Developed for World Bank World Bank Group



The United Nations outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a part of a plan to address the most urgent problems facing the developing world. One goal, SDG #7, is focused on achieving affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for everyone. An underlying obstacle here stems from the fact that developing nations don't always possess a comprehensive map of their high-voltage (HV) infrastructure and the schematics that do exist are typically outdated, incomplete, or split between a number of different agencies. Without a centralized map, governments or other organizations do not have the knowledge to make informed decisions on where to invest in maintenance or expansion of the electric grid. This lack of information also complicates decisions about alternative energy sources — without knowing where the conventional grid exists, it’s hard to intelligently deploy alternatives like solar- or wind-power (Szabó et al., 2011). Beyond just the map itself, governments and organizations need a fast and cost-effective mapping pipeline. The HV grid is always in flux, so the ability to create an accurate snapshot at regular intervals is an important tool. Toward achieving SDG #7, we partnered with the World Bank to develop a pipeline capable of efficiently mapping HV infrastructure at a country-wide scale.

Examples of HV towers.
Figure 2. Examples of HV towers in satellite images.