Augmented Reality Geovisualisation for Underground Utilities


Prior to an excavation for a construction project, fieldwork is necessary to identify the location of all underground utilities. There is a demand for identifying the accurate positioning of the underground utilities, in order to support the contractors in avoiding damages to existing underground infrastructures. Such damages could cost thousands of euros, needless to underline the danger in human lives, in the presence of gas and electricity. There is a concrete market request for solutions that are able to effectively handle underground utilities’ data and function in support to the fieldwork. The fusion of technologies such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), sensors, geographic information systems (GIS) and geodatabases, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can lead to products and services for monitoring, documenting and managing the utility-based geospatial data. The LARA project, a H2020 co-funded project by the European Commission (EC), embraced these needs and developed a software and hardware (S/H) system. The LARA hand-held and mobile device involves state-of-the-art technologies in the domain of positioning and sensors, AR and 3D GIS geodatabases and aids the users in “seeing” beneath the ground by rendering the complexity of the 3D utilities’ models. The visualization of underground utilities is made using a mixed reality paradigm, where the user can see at the same time the surroundings and the utilities rendered at their exact location in 3D. In order to cope with the end-users expectations, two types of visualizations have been implemented and tested. LARA system tested in two case studies during the project lifetime and the results are promising.


Augmented-Reality – Visualisierung unterirdischer Versorgungsleitungen. Bei der Durchführung von Bauprojekten ist es im Vorfeld einer Aufgrabung wichtig, die genaue Lage aller unterirdischen Versorgungsleitungen zu kennen. Dadurch können Baufirmen die Beschädigung der bestehenden unterirdischen Infrastruktur vermeiden. Anderenfalls können leicht Schäden von mehreren Tausend Euro entstehen oder durch eine mögliche Beschädigung von Gas- und Elektrizitätsleitungen Menschenleben gefährdet werden. Der Markt fordert daher konkrete Lösungen, die in der Lage sind, die Daten der unterirdischen Versorgungsleitungen effizient zu verarbeiten. Eine mögliche Lösung für die Überwachung, Dokumentation und Verwaltung der Versorgungsleitungen besteht in der Verknüpfung von Daten aus globalen Satellitennavigationssystemen (GNSS), anderen Sensoren, Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) und Geodatenbanken, sowie Augmented und Virtual Reality (AR/VR). Das von der Europäischen Kommission kofinanzierte Horizon-2020-Projekt LARA widmet sich dieser Aufgabe und hat ein kombiniertes Software- und Hardwaresystem entwickelt. Das tragbare LARA-Gerät enthält modernste Technologien im Bereich der Positionierung und Sensorik, sowie der AR- und 3D-GIS-Geodatenbanken, und hilft den Benutzern dabei, unter die Erde zu "sehen", indem es die komplexe Struktur der unterirdischen Leitungen dreidimensional darstellt. Die Visualisierung erfolgt nach dem Mixed-Reality-Paradigma, bei dem der Benutzer gleichzeitig die reale Umgebung und den berechneten Verlauf der Versorgungsleitungen sehen kann. Das LARA-System wurde während der Projektlaufzeit in zwei Fallstudien mit vielversprechenden Ergebnissen getestet.

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Stylianidis, E., Valari, E., Pagani, A. et al. Augmented Reality Geovisualisation for Underground Utilities. PFG 88, 173–185 (2020).

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  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • GIS
  • Underground utilities
  • Visualization


  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • GIS
  • Visualisierung von unterirdischen Versorgungsleitungen