GIS Training Program
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) asked NLT to develop a series of half-day training sessions designed to teach GIS tools used in the transportation industry. By working through several instructor-led exercises, trainees were exposed to DC GIS resources and received hands-on experience with GIS tools. Attendees included employees from various DDOT departments, including the Traffic Services Administration, the Project Management Division, and the Administration for Policy and Planning. The training’s concepts and discussion addressed common issues in the trainees’ day-to-day responsibilities. NLT was selected for this endeavor because of our successful partnership with DC GIS to provide GIS training throughout the DC government.
District Department of Transportation
For the District Department of Transportation, NLT supplied GIS analysts who worked onsite to research, collect, and compile all street right-of-way data in the city. The project involved converting existing paper data sources into digital format. The data was captured using ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop and was displayed using the linear referencing tools within ArcGIS Desktop. The final product houses all the official right-of-way data for the District of Columbia in digital format. This dataset includes 33,773 line segments containing the right-of-way total, roadway width, sidewalk width, parking width, service road width, and alley and median widths throughout the city. The project enables DDOT to use its right-of-way data inside a GIS for planning and permitting.
Automated Vehicle Location
NLT provided DDOT with subject matter expertise and management services for automated vehicle location (AVL) equipment deployed to DC’s snow fleet. The primary goal was to ensure the optimum performance of the snow AVL system which tracks in real time, through wireless GPS and sensor technologies, the progressive treatment of city streets during snow and ice events. This tool is used by both operations and command and control staff to better manage liquid dispensers and snow plows, as well as to respond to incident or customer-complaint reports.
Among the challenges posed by this project were the concerns voiced by drivers, captains, and quality assurance personnel about vehicle tracking and the impact it might have on their jobs. NLT’s training largely mitigated staff concerns about vehicle tracking. Drivers began seeing the tracking as a competition and road treatment improved as a result. Snow captains and quality assurance personnel were able to literally see the areas where road treatment had been completed, which resulted in their time being allocated more efficiently.
For this project, it was also important to consider the ability of the tracking equipment to withstand harsh winter conditions and be rugged enough to survive intentional and incidental damage. To ensure that the tracking equipment could stand up to harsh conditions, NLT identified and installed ruggedized hardware in the snow fleet. Additionally, NLT taught maintenance crews about cabling and sensor equipment so they could avoid damage or disconnects during routine preventive maintenance. To ensure compliance and proper operational condition of the tracking equipment, AVL team members visually inspected the vehicles periodically.
The result of this project has provided DDOT with GPS tracking and improved snow fleet readiness. The data collected through the AVL system is used not only by DDOT administrators for operational support, but also to provide the public with information about road treatment status. Because of the various data sensors on the vehicles, maintenance problems can be identified and addressed much more quickly than before the system’s deployment. Also due to the heightened visibility of the snow fleet servicing the roads, the project led to the mayor nearly doubling the number of snow plows serving the city’s residential areas.
Street Inventory System: Application Upgrade
District Department of Transportation, DC Government
NLT migrated DOT’s existing Street Inventory System (SIS) files into an Oracle relational database from a legacy DB2 flat-file system. Using the original application as a guide, NLT re-engineered the database to better accommodate the new version of the application, setting up triggers to preserve transactional history and to introduce user-level tracking to operations performed on the database. The new application combines the ease of use of a desktop application with the global accessibility of a website to make the finished product as robust and user friendly as possible. Using the latest in AJAX technology, the new Street Inventory System allows users to perform functions and searches in real time without waiting for page loads or browser refreshes.