IBM outlines city location-based analytics deals

IBM has inked location-based analytics deals with a handful of cities with the aim of repairing infrastructure quickly.

IBM has inked location-based analytics deals with a handful of cities with the aim of repairing infrastructure quickly.

The announcements, to be made at IBM's Pulse conference in Las Vegas, illustrates how real-world infrastructure---streets, manholes and water mains---can become information systems with the help of sensors and a dashboard.

Here's how these city systems can work:

  • Infrastructure can be wired with sensors to report problems.
  • This infrastructure is mapped and monitored using IBM's Maximo Spatial software along with geospatial software from Esri.
  • These sensors can automatically generate a work order.
  • Repair workers can fix problems and optimize the system to prevent future issues.

The cities taking these systems for a spin include Washington, D.C., Cape Fear, N.C. and Waterloo, Ont.

  • Washington's D.C.'s water and sewer authority is working with IBM to create a pilot for asset management. In a nutshell, information systems will analyze data on valves, service vehicles and other infrastructure. With this data, the city can identify assets that need repair and project where future failures in the creaky system may occur.
  • Cape Fear has wired its 1,500 miles of main water lines and 143 pump stations to monitor the city's water system. The goals are to read meters faster, eliminate manual processes and deliver preventative maintenance.
  • Waterloo is deploying a similar information system for its water system. The aim here is to view the geographic data for its assets and monitor them.

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