Over the past 20 years, NIOSH has developed a number of software tools addressing safe mine design with respect to ground control. These stand-alone PC based tools are available free of charge to the mining industry to help in the design of safer mining environments with respect to pillar stability in longwall, room-and-pillar, and multiple seam mines, formation characterization, support requirements, etc. As cloud computing gains momentum, there is a definite need to develop internet based applications for mine design that would be accessible at all times, even underground where permitted. webGC utilizes a multiple tier architecture which builds upon existing NIOSH ground control design software, more specifically ARBS, ALPS, and ARMPS. By taking advantage of current internet technologies, webGC provides users with faster and easier access to ground control designs, on-the-fly calculations for infield use, and instant collaboration between operational personnel and planning engineers. This shared platform will ensure more transparent calculations in cases of variable conditions as well as the instant recognition of problematic areas under specific design parameters. Due to increases in internet availability, data security, application maintainability, and cross-platform compatibility, it is expected that the mining industry will embrace this product as it has with other innovative web technologies.

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