Aug 7, 2019
Alec Pestov

What is your technology?

vGIS is the leading augmented reality visualization platform for GIS. Using the vGIS system, field personnel can see an augmented view that includes holographic infrastructure objects, improving their environmental assessments and increasing their situational awareness. From delivering real-time, in-field holographic visualizations of underground pipes, valves, cables and other utility objects to visualizing ground penetrating radar scans, vGIS solutions are estimated to save 12-20 hours per person per month and prevent up to 50% of excavation-related accidents resulting from human error, among other benefits.


What are the benefits to implementing your technology?

Municipalities and utility companies maintain vast networks of underground and above-ground infrastructure. This infrastructure is difficult to access – many assets such as pipes, cables, valves, etc. are buried underground – and often complex, as multiple utility types reside densely near each other. The combination of complexity and inaccessibility leads to the high cost of any infrastructure-related initiative. Additionally, the inability of utility workers to directly see buried assets can lead to excavation damages, estimated at $6B annually for North America alone.

Every work day at a public utility and or municipality involves working with an unsurmountable amount of asset-specific information. This information is usually stored in an organized manner in GIS systems, such as Esri, but can be difficult to access or understand on job sites, which is the place where it is needed the most.

Any maintenance assignment, repair job, new construction, or planning requires an understanding of surrounding infrastructure to avoid damages and service interruptions. The difficulty of locating assets underground results in the complexity and cost of utility jobs.

Currently, field personnel must consult with multiple sources of asset information, such as digital and printed maps. This process relies on mental visualization of asset locations, which often leads to lower levels of situational awareness, delays, high job costs, and accidental damages. 

vGIS offers a much more natural visualization of the surrounding infrastructure. The resulting higher awareness leads to a more productive workforce, lower per-job costs, and fewer accidents.

vGIS offers instant situational awareness by enabling field personnel to see infrastructure around them using traditional phones, tablets, and even the futuristic Microsoft HoloLens. Higher situational awareness improves workforce productivity and allows field services staff to perform common tasks faster. vGIS customers have reported the following benefits:

  • Up to 50% faster asset locates.
  • Up to 80% reduction in time required for mark-out quality assurance.
  • Up to 85% improvements in gaining situational awareness at job sites.
  • Up to 90% reduction in as-built vs. as-documented capture/reporting.

An independent study has been conducted by a leading locate company, and it showed savings of 12-20 hours per worker per months, resulting in 5:1 to 10:1 system ROI.

Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented anywhere to date?

vGIS is used by over 60 companies globally, including several Tier-1 construction companies, water utilities such as Toronto Water, engineering firms, and municipalities.

What are some of the next steps needed to advance the technology?

vGIS is incredibly easy to get started with. As it requires no client-side implementation, new clients do not need to buy servers or run long implementation projects. All a client needs to do is to provide access to their data, which can be hosted in a variety of formats. vGIS will consume data natively, establishing a real-time or a persistent data feed from the client GIS system to vGIS. Then it will be a matter of remotely activating end users’ devices, which is done by emailing them an activation token.

The quickest new client onboarding done to date was 47 seconds long, which illustrates the ease of getting started with vGIS.

This ease of implementation and the technological capabilities of the system have been developed non-stop over the last three years by the vGIS team, and we continue working on releasing new features each month. We have a pipeline of new existing system modules, and every month our clients receive expanded capabilities to make sure we offer them the most advanced augmented reality solution in the world.

LIFT has provided opportunities to introduce vGIS to future customers, and it can further help by showcasing the system to the LIFT community.
Alec Pestov
Founder and CEO



Alec Pestov
vGIS Inc.
M: 416.939.5449
O: 302.918.5518