Development of Geotechnical Analysis and Design Modules for the Virginia Department of Transportation's Geotechnical Database

Report No: 05-CR23

Published in 2005

About the report:

In 2003, an Internet-based Geotechnical Database Management System (GDBMS) was developed for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) using distributed Geographic Information System (GIS) methodology for data management, archival, retrieval, and analysis. The system has been used for accessing geotechnical data pertaining to the Hampton Road Third Crossing project and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Route 1 Interchange. As the rate of use, VDOT engineers recognized the need for additional engineering analysis and design functionalities. In response, five geotechnical engineering applications used to calculate slope stability and foundation pile capacity were identified. Analysis and Design Modules (ADM) for these five applications were designed, developed, and implemented in the existing GDBMS. ADM were designed to extract, filter, translate, and generate input data sets automatically when a borehole site is selected using a graphical user interface. Thus, ADM facilitates engineering analysis and design by automatically generating input data sets, enhancing productivity. In addition to the ADM, a powerful new borehole data search algorithm, GDBMS Borehole Search Rabbit, was developed to augment the existing search functionality. This new search algorithm provides both hierarchical and partial search capabilities based on GDBMS site module, VDOT project number, source level gINT project file, and boring site ID. Once a borehole data search is completed, VDOT engineers can directly access particular site data in various formats such as the original legacy data format, translated standard data format, gINT and Excel files of translated standard data format, and borehole data log and laboratory results. A cost-benefit analysis determined that approximately 1,120 hours of engineering time can be saved by using ADM with a total annual cost savings of $112,000. VDOT's GDBMS can be accessed on the Internet at and at

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Jaewan Yoon 

Last updated: November 29, 2023

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