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A New ASTM International Standard on Physical Location Information Is Approved


Anyone who has ever lost time searching for a set of keys that simply are not where they’re supposed to be will appreciate the larger-scale, though similar concept behind E 2499, Standard Practice for Classification of Equipment Physical Location Information, a new standard developed by ASTM International Committee E 53 on Property Management Systems. The goal of the standard, which is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E53.01 on Process Management, is to standardize practices and terminology related to information that conveys the physical location of equipment. In short, Practice E 2499 is a way to help with that age-old axiom about “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
According to James Dieter, manger, IT sector government property and transportation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, E 2499 is a basic building block for the property management profession. “The concept involved is not groundbreaking,” says Dieter. “Rather, it documents and standardizes an approach to the nomenclature and organization of location information. Physical location is, of course, a key basic attribute relevant to the tracking of equipment in most environments.”
The heart of E 2499 is its description of 10 increasingly specific levels of equipment physical location information beginning with Physical Location Level 1, space location (representing the position of an item if other than on or near the face of the earth) and ending with the item’s precise location (PPL 10). Levels along the way include country location (PPL 2), building location (PPL 5) and desk/shelf location (PPL 9).
Property and asset management professionals, as well as anyone working in fields where shipments and packages need to be tracked would benefit from the use of E 2499, according to Dieter. Use of the standard will enable broader understanding and interoperability and reusability of location data in reports and equipment software tracking systems.
All interested parties are invited to join in future activities of Committee E53. “Broader participation is an ongoing goal, says Dieter. “More input and more discussion through ASTM's mature processes leads to a better standards product. It’s a great and exciting time to be involved in this standards development effort. The opportunity exists to have a tremendous positive effect on the profession for years to come.” Dieter also notes that the committee would particularly like to see participation from representatives of hospitals and health care organizations, and state and local governments, as well as IT asset and capital asset managers.

ASTM International standards are available from Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; or at

For further technical information, contact James Dieter, Northrop Grumman Corporation, McLean, Va. (phone: 703/883-8683; For membership or meeting information, contact Christi Sierk, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9728;

Release #7433

June 1, 2006

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