Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ADOT utilizes GIS to manage information, analyze and plan

An example of a map available on ADOT's site
An example of a map available on ADOT's site.
The saying, “a photo speaks 1,000 words” holds true when it comes to data.

Because, for most people (we’re not talking about the engineers who are out there reading this!) it’s hard to pull real meaning from just a long list of numbers.

But, when you feed those numbers and information into map (it’s sort of like a photo, right?), you start to find relationships between the data.

At least, that’s the super-simplified idea behind Geographic Information Systems, a.k.a. GIS, which ADOT uses to plan, analyze, model and manage information.

ADOT’s GIS Section Manager James Meyer explains GIS as being similar to a database, but because it has a spatial element – meaning you can plot several layers worth of data onto a map – GIS is very valuable in reaching conclusions and making decisions.

For instance, ADOT could plot traffic count data onto a map along with another layer that gives pavement condition scores. From there, it would be easy to “see” where and how traffic affects the road conditions, leading to planning and funding choices.

Some of the ways ADOT utilizes GIS …

ADOT’s GIS section updates, verifies and maintains the Arizona Transportation Information System (ATIS), which is the basis for all GIS work at ADOT.

It contains a linear referencing system that can take all of ADOT’s route and milepost data and display it on a map. Meyer calls ATIS the backbone of roadway inventory data that gives a common point of reference allowing you to tie all data to a common factor – the road’s centerline.

The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is another way ADOT uses GIS.

HPMS is a report submitted annually to the Federal Highway Administration. It contains data on every single road in the state. Some of this data includes traffic counts, ownership, surface type, etc. HPMS is used as a planning tool by FHWA and as an aid for determining the amount of federal funds that will be distributed to each state.

ADOT’s GIS section employees also provide mapping support to all of ADOT. The maps they produce go into studies, presentations and “what-if” scenarios for pre-construction that can show planners where the future roads will be and what they’ll be next to.

Posted by Angela DeWelles   |  Labels:  ADOT, GIS, Maps, Traffic-Counts


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Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.