GIS paves easier way to see data

Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions has introduced a transportation component

for its GeoMedia-Hansen Interface, expanding the solution beyond its current

focus on water systems and other municipal assets.

The GeoMedia-Hansen Interface is jointly developed product of Intergraph

Corp. and Hansen Information Technologies that integrates tabular and spatial

data.

The transportation interface will enable users to visualize such things

as roadway surface types, the status of pavement inspections and where on

a roadway work orders specifically apply. It is designed to help managers

organize regular maintenance work, and it should also help them to better

structure capital planning projects.

For example, Rob Gallivan, manager of program development for the Regional

Municipality of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, must monitor about 30,000 road

signs. To find out about signs that need to be replaced, staff members must

drive around and inspect them. Then, Gallivan has to determine if he has

to the right type and amount of signs in inventory to make replacements.

"An analysis could be done directly with the [alphanumeric] Hansen database

that contains this information, but you have to go into each of the data

elements and do searches on them, which is very labor-intensive and I have

to get it done with people who are not computer experts," he said.

With the GeoMedia-Hansen Interface, he is able to send a query through

the GeoMedia geographic information system to the Hansen database, he said,

and the results come back in the form of customized, graphical reports.

The interface also can help in major capital planning projects, which

are designed up to four years before they begin and include such things

as resurfacing roads, putting in drainage and upgrading traffic signs, all

at the same time. And that work has to be related to the status of other

roadway assets, utilities and development activities.

"Now we can layer all of this data through the GeoMedia-Hansen Interface

and get a preliminary design report that ties in all of these elements,"

Gallivan said.

The interface product provides introductions into new markets for both

Intergraph and Hansen Information and the companies have little overlap,

said Mark Doherty, director of Intergraph's local government solutions.

For example, he noted that Hansen has a presence in the local government

market and Intergraph is in transportation sector. Also, Hansen is on the

permitting side of the asset management market while Intergraph is focused

on geospatial solutions.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached

at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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