Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems. Topic 43-09. Use of Advanced Geospatial Data Tools, Technologies, and Information in DOT Projects

Use of the advanced geospatial data tools, technologies, and information by state agencies for transportation projects is increasing each year. Highway administrators, engineers, surveyors, and Department of Transportation (DOT) contractors have access to a variety of different geospatial data tools, technologies, and information. Today, significant variability exists in the current practice regarding the level of geospatial information provided with project results and the associated allocation of risk based on the procedures used.  Some of these technologies do not have adopted standards or guidelines. For example, no well-defined standards exist for use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems and in many cases incorrect techniques are employed. There is also variability regarding the scope of and data submittal requirements for geospatial information, the program of geospatial-related quality control and assurance during construction, and the contract provisions related to design and construction positioning requirements. There are limitations to each of these tools and technologies so one size doesn't fit all. Many State DOT agencies have performed research studies and pilot projects to understand the potential of these tools and technologies, as well as their limitations and risks. Case studies have been developed by these DOT agencies to illustrate and address the issues cited above. Some of these agencies have established guidelines that describe which tools can be used to meet which DOT positioning requirement. Some examples include: control for automated machine control and guidance, use of LiDAR systems for the development of 3-D data models, how to effectively use satellite imagery, two-way data exchange formats between computer aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS), and tools for web-based data exchange and editing. This information, however, is fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated at this time. The information is transferred from person to person at National conferences and meetings. As a result, DOTs are not benefiting from these costly research studies and pilot projects, and are not able to give proper consideration to recommended practices that meet their positioning requirements and manage their associated risk. The purpose of this study is to document and summarize current state-of-the-practice related to advanced geospatial data tools, technologies, and information for highway projects, including procedures and proposed standards of practice that can be used to attain the data objectives when using these advanced geospatial technologies. The study should identify how and when these tools are used in combination to attain stated objectives. The study will also identify potential research needs such as development of effective tools for assessment and management of risk. This study will document practices and applications using advanced geospatial data tools, technologies, and information, and make the results available to the entire transportation community. The resulting report will help State DOTs develop effective procedures in support of planning, design, maintenance/operations functions.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $40000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Proect 20-05, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Zwahlen, Tanya

  • Performing Organizations:

    Oregon State University, Corvallis

    204 Rogers Hall
    Corvallis, OR  United States  97331
  • Principal Investigators:

    Olsen, Michael

  • Start Date: 20110701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28977

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463305
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Proect 20-05, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:21PM