumer users would likely be familiar with similar applications for finding driving directions, like a GPS program on their hand-held device.

Dan Sisco recently joined the Intercounty team as the GIS mapping technician to oversee the project and maintain the new mapping and data system. The new mapping system will provide numerous efficiencies for inventory, outage and locating purposes. Intercounty crews will be able to access this information from their vehicle with the use of laptops and provide the membership with a timely response to more than just a general location but will direct them straight to the actual location of the pole or problem. This will also provide them with an inventory list of what the location will require for repairs — a valuable timesaving application. Terrain information can be easily accessed through Google Earth to determine equipment needs befire arriving at some of the more remote locations.

The process will require a visit to every pole on the Intercounty system to inspect and inventory these facilities. It will be a time intensive effort in order to cover the 5,770 miles of line on Intercounty’s system. The crews work as representatives of the co-op but at the same time are an independent contractor.

With this technology being readily available and accurate, Intercounty Electric Cooperative said it will be ahead in dealing with some of the challenges in distributing reliable, affordable electric to its members.

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