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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH DIGEST

ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE

e-mail jsemmens@cox.net

APRIL 2004

Pavement Management Applications Using Geographic Information Systems, NCHRP Synthesis 335 by Gerardo W. Flintsch Randy Dymond and John Collura (Transportation Research Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; ph. 202-334-2934; http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore) (2004)

Highlights

GIS and other spatial analysis tools provide effective alternatives for developing PMS tools.

GPS creates a significant challenge regarding compatibility with historical data and interoperability with existing systems.

Pavement and asset management systems are supported by collecting and retaining a tremendous amount of information, which is normally available in a wide variety of formats, referencing systems, and media. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other spatial data management and analysis technologies are particularly appropriate for integrating, managing, and analyzing these data. Therefore, many agencies have been actively pursuing the use of GIS and other spatial technologies for developing pavement management systems (PMS) applications. There is a significant body of knowledge on the application of spatial tools for transportation and, in particular, for enhancing pavement management processes, as shown by the literature reviewed.

The principal findings concerning the state of the practice and knowledge of pavement management applications using GIS and other spatial technologies include the following:

o

Most departments of transportation (DOTs) are either currently using or are planning to use GIS or other spatial technologies to support pavement

management activities. Sixty percent of the agencies surveyed reported that they are currently using spatial applications.

o

The major current application of GISs is for preparing maps. Approximately one-half of the DOTs also use spatial database management tools to help them with data integration among various departments.

o

In most DOTs, at least some of the data used by the PMS (inventory, pavement condition, traffic, and/or construction and maintenance history) is collected and maintained by a different department or division within the DOT, thus requiring integration for decision support.

o

All of the agencies surveyed are using a linear referencing system for their PMS data collection and storage. However, because of the increased use of GIS, automated data collection equipment, and global positioning systems (GPS), coordinate-based referencing methods are also becoming popular.

o

Data integration is very important as agencies move toward more global asset management approaches to comprehensively manage different types of transportation assets. However, the number of agencies that have actually completed or are close to completing a full integration of the systems is limited.

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