Compiled by Dean Takahashi, Times staff writer

Powerful Directions: Thomas Bros. Maps in Irvine, maker of Thomas Guide street directories, will provide help to Southern California Edison Co. as it embarks on a project to build a digital map of its utility service areas in Southern and Central California.

Thomas Bros. Maps, which makes a computer version of its Thomas Guides, will provide the electronic map data to the utility company, which will build its own database of land holdings, buildings, street addresses and other data.

Under a contract, Thomas Bros. Maps will license its data to SCE for five years. With the help of scores of cartographers, Thomas Bros. Maps has been making computer versions of its maps since 1991.

Southern California Edison is building the electronic map database to improve its business operations, such as quickly recalling grids of areas with power outages so that repair units can be dispatched to restore service, said Kris Bonner, digital sales manager for Thomas Bros. Maps.

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