Northeastern University Student’s Smart Communities GIS App Spurs Vision for New Company
By Kurt Daradics
At the 2014 Esri User Conference (UC), Northeastern University civil engineering student Salar Shahini presented his work on a research project that used a GIS web-based application to constantly monitor roadway conditions. Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri, encouraged Shahini to pursue the application beyond the research phase and leverage Esri resources to commercialize the technology. Dangermond emphasized that innovative hardware and software technologies such as Shahini’s would provide an immediate positive impact in society and help communities become smarter.
Guided by Esri’s staff, Shahini and his advisors translated these thoughts into an ArcNews article, Constant Pavement Monitoring without Disrupting Traffic. The article triggered a myriad of emails from cities and states around the globe, making the team realize the true need and potential impact of the technology. The flood of responses encouraged them to found the company StreetScan.
StreetScan is now an Esri business partner in the Esri Startup Program. The company provides end-to-end asset management services to municipalities. Built on ArcGIS, StreetScan’s web-based GIS application is a monitoring and management platform for smart, comprehensive, and accelerated evaluation of transportation infrastructure.
Only a year into its operations, StreetScan’s pavement monitoring platform is already used by 15 cities around the US and has generated international interest from countries such as Canada, China, and France.
StreetScan was one of the 33 startups showcased at the 2016 Esri UC Startup Zone and in the annual Map Gallery. The team reconnected with Dangermond at UC and shared the success and transformation of a research project to a thriving startup.
StreetScan is working hard to save cities time and costs, reverse the trend of crumbling infrastructure, and set an example for commercializing the many innovative technologies produced in universities.
To see the technology in action, visit streetscan.com.