GE opens its GIS walled garden to Google (and why utilities should care)


By: SGN Staff

Quick Take: For many years, GE has operated with its own proprietary GIS system called Smallworld. Now, as GE reorients itself as an Internet of Things software company, it is providing a bridge between Smallworld and Google Maps. For users, it means simpler ways to visualize data with Google's (relatively) easy to use tools and its ability to display maps on computers, tablets and smart phones. For GE, it means a foray outside its own walled garden to the open world of the Internet.


If GE can combine its powerful solutions and deep domain expertise with the ease and accessibility of the open world, it should be able to shed its old-school image and establish itself as one of the new-school leaders. - Jesse Berst


GE is bringing Google Maps data into its Smallworld electrical, telecommunications and gas applications. While GE now provides geospatial analytical tools, the agreement with Google will yield a combined solution that enhances existing network visualization capabilities.


And those enhanced capabilities mean utilities can get incremental efficiency data and information on the productivity of field operations. Also, it means utilities can get important communications to customers quickly, such as outage restoration times.


GE's Smallworld geospatial tools design and model complex network infrastructures and support asset lifecycle management and provide solutions for companies with complicated network asset management problems. The agreement with Google offers those solutions for a variety of applications, such as business intelligence, engineering, Web clients, schematics, corridor management and enterprise gateway.

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