Page 14 - Texas811 Magazine 2021 Issue 2
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By Sara Ellen Taylor GIS Manager Texas811
Geographic Information Systems or GIS became
a buzzword in 2020. Everywhere you look, on every news station and in every article are maps and dashboards of COVID case tracking, and now vaccine tracking in 2021. This location-based data has enabled people all over the world to better comprehend the extent of the global pandemic. Texas811 uses this same type of location-based data, employing both Esri and Open-Source technology to serve the needs of Texas, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
GIS data is one critical element behind the Texas811 ticket management system. In the early days of the one-call system, agents would reference a printed map or listing to determine which members should receive a notification on an 811 ticket. While the process functioned well for the time, it was arduous and prone to error requiring an intensive process to update the reference mapping information. Underground utilities, or assets, were often mapped on a grid system, providing relative and imprecise location information.
As technology has advanced over time, mapping was built into the
one-call system. Now when an agent or portal user generates an 811 ticket, member notifications are determined automatically via the GIS data
stored directly within the system.
The mapping information for many members is depicted by an area around known asset locations, also known as
a service area. This data is updated bi-weekly on Tuesday and Friday by the Texas811 GIS staff.
more critically, reduced damages. Initially, mapping can be submitted
as generalized service areas covering critical underground assets. Over time, and as it becomes available, this data can be refined to point and linear asset mapping. Based on the accuracy of that data, a buffer is defined to reflect the area that a member would like to be notified of work that is occurring. Per regulations, members are required to update their mapping at least annually, and it is recommended to review and update mapping as new information becomes available or at least quarterly.
Currently, members primarily submit their mapping updates via email or electronic form. Mapping is either directly attached or uploaded securely to an FTP site. Members also have access to the Member Service Area Mapping (MSAM) tool developed by KorTerra and managed in coordination with Texas811. This tool allows users
to view and make minor edits to their coverage. Members can also request
a copy of their entire coverage from Texas811 to verify what is currently in the system.
Moving forward in 2021, Texas811 is leveraging an all-electronic mapping
12 • Texas811 2021, Issue 2
Texas811 GIS News
Members get the most value from the system by providing Texas811 with current and accurate mapping of
the assets they would like to protect. Refined data results in more accurate notifications, reduced costs, and

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