Augmented Reality (AR) Can Improve Communications Around 811 Transactions

Safety, accuracy, and poor weather conditions are some of the most frustrating issues damage prevention professionals face today. The consequences for hitting an underground asset at an excavation worksite can be high, including the loss of thousands of dollars, lost time due to needed repairs, and even injury or death. State-to-state legislation inconsistencies can also hamper vital communication between key players in the damage prevention industry. The process for preventing these types of accidents for the state of Colorado, for instance, has several steps that involve many players; communication between these parties is currently difficult and facing scrutiny from law enforcement. According to a 2016 article on the protocols surrounding the Utility Notification Center of Colorado, “the United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) conducted an adequacy evaluation of Colorado’s enforcement of its excavation damage prevention law, and determined that the enforcement is inadequate, which may eventually result in the withholding of federal funds from Colorado.” Arguably, communication among everyone involved is the most difficult part of the locating process. Leaders at Whiting Petroleum, based in North Dakota, recognize this fact and are taking action to rectify it within their own company.

Whiting Petroleum, in partnership with Argis Solutions, is spearheading a new location-based ticketing system which provides a way to instantly keep all stakeholders informed of what’s happening where. This new ticketing management system (ATMS) contains three components: a desktop dashboard, a mobile interface for tablets and phones, and the ability to share selected information and screenshots with other parties. With the new ticketing system, a locate team dispatcher enters and tracks transactions using a desktop dashboard. This tool shows areas of concern on a 2-dimensional map, making it easy to show locators and contractors what transactions are associated with what excavation site. This same map and job information can be made visible to damage prevention locators and even excavation contractors.

Communication is further improved with the new system because it projects the mapped assets in augmented reality as an overlay of information on the job site. This overlaid information is editable and can produce reports, as well as share specific data directly with excavators. Overall, this improves communication by providing a central location for all the data needed for excavators, locators, and the 811 dispatcher all in one system.

There has already been good feedback at the locator level. For the past two years, Whiting Petroleum has participated in a pilot program using an Augmented Reality (AR) application. They are now rolling out AR to internal One Call locate teams, and will start their proof of concept for the ticketing system in early 2019. Whiting’s new vision for seamless communication between all stakeholders in the damage prevention process is being realized today.


Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent exploration and production company with an oil focused asset base. More information can be found at www.whiting.com.

Argis Solutions specializes in delivering high-quality AR and technology that merges ArcGIS geospatial data and Augmented Reality for businesses around the world. Learn more at www.argis.com.

Hannah Carlisle is a copywriter with Argis Solutions. She can be reached through Argis’ marketing contact: cat.hoemke@argissolutions.com.

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