Ergon Energy delivers electricity in Queensland, Australia. It's "experimenting with open source gaming engines and physics models in an effort to capitalise on a massive geospatial data set from its ongoing laser-mapping project." That project, called ROAMES, is 10% done in its quest to map 150,000km of power lines in the state by June 2013 using LiDAR and imagery.
The vision is SimCity:
ROAMES research director Matthew Coleman said Ergon developers – including games industry veterans from companies like THQ – were building SimCity-like graphical interfaces to allow the firm to play out what-if scenarios with the data.
"The traditional asset management systems we're used to today are moving away from tabular data sets and bringing that to a very rich, game-like environment," he told iTnews.
"They'll be more like SimCity. Utilities will be able to play out scenarios – for example, 'what if I deferred maintenance of all poles for the next five years' – and the system should be able to show us the effect of those changes."