Technology exists that permits governments to utilize advanced photographic tools, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to capture the locations of various types of infrastructure. This technology has been used successfully in order to satisfy imaging and infrastructure needs in a number of cities across the United States.
The technology uses street-level imaging (cameras mounted on a vehicle) in order to capture photography in a 360-degree arc. The camera vehicle is using GPS in order to determine it’s exact location on the Earth’s surface, as well as using GPS to map all the features that it passes. This is known as a “3D point-cloud”. There are two main values in gathering information in this manner. First, the customer gets high-definition photography of all of the city streets, manholes, traffic striping, light poles, street signs, houses, businesses, etc., enabling city employees to get a close-up view of features without requiring a field visit in all situations. Second, the 3D-point cloud permits the city to capture information for inclusion in the city’s GIS without having to collect the information manually in the field.
Augusta currently has oblique photography taken from an aircraft, but not street-level imagery that is much closer to our existing infrastructure. Augusta has thousands of miles of roads, miles of water and sewer infrastructure, and thousands of street signs. Street level photography can be used to gather this information. For instance, the photography and point-cloud can be used to locate street signs, determine what the sign represents, measure distance from the ground, and perform a basic assessment of condition. The same principle can be applied to pavement, striping on roads, storm drains, etc. The technology can also be used to augment the photography collected by the Board of Assessors for valuation purposes, as well.
Stakeholders and Partners
Augusta IT worked with Augusta Public Transit, Engineering, Environmental Services, and Utilities in order to release an RFP in 2014. Of the respondents, Cartegraph, Inc. was chosen as the firm best capable of providing the imagery and 3D point cloud using their Earthmine software. The private-sector partners that Augusta has contracted with for this project are found on the Project Partners page.
Project Cost, Delivery, and Status
To see more about the project, including the overall cost, the delivery schedule, and the status, please look at our page dedicated to monitoring this important project: Project Cost, Delivery, and Status