The words digitising and digitalising are sometimes used as synonyms, which they are not. Digitising is converting data from analog to digital format. Digitalising, on the other hand, is using the digital data in your everyday business. Digital transformation is finally the stage where everything is done with a new, digital way, so that term refers more to people and behaviour than to assets and operations.
The three levels of digitising assets
You can digitise asset data at different levels. The first one is to have for example the old blueprints of a building scanned. You save them in digital format in archives. The asset information in simple JPG or PDF format can’t be used digitally, though, so they serve only as a data storage.
The second level is to add spatial information to the asset data. That can be for example a georeferenced CAD-drawing of wastewater pipelines. It contains XY coordinates, but nothing more. At the third level you add attribute information in addition to geographical data to be able to truly use the digital asset information in your daily operations. Attributes can be area, material information, asset identifiers or other specifications.
Only after the asset data is digitised, you can start to digitalise the operations and aim to digital transformation.
DIY digitising or help from professionals?
At VRT we are involved with various digitalisation processes, naturally through our (digital) 3D surveys, but we also help our clients to digitise their asset information altogether. Our online platform GISGRO enables attaching asset information to the survey data and utilising the data in everyday operations with various handy online tools.
Our clients can use the simple drag and drop feature in GISGRO to add asset data files, but sometimes the existing data lacks some of the necessary information. Also, the resources for digitising can be scarce. That’s when you call our data processing specialists to help.
“The coordinate system can be wrong or lacking completely or asset information needs to be arranged to different layers to facilitate the everyday use of the data”, explains Project Engineer Eemeli Ahonen the usual challenges in importing data. “Most of the defects can be fixed. We even can draw some assets, like rails or new buildings, from scratch, if we have a neat photogrammetry data of the area.”
The beauty in digitalisation
One main idea behind digitalisation is to save resources from data searching and communication. When all the asset data is in digital format, and even in the same map-based platform, you don’t need to go through dozens of folders to find the simple information.
In GISGRO the sharing of asset data is easier. You don’t need CAD software to open a DWG file, but all the information is available via a web browser. You can add remarks and even order repair work via GISGRO.
Start your journey to digital world by contacting us via the form below. Then you can start to figure out what to do with all the spared time!