GIS SERVICES MUNICIPAL & UTILITY FEATURE/ LANDBASE MAPPING & DATA MAINTENANCE
SD&D is experienced using multiple GIS platforms including AutoCAD, ArcInfo, and Microstation. We specialize in utility and municipal mapping consisting of many different services including system digitization, land base creation, map conversion, parcel mapping, primary and secondary circuit map creation, system modeling, revisions, and work order updates, just to mention a few. Officials and Management often recognizes that data maintenance is not a core competency within their operation and is, in fact, a distraction that keeps qualified people away from mission critical jobs. Data maintenance is like housework, it's tedious, time consuming, and is never finished. SD&D provides a variety of data maintenance services for our clients. We have experience in reading work orders for updating a GIS System and understand most of the municipal and utility construction codes. We can provide a SD&D representative on-site if desired for updates or they can be processed remotely from our office.
APPROACHES TO DATA MAINTENANCE
Many municipalities and utilities are now exploring data maintenance services providers to help keep their facility information accurate and current.
By outsourcing some or all data maintenance activities, municipalities and utilities achieve greater assurance that their data maintenance requirements will be met while allowing their internal resources to address more tax payer or customer orientated tasks.
In these times where merger, acquisition, and competition have become the norm with utilities, the go it yourself mode of operation no longer works as effectively as it has in the past. Governments are facing ever declining revenue streams. Governments and companies now must focus on their core competencies of delivering their products and services as efficiently as possible. This refocus is necessary to assure profitability for the stockholders, sound use of limited tax dollars, all while keeping the taxpayers and customers informed and satisfied.
Data maintenance is one of the easiest functions municipalities and utilities can outsource. Compared to in-house solutions, management can expect their real costs to decline, and their information accuracy and timeliness to increase. At the same time, they may use those in-house resources of people, equipment, space and time for core activities.
In addition to the above, having a data maintenance partner assures complete and accurate updates during labor disputes.
EXTRACT AND POST METHODOLOGY
The first approach, more commonly known as check-out/check-in, involves the copying of a portion of the system database records. Updates are processed on the extracted copy, and then the updated copy is posted back to the host database. With this approach, utilities essentially follow the same process used in their initial conversion process.
In practical terms, this traditional maintenance approach is still the most popular, used by more than half of all municipalities and utilities that have reached the data maintenance stage. SD&D can provide staff to work in-house with the objective of keeping records current by eliminating backlog and currency issues.
REMOTE TERMINAL SERVICE
A second option involves the use of remote terminal technology. This approach allows real-time backlog and work order posting services directly on the utility�s GIS database. Utilizing tools such as Citrix� Winframe� (included in Microsoft Windows 2000 NT 5.0 as �Terminal Server�) and a high-speed connection, the service provider makes updates directly to the utility�s database.
While this approach may still require areas to be locked for updates, those areas can be broken into smaller sections. Newer systems that enable object-level locking do not have this limitation, allowing updates to be performed in real-time. The live remote approach offers several advantages. It reduces the time that sections of the database are locked out of service or can eliminate the lockout problem altogether. Updates can be made in a much timelier basis, enabling the municipality or utility to work on a database that is continually more current than is possible with traditional techniques.
OUTSOURCING ASSET RECORDS MANAGEMENT
A third option involves the complete outsourcing of all facility records management. In this approach, the service provider will develop, maintain, and support the GIS databases, providing scheduled digital updates for the municipality or utility. The provider will be responsible for all information, as well as the processes required to support all asset records. With a contract in place this is the most effective way to control budgeted line items.
INTERACTIVE FIELD SURVEY
Finally, municipalities and utilities may require intermittent field verification of data. In this scenario, SD&D would send out teams of trained data collectors out to canvas an area, observe all elements of the physical plant, and input the information directly into digital field units with specially designed input forms (screens) that have an underlying rule table to prevent unwitting errors. The data collectors are able to gather the most current, accurate information possible. When they return at the end of the day, the new data is processed and uploaded into the host system and can be ready for immediate use. A processing system requiring a QA/QC before the upload process can also be incorporated.
This data gathering solution is rapidly growing in popularity. It is fast and accurate. A traditional field survey requires many steps. The process is slow, costly, and has the propensity to introduce new errors into the database during processing.
Interactive field surveys reduce the number of steps by more than half and eliminate virtually all possibility of error. In fact, it is so fast and so accurate that many utilities are using an interactive field survey for their initial data conversion efforts. They collect completely new data to populate their GIS without consulting their old paper documents at all.
PARCEL MAPPING AND LANDBASE CREATION
SD&D can build an accurate landbase using GPS points as the first step in the process. Then we can scan the clients existing paper parcel maps into the mapping system and georeference to match the GPS points.
If scanning isn't an option then we have the ability to draw the parcel maps to scale manually using coordinate geometry (COGO) techniques, while georeferencing to the GPS points as we go. We also link the parcel polygon to a database record for easy look up and management.
We provide map updates based on recorded documents, maintenance of parcel topology through creation and maintenance of municipal wide parcel inventory based on completed map changes. In addition, we provide custom mapping projects, including corporate boundary issues, land-use analysis, etc., digital transfer of completed update information, and review and analysis of property classifications based on aerial plots. We have a fixed fee rate for COGO input of new subdivision plat and lot boundaries which can be tailored to pay-as-you-go services to meet map maintenance budgets constraints.
QUALITY ASSURANCE/QUALITY CONTROL
Our quality initiative is continuously reinforced through our projects� SD&D maintains QA/QC process, which is independent from the project organization structure, to verify and validate the project deliverables. SD&D tailors its QA/QC procedures for each project based on the scope of work required, to meet the demands of the individual client�s project specifications and the condition of the source documents.