Digital Energy  Geospatial Systems  Smallworld and Google Maps

Digital Energy Smallworld Google Agreement

Smallworld and Google Maps
Enhanced efficiency with up-to-date mapping
The agreement between GE and Google® is an exciting move to combine the engineering excellence of GE's Smallworld™ electrical, telecommunications and gas utilities applications with the pervasive, easy-to-access capability of Google's map services.

As utilities become more aware of the power of GIS data, they are asking how they can extend the reach of their GIS data and gain higher return on investment. With strong engineering capabilities within their company, utilities are keen to increase productivity based on their ability to access, visualize and analyze their data.

The combined GE and Google solution will enhance their existing network visualization capabilities and allow utilities to receive incremental efficiency and productivity gains in the field. By enhancing the ability to visualize data on a map, utilities will be able to quickly provide their end-use customers with important information, such as outage restoration times, and will help to more efficiently manage their network assets.

Enrich existing applications and workflows for engineering design and operations users by adding Google Maps™ road, satellite and terrain map data layers, combined with access to Google’s address searching capability and Street View™ imagery

Seamlessly blend the highly accurate asset data from Smallworld with Google Maps data in powerful yet simple web solutions, extending the reach of spatial asset data to business users

Drive further efficiencies for field crews working on inspections and maintenance tasks

Engineering Design and Operation

The availability of accurate and up-to-date base mapping supplied by Google in combination with the Smallworld product portfolio provides a number of benefits for engineering planning, design and operations solutions.

In regions where mapping is unavailable, expensive or inaccurate, Google Maps™ data provides an economical mapping source to record existing network assets and plan network extensions on an up-to-date and maintained source of consistent map data. Google Maps integrated within Smallworld provides this information with no data loading or manipulation steps, and it is immediately available to users by selecting to display the map layers within existing applications.

Where good sources of vector mapping exist, aerial photography provides additional information on geographic features not present on many traditional street map sources. Based on this information, a planner can decide whether a survey is required or proactively design around vegetation, streams or other features apparent on the aerial data that will affect the network engineering.

Google Street View provides a valuable additional visualization to map data, giving office based users another dimension to efficiently plan, allowing them for the first time to work with their map-based network assets while also looking at street level imagery. This allows engineering staff to assess if there are access constraints or unrecorded assets while working with their engineering application, directly within their office environment.

The GE and Google Maps integration now also provides the capability to access the extensive global address database maintained by Google, providing a new resource for quickly locating addresses within the engineering environment, without additional investment in data maintenance.

To learn more about GE’s geospatial solutions for utility and communications, click the links below:

Electric Utility Solutions
Gas and Pipeline Solutions
Water Supply and Drainage Solutions
Communications Solutions

Note: Screenshots provided are of preproduction software and may not be representative of the final version.

Web Solutions

With the next generation of web solutions from GE, functionality and data from Google Maps can be seamlessly combined with Smallworld data in simple, easily accessible web applications running on many devices. This will allow the investment in geospatial asset data and business logic to be exploited by the widest audience within organizations in a form that is already familiar.

Within the browser interface, users can control layers of data available from Google and Smallworld and search locations via Google and Smallworld asset data through a consistent user interface. Smallworld network asset data is displayed using the Smallworld display scales, allowing network detail to be progressively made visible automatically as users zoom in.

Integrating Google Street View™ into the web solutions adds further value to many users where situational awareness is important.

Note: Screenshots provided are of preproduction software and may not be representative of the final version.
Future Technology

GE’s strength is in the provision of business-focused enterprise applications which require complex network models, extreme levels of data accuracy and quality, extensive scalability and significant business process support. These applications have been successfully used in design, engineering, and operations departments within the utility for many years, and GE is one of the recognized leaders in this market.
The key focus going forward is how these combined capabilities can be used to offer enhanced business solutions delivering real business benefits rather than tools and technology. GE’s strategy is to use existing technology and best-of-breed solutions to create Small Focused Applications built on top of existing engineering solutions.

These applications will be targeted at different user communities and their business problems, focused on openness and accessibility throughout. They will be simple, easy to deploy, easy to upgrade and easy to use solutions for business users. Examples include dashboards and situational awareness visualizations, targeted business workflows (e.g., meter connection process, fault detection), large scale publishing (e.g., outage information for customers), and collaboration and information sharing applications.

To enable this new vision of the future, GE and Google have created a strategic partnership which enables GE to use Google’s technology and infrastructure to provide the foundations for these new style applications. Specifically we will be using the following:

  • Google base mapping for desktop, web and mobile
  • Google Maps engine for publishing and visualization
  • Google Earth™ to complement our existing mobile product line
  • Google cloud infrastructure for scalability and redundancy



Geospatial data forms the foundation of critical business processes. Smallworld 5 extends the reach of geospatial data across the organization and its user communities through solutions enabling users to utilize and work with data anytime, anywhere. Smallworld has provided focused solutions to utilities and telecommunication operators for 25 years, continuously delivering new benefits and cost savings while scaling to support the needs of the world’s largest organizations.


GE’s continued adoption of the latest technology standards enables further cost savings through:
  • Straightforward system integration through open standard technologies
  • Faster, smarter decisions supported across the enterprise through modern web and mobile technologies
  • Increased user productivity through technology focused on a modern user experience
  • Opening the Smallworld technology stack to Java development creates the potential to reduce IT costs by up to 15%
  • Straightforward and easy upgrades


What is changing with the release of Smallworld 5?
  • A technology refresh for all applications based on Smallworld Core Spatial Technology
  • Adoption of Java Virtual machine & improvements to the Smallworld user interface
  • Preserves investments by GE, partners and customers in Magik developments while providing new platform capable of leveraging the Java development ecosystem

Driving Utility and Telecom Operator process efficiency across the enterprise through access to geospatial and asset data anytime, anywhere.