NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress
The NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress hosted a workshop gathering representatives from a diverse group of stakeholders from across the US including members of standards organizations, geotechnical researchers and practitioners, city governments, utility companies, computer and data scientists, and sustainability experts. This workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on the poor data documentation and integration of the intensively used subsurface and how this is a significant barrier to creating truly sustainable urban systems, both because these “invisible” assets are vulnerable to floods, subsidence, digging accidents, and failures due to degradation and neglect and because the underground space is not managed like surface property use.
Allen Cadden, Chair of the ASCE-GI DIGGS committee was invited to speak. His description of the DIGGS scheme development history and the current state of implementation was well received. Of particular interest was the robust nature of the scheme to document subsurface soil and rock conditions as well as the implementation across industry, agency and regulatory bodies such as AASHTO.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) was represented as well with their development of the Model for Underground Data Definition and Integration (MUDDI) standard. This model focuses more on the infrastructure buried beneath our streets but can be complimented with input from a system such as DIGGS to help make our understanding of the subsurface more complete. The utility mapping models used in MUDDI are tied to the Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data, ASCE 38-02.
As DIGGS continues to advance our implementation the interrelationship with OGC and the MUDDI effort should be benefitial to all.