GIS: Easing Infrastructure Management

by Carl R. Johnson, Vice Presindent; Camp Dresser and McKee Inc., Chicago,
Mark J. Goldman, Communications Spealist; Camp Dresser and McKee, Cambridge, Mass,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 6, Pg. 42-44

Document Type: Feature article


GIS provides an ideal means for city planners and engineers to plan construction and maintenance of water-distribution networks, wastewater-collection systems and treatment plants, highways, bridges and traffic control, street lighting and airports. GIS infrastructure systems store information in terms of street segments or city blocks, and create computerized maps to allow users to look at old information in new ways, such as showing all segments of cast-iron water pipe more than 75 years old. Mapping capabilities allow various types of information to be displayed on one screen, using different colors, hatching, thicknesses and the like. Three cities currently implementing GIS systems are Manchester, N.H., Boston, Chicago. Historic maintenance records provide the Boston Water and Sewer Commission with a time history of information used to predict the location of future problems. Chicago has planned a computerized infrastructure management system which will interpret the city blocks. With GIS, capital-investment decisions can be linked to actual block-by-block infrastructure conditions.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Infrastructure

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