Case Studies in Collecting Highway Inventory Data with the Global Positioning System

Report No: 96-R34

Published in 1996

About the report:

A number of state departments of transportation, including the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), are developing a geographic information system (GIS) to integrate data and to conduct more elaborate analyses which will improve their decision-making capabilities. Research is currently being conducted at the Virginia Transportation Research Council to determine some of the problems associated with the implementation of this relatively new and evolving technology. The collection and development of the data sets required to drive the GIS have been identified as two of the largest expenses associated with GIS implementation. This research looked at the feasibility of using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to collect some of the locational and attribute data required to run VDOT's GIS. Data sets identified in VDOT's 10-Year GIS Strategic Plan were collected and transferred to ARC/INFO ®, a proprietary system, by way of hand-held, mapping-grade GPS receivers. Methods for the collection and transfer of the data sets were outlined. Point accuracies of approximately 2 m were obtained. Time requirements and data collection problems were also described. These findings should ultimately aid VDOT in its GIS implementation process.

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

Stephen C. Brich

Last updated: December 17, 2023

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