Data usefulness depends on accessibility. A set of geodatabase feature classes makes the data not only usable across a wide variety of geospatial and computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) applications, but also easily exportable to tabular formats. A copy of the final geodatabase was provided to each of ITD's six districts via their GIS analysts.
Esri's suite of ArcGIS Online tools was also readily available to provide data to stakeholders. The full geodatabase was published in ArcGIS Online as a feature service and placed in an array of online GIS mapping applications showcasing the data. These are also featured on the ITD SWAAI hub site, created using ArcGIS Hub. The site is a project data showcase, providing an amazing level of detail and revealing fascinating statistics and patterns. The processed lidar point cloud data is also available for ITD planning and design staff looking to generate topographic surfaces for CADD drawings.
In all, nearly 650,000 GIS asset features were extracted as part of the project. By one estimate, SWAAI saved personnel nearly 300,000 data collection hours, translating to an estimated $3.8 million in maintenance staff wages.
One of the earliest cost-saving uses of the data came from ITD's HQ Planning Services division. Over the years, ITD has struggled to maintain its data on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, which is necessary for keeping curb ramps and sidewalks accessible. The SWAAI data was rapidly categorized to show all sidewalks already in compliance, those that could be cost-effectively retrofitted, and those that needed replacement.
ITD staff, led by district GIS analysts, are finding other innovative ways to leverage the new data, ranging from performing speed zone analysis to identifying the locations of all incorrectly sized stop signs needing replacement. The SWAAI data is also being used to provide infrastructure project estimates on everything from the measurements of pavement needing striping to the quantities of guardrails and signs.
Following the statewide success of this enterprise data-gathering venture, ITD is planning to refresh the data every three years.