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National Underground Asset Register

image of National Underground Asset Register

This month, the Geospatial Commission officially launched the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) to select locales throughout the UK. The NUAR, which is a digital and interactive map of infrastructure and other assets buried beneath the surface, is initially being made available to stakeholders in London, Northeast England, and Wales. This initial phase of the project has been developed with data coming from public and private organisations and companies which own underground assets in the areas being covered.

From Geo Week News by Matt Collins.

We should certainly note that the Geospatial Commission is being sure to rein in expectations of this rollout, noting in a blog post that this initial phase is just a “minimal viable product,” noting that it’s “not a final end product,” and that the intention is currently for it to “complement rather than replace” business-as-usual practices for stakeholders.

The NUAR initially started back in 2019 with individual pilot projects, with this release being their first widespread. There have been more focused initiatives from smaller public organisations as well as private ones, such as London’s Highway Apparatus Data Exchange System (HADES) and Northumbrian Water Group’s 2018 Innovation Festival, but this will be the first time the entire nation’s assets will be available under one shared umbrella. Indications from the UK government are that everything is still on track for the rest of England along with Northern Ireland to be available within the surface within the next two years.

Developing this kind of easily accessible register of what is happening below the ground – this data-sharing platform will include not only the location of infrastructure, but also the condition of these assets – is crucial as construction demand increases around the world. According to information from the Geospatial Commission, there is an estimated four million kilometres of buried pipes and cables throughout the UK, and roughly four million holes dug for construction on an annual basis. If that seems like a setup for many danger occurrences, that’s because it is, with an estimated 60,000 accidental strikes of underground assets occurring in the UK every year.

For the complete article on the National Underground Asset Register CLICK HERE.

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