Saturday, August 13, 2016

2016 Road Projects and Monument Preservation

San Mateo County Public Works has just begun our busy time of the year for road projects. For the Surveying group this mean we've just completed our pre-construction monument preservation tasks.  2016 marks our second full construction cycle of employing some new procedures and technology for monument preservation.

The sections of proposed road work and survey monuments in the same GIS is an excellent tool for analysis and planning.
The procedure:
The Surveying group obtains the locations of road projects from the Engineering group and adds them to a web based GIS map. The GIS map now serves as a mobile map the Survey group can access in the field from any mobile device. Any monument we encounter within the proposed road project area is surveyed and the monument is added to the same GIS map.  This provides an excellent tool for analysis and planning of our monument preservation activities.

A proposed slurry seal project in El Granada and the details of a survey monument along with a photo in the GIS map.  This is an internal and external tool for everyone working on the project.

The technology:
Our team did an evaluation of best procedures for sharing monument location and descriptions.  We compared the previous method of paper maps and how stakeholders accessed them to a online GIS and well...GIS is superior in every way imaginable.  For the surveyors reading this, we still file the necessary corner records and records of survey.  This GIS is aimed at creating an easy to access system for the public, pavement and utility contractors, and any government entity that works in the roads or issues permits for road work.

GIS data collection In addition to traditional total station and GPS data collection, our team is using ArcGIS Collector to populate an ArcGIS Online web map.  ArcGIS Collector runs on any smartphone or tablet and we wrote a detailed post in October 2015 about how we collect the data.
ArcGIS Collector for smartphones

Sharing the data
As we mentioned earlier, previous monument preservation processes logged the data in paper format which was difficult for other groups to access even when scanned and shared electronically.  Often when these paper maps or scans were accessed, non-surveyor/engineer personnel struggled to interpret the location and description of the monuments and whether a proposed project would affect the monuments. This generated a bottleneck in the data flow that we were able to clear with ArcGIS Online.  ArcGIS Online allows anyone with an internet connected PC, phone, or tablet to see the monument locations in a GIS environment that can be customized to the users liking.
Users can customize the basemap of the GIS to their liking.

Users can see photographs of each monument and the description the field crew added.  The sample below is a disk in concrete 0.10 feet from the edge of the AC paving.  A total road reconstruction project would endanger this monument where a slurry seal project wouldn't.  The photo and description are key components to our analysis of monument preservation efforts needed per project.

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