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Virginia Tech Researchers Set the Stage for a National Database
April 10, 2008

A group of Virginia Tech faculty and researchers are working to create the prototype of a national internet-based geospatial database of underground water pipes with funding from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.

The project is a collaboration between Sunil Sinha, project leader and associate professor in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Randy Dymond, associate professor in the department and co-director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology, Thomas Dickerson, research associate, and Rahul Vemulapally, civil and environmental engineering graduate student from Warangal, India.

The Internet prototype application will be created based on underground water and sewage pipe information supplied by three of the 17 cities that are partnering with Mr. Sinha and the Center for Geospatial Information Technology.

The geospatial database will include rich, interactive maps of the water pipe infrastructure, as well as data exploration tools and reports.

The development of the geospatial database application is part of a group of large-scale water infrastructure projects that Mr. Sinha is managing at Virginia Tech. The overall objective of the on-going water infrastructure research at Virginia Tech is to improve the decision-making process as it applies to water pipe infrastructure asset management and renewal programs.

The data received from the partnering cities are stored on San Diego Supercomputer Center managed by the National Science Foundation and supervised by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Only Virginia Tech has full access to the data through the team of faculty and researchers involved in the project. All participating utilities have limited access to this national water pipe infrastructure database.

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