Visualising integrated information on buried assets to reduce streetworks (VISTA)

A DTI Technology Programme project (now funded by the Technology Strategy Board)   1/1/06 - 31/12/09

This is the home page for the Leeds site of the VISTA project.

The VAULT system won the Built Environment category of the IET Innovation Awards 2012 and was "Highly Commended" in the Information Technology category. VAULT also came joint first in the 2012 NJUG Awards in the "Avoiding Damage" category.

A You Tube video demonstrating the live implementation of the VISTA project now in operation throughout Scotland, giving real time access to underground assets can be found here.


Inaccuracies in existing information, and the lack of methods to integrate, share, reuse and effectively communicate knowledge held by owners of underground assets means that more excavations are required to locate them causing unnecessary traffic congestion and increased costs for the UK economy; unnecessary damage to underground assets results in increased costs, injury and or possible death of workers and loss of service to consumers, both business and domestic. We will research techniques to enhance and integrate existing legacy asset information, together with dynamically acquired accurately geo-referenced data in the street and develop novel techniques to display the resulting knowledge to digging teams and network planners appropriately. Evaluation in 2 field trials will pave the way for later sector wide adoption,  thus benefiting the country, industry (utilities and their contractors), the public sector (e.g. highways) and the citizen.


UK Water Industry Research, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham, Transport for London, Thames Water Utilities Ltd, Yorkshire Water Services Ltd, British Telecom plc, National Grid Transco plc, National Joint Utilities Group plc, Ordnance Survey, Jacobs (UK) Ltd, United Utilities plc, Anglian Water Services Ltd, Leica Geosystems Ltd, Mouchel Group plc, Three Valleys Water plc, Severn Trent Water Ltd, The Pipeline Industries Guild, Institution of Civil Engineers, Scott Wilson Pavement Engineering Ltd, EDF Ltd, McNicholas plc and Adien Ltd. Several other companies have applied to join the project. Other companies who have actively collaborated with and contributed to the VISTA project include: 1Spatial, Birse, Central Networks, Northumbrian Water and Symology.

University Press Briefing Note

Vista in the media

This project builds on and complements the EPSRC project Mapping the Underworld, see:

For staff working on the project at Leeds, see here.

The archived web page for the whole project can be found here



Prof. A.G. Cohn
School of Computing
University of Leeds
Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

tel: +44 (0) 113 343 5482
fax: +44 (0) 113 343 5468