Moving from Paper to Ipads

Inspections and inventories of DPW assets are critical to ensuring that the community’s public utilities are in good working order.

Many of these inspections occur on a yearly basis after the chill of winter is gone. This spring, the fleet & roads division will be working on inspecting the city’s roadway pavement markings (i.e. lane lines, turn arrows, crosswalks, and stop bars).

Historically, when the crews go out into the field, they carry a big binder and make notes about which markings need to be repainted. These papers are then shared to a contractor who comes out and repaints the markings.

This year, we have started a program where the crews will use an app called Collector for ArcGIS to record the conditions of our city’s pavement markings. The process begins with our GIS (Geographic Information Systems) tech creating a digital map with all the pavement markings and making it available to the crew. Our crew will then use iPads to access the Collector map and see where the markings are, assign each marking a condition score (good, fair, or poor), and make extra notes if needed. This updated data is sent automatically to the Collector map, where it can be reviewed and sent to the contractor.

Why the transition to iPads?

  1. To be more time efficient in collecting data
  2. Have a way to visually assess areas that need maintenance
  3. Improve processes in order to stay up to date with the State of Michigan’s standards of asset management
  4. Be more fiscally responsible by making better data-driven decisions about when to repaint markings

It’s a big change moving from the paper world to the digital world, but it is necessary to better serve the community.

Nichole Bowman, GIS Asset Management Specialist

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