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BNSF Railway Co. recently was named to InformationWeek magazine's list of the top 500 information technology (IT) innovators for 2013.The magazine complies the list to recognize the nation's most innovative IT users, including their strategies, investments and administrative practices.InformationWeek cited BNSF for its methodology and implementation of a tool featuring light detection that can map out track and related assets at a higher level of precision than previous survey tools. In addition to surveying track, the tool — which is mounted on top of a hi-rail truck — can capture the locations of other network features, such as mileposts, signals, signs, switches and grade crossings.BNSF was the first company to create and use a mobile, land-based tool, applying a technology that uses lasers to take thousands of measurements per second, the Class I's officials said in an item posted on the "BNSF News" web page. Previously, the most commonly used method of collecting data with light detection was via aerial survey conducted by helicopter, they said.Other logistics and transportation companies honored by InformationWeek include FedEx and United Parcel Service.
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