Pinpointing public assets
For many years, Covington, Ga., contracted with private consultants to survey and map the community. Two years ago, city officials decided to bring those activities in-house to reduce costs and minimize data inconsistencies. “It’s not that the old data is completely bad, it simply needed some corrections,” says Issac Standard, project leader for the Geographic Information System (GIS) Department.
To equip surveying crews and mapping technicians, the city purchased mobile GIS software from Norcross, Ga.-based Leica Geosystems that is built on Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI’s ArcGIS platform. Using the software, crews can collect, view, process, check and archive data in the field and then update the central GIS in city offices. Covington also purchased GPS equipment and survey instruments to record new measurements, and correct and update existing ones with centimeter accuracy.
To begin verifying and updating the city’s GIS, crews started with the data used by the city’s Stormwater Management Program, which continuously monitors storm sewer infrastructure to comply with The Clean Water Act. The information also is used by the city’s stormwater utility to assess usage fees on property owners depending on the type of land (impervious area, disturbed pervious area and natural area) and its location. Two-man crews were dispatched daily to locate stormwater features and paint flow arrows on structures to designate pipes in the underground network. The conditions and physical dimensions of each object were recorded, along with dry weather and water quality assessments at outfalls.
City crews continue to use the mobile GIS and GPS to map utility infrastructure and correct measurement flaws. Once all stormwater features are recorded, survey crews will update other data layers of the city’s GIS, including the water distribution system, sanitary collection system, natural gas distribution infrastructure and cable TV systems.
Project: Stormwater asset inventory
Jurisdiction: Covington, Ga.
Agency: GIS Department, Stormwater Program
Vendors: Norcross, Ga.-based Leica Geosystems; Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI
Date began: January 2005