Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
PIRA download icon_1.1View/Download Full Text
Title: Underground utilities imaging and diagnosis
Authors: Lai, WWL 
Issue Date: 2021
Source: In Shi W., Goodchild M.F., Batty M., Kwan MP., Zhang A. (Eds. ), Urban Informatics, p. 415-438. Singapore: Springer, 2021
Abstract: The invisible and congested world of underground utilities (UU) is an indispensable mystery to the general public because their existence is invisible until problems happen. Their growth aligns with the continuous development of cities and the ever-increasing demand for energy and quality of life. To satisfy a variety of modern requirements like emergency or routine repair, safe dig and excavation, monitoring, maintenance, and upscaling of the network, two basic tasks are always required. They are mapping and imaging (where?), and diagnosis (how healthy?). This chapter gives a review of the current state of the art of these two core topics, and their levels of expected survey accuracy, and looks forward to future trends of research and development (Sects. 24.1 and 24.2). From the point of view of physics, a large range of survey technologies is central to imaging and diagnosis, having originated from electromagnetic- and acoustic-based near-surface geophysical and nondestructive testing methods. To date, survey technologies have been further extended by multi-disciplinary task forces in various disciplines (Sect. 24.3). First, it involves sending and retrieving mechanical robots to survey the internal confined spaces of utilities using careful system control and seamless communication electronics. Secondly, the captured data and signals of various kinds are positioned, processed, and in the future, pattern-recognized with a database to robustly trace the location and diagnose the conditions of any particular type of utilities. Thirdly, such a pattern-recognized database of various types of defects can be regarded as a learning process through repeated validation in the laboratory, simulation, and ground-truthing in the field. This chapter is concluded by briefly introducing the human-factor or psychological and cognitive biases, which are in most cases neglected in any imaging and diagnostic work (Sect. 24.4). In short, the very challenging nature and large demand for utility imaging and diagnostics have been gradually evolving from the traditional visual inspection to a new era of multi-disciplinary surveying and engineering professions and even towards the psychological part of human–machine interaction.
ISBN: 978-981-15-8982-9 (Print ISBN)
978-981-15-8983-6 (Online ISBN)
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-8983-6_24
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.
The following publication Lai W.WL. (2021) Underground Utilities Imaging and Diagnosis. In: Shi W., Goodchild M.F., Batty M., Kwan MP., Zhang A. (eds) Urban Informatics. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Singapore is available at
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Lai2021_Chapter_UndergroundUtilitiesImagingAnd.pdf1.39 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Open Access Information
Status open access
File Version Version of Record
View full-text via PolyU eLinks SFX Query
Show full item record

Page views

Citations as of Jun 26, 2022


Citations as of Jun 26, 2022

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.