The two companies announced Tuesday morning that they’re integrating Google Maps data into GE's Smallworld electrical, telecommunications and gas applications -- a set of geospatial analytics tools and software that GE has adapted for Web, mobile and desktop use. On the smart grid front, GE is building Google’s mapping content into its grid distribution management system (DMS) and outage management system (OMS), and it’s also tapping Google’s Android platform to augment its existing mobile products, mainly to give them better, more information-rich maps.
This amounts to a major announcement in the relatively small world of utility geospatial information system (GIS) vendors, to be sure. Today’s market is dominated by such players as Esri and Intergraph, in-house products from grid giants like Alstom and Siemens, and up-and-comers like startup Space-Time Insight.
GTM Research has predicted U.S. utilities will spend between $110 million and $180 million on GIS upgrades and replacements from 2010 to 2015, with projects ranging from the high end, such as Southern California Edison’s $71 million upgrade of its 10-year-old GIS, to a few hundred thousand dollars for small municipal or cooperative utilities.
“Google's rich mapping content will form an integral part of GE's solutions, strengthening the existing geospatial capabilities of GE's Smallworld products by providing out-of-the-box base mapping as well as visualization and analytics capabilities,” according to the announcement.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc, Hans De Keulenaer