• CIVIS Bolivia

    Mobile Mapping to Improve Water Utility Services

    Cochabamba, Bolivia

Project Summary


For many years in metro Cochabamba, the population of over 1 million people endured enormous problems accessing water. And, in 2000, when a foreign consortium operating the city’s water utility dramatically raised water rates, protests occurred in response to the price hikes. Since then the Bolivian government has heavily regulated water rates, and the new water utility company SEMAPA had to prioritize its investments. At one point, one-third of the city’s population lacked regular access to water. To improve access, the utility needed to update its outdated network database while facing tight budget constraints.


SEMAPA contracted CIVIS Bolivia to update the water network database and its management platform. The organization used mobile mapping technology to quickly capture geospatial data across 3,000 hectares. Mapping teams produced a 3D map of the entire water system with 360-degree high-resolution images and 3D point clouds captured via a car-mounted LiDAR. SEMAPA incorporated all the image data into a web-based GIS, which allowed the utility to move its network information from multiple open-source applications to a single platform.


CIVIS gathered over 500,000 images totaling 3 terabytes, with an additional 18 terabytes of LiDAR data. All network and asset data are now web-based and remotely accessible. By moving to a single platform, workers no longer spend time switching between multiple systems. Easy access to data helps workers locate, diagnose, and respond to any problems or equipment failures, significantly speeding up response time. A centralized network of data also encourages collaboration and speeds decision-making throughout the organization, improving workflows and feasibility studies for building out the network.


Orbit Content Manager organized and processed all captured image data. CIVIS used the application to clean up multiple passes of the same objects and LiDAR point cloud data noise, as well as to optimize image quality and data performance. The image data was then imported into Orbit Publisher, which integrated into SEMAPA’s GIS and eliminated the need for working within multiple systems. Orbit Publisher now allows project teams to run spatial data derivatives and measurements to inform decision-making.

Project Playbook: Orbit Content Manager, Orbit Publisher

  • Water utility SEMAPA needed to update its outdated network database to improve customer access but faced tight budget restrictions.
  • CIVIS Bolivia, the mapping contractor for the project, gathered over 500,000 images totaling 3 terabytes, with an additional 18 terabytes of LiDAR data.
  • Orbit Content Manager was used to process all captured image data, clean up LiDAR data noise, and optimize image quality.
  • A centralized network of data encourages collaboration, speeds decision-making, and improves workflows for building out the network.
  • “Orbit Publisher has proven to be the ideal solution to share and manage all those terabytes of information effortlessly, and easily combines imagery, point cloud, vector, and raster data.”

    Fernando Terrazas COO CIVIS Bolivia