CAD and the Corps

by B. Ray Summerell, Assoc. and Proj. Mgr.; Facilities Management, Dewberry & Davis, Fairfax, VA,
Kevin Carrigan, Assoc. and Proj. Mgr.; Digital Mapping, Dewberry & Davis, Fairfax, VA,
Jamie B. Wrenn, Asst. Mgr.; Digital Mapping Projects, Dewberry & Davis, Fairfax, VA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 6, Pg. 52-54

Document Type: Feature article


CAD has been a near standard feature of engineering design for the last decade, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found that the way their installations have gone about designing and maintaining their CAD mapping databases can be as individual as they are, making data exchange difficult. The Corps was determined to create a set of guidelines that would standardize databases sufficiently to allow for exchange, but still let the individual districts focus on their own specialties and needs. Interviews conducted at Corps installations in the U.S. and Europe helped consultants determine a guideline, called minimum essential data, that each Corps office must keep. The standard requires the offices to keep topological data, planimetric data, information on major utilities and the area's infrastructure system. Representatives from different Corps labs and industry have been kept appraised of the development process, and voiced their approval. When the system is delivered this July, it should help the Corps coordinate its CAD mapping efforts more efficiently and effectively. The article talks about the history of the Corp's CAD efforts, the system development process and the lessons learned about creating and maintaining an efficient CAD database. An accompanying sidebar talks about the ability of firms with federal experience to help others make the most of the government's storehouse of publicly available information.

Subject Headings: Databases | Computer aided design | Federal government | Mapping | Consulting services | Lifeline systems | Industries | History | Europe

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