Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Abstract

Geographic information systems (GIS) are computer-based systems used to store, display, and analyze geographically referenced data.

With data from modern survey techniques, including LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and drone capture, GIS can create accurate 3D representations of real-world locations such as project sites. These representations can be combined with computer-aided design (CAD) project information and other project or public databases, allowing designs and processes to be viewed, analyzed and optimized.

Fluor uses GIS technology to drive insight-based decision-making, improve collaboration, and optimize operations.

Client Benefits

Geographic information systems are part of a wave of data-driven processes transforming the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) project environment.

A Tool for Collaboration and Productivity

Offices and project sites around the world collaborate on projects using GIS to synchronize and integrate multiple spatial and non-spatial data sources, producing a common view and improving communications. This use of a central repository maintains compliance with data standards, facilitating quality assurance and eliminating the duplication and temporal errors caused by offline and disparate data management.

Time-enabled GIS allows for visualization of construction schedules to anticipate potential simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) and allow for optimization of construction sequencing.

Mobile GIS solutions deployed to project sites enable on/offline applications for ground truthing, data collection, and data syncing with the master GIS database, facilitating timely and informed decision making.

End users can view all the data held in the GIS using access-controlled web-based tools without the need to install specialist software. Rich, insightful maps, 3D visualizations, and data dashboards show the latest project status enhancing productivity and improving alignment between the office and field.

Decision Support Tailored to the Industry

Fluor has applied GIS primarily in the pipeline and mining sectors, and now GIS applications are growing dramatically across all business lines.

Fluor GIS technology is a multiple-discipline tool that supports industry-specific problem solving across many fronts, for example:

  • Creation of flythroughs for offsite pipeline route visualization
  • Site selection using given drivers and constraints (e.g. proximity, slope, environmental constraints, power availability, population) to site facilities (e.g. mining processing plants, wind farms, EV charging stations)
  • Integration of materials, weld, and pipeline databases to create spatially aware asset data models (e.g. the Pipeline Open Data Standard model, PODS)
  • Combining construction schedules and exclusion zoning to manage simultaneous operations timetables
  • Accurately estimating civils quantities using cut and fill calculations based on LiDAR data
  • Analyzing as-built survey and drone data to establish conformity to design specifications
  • Integration of project documentation and location (e.g. plot plans, alignment sheets, geotechnical reports, flow rates, videos, and photos) to allow spatial searching of document control systems
  • On facility construction sites, personnel rely on web-based GIS platforms to monitor progress, validate as-built installations, manage laydown space allocations, overlay surveys, and even view 360° photos.


Leveraging Drone Technology

Aerial images captured over a project site can be processed into survey-grade, high-resolution imagery and surface models to be used in the GIS environment to:

  • Track material quantities for stockpile sites
  • Integrate surface models into civil earthworks
  • Gain a 3D perspective of site conditions
  • Capture 360° panoramic photos distributed over a project site for personnel to view in an interactive web-based viewer


Cross-industry Advantages

Geographic information systems extend Fluor's expertise and capabilities by:

  • Supporting decision making by integrating “what if” scenarios
  • Integrating and optimizing design
  • Enabling global distributed working
  • Managing permitting
  • Monitoring and managing construction
  • Fast/flexible data and progress reporting
  • Centralizing data storage
  • Managing design and routing changes


GIS data grows across the full lifecycle of the project, allowing data from earlier project phases to be leveraged in later phases. As-built GIS data can be delivered in structured data models, providing the operator with a digital twin of the project scope to be utilized for asset management and optimized operations.

The benefits GIS provides in design, communications, monitoring, and management assist Fluor’s clients in achieving cost and schedule certainty and enhance transparency and consistency in project execution through standardized data and workflows.