Municipal GIS Applications Utilizing Vector and Raster Software on Personal Computers

by Bernard T. Rivas, Prime/Ware Associates, Ltd, Philadelphia, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering Applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems


Confronted by increasingly tight budgetary constraints, combined with the expensive computer processing hardware typically required by a GIS, smaller engineering firms and local governments often reluctantly conclude that they lack the resources for implementation of their GIS. With the advent of both raster and vector processing capability contained within PC software, the door for GIS has opened wide for even the smallest agencies. Scanning, freeze frame (video), and conversion of existing CAD drawings to a bit-mapped image level have all made the 'base' map loadable in seconds rather than minutes. This, in conjunction with necessary vectors registered to a common coordinate system, such as latitude/longitude, State Plane, etc., that lead to a standard database or other image, makes a very inexpensive and useful tool for engineers and municipal managers. While not revolutionary, this hybrid capability is most certainly a major evolutionary step in the fields of GIS and Infrastructure Management. A fertile field for applications has been your Municipal Public Works Department. Sanitary sewer, storm water, traffic sign inventories, accident histories, and watershed analysis, all lend themselves quite readily to the superimposition of vector references on a bit-mapped base map, or photo, or any other image. Vector ties then lead to more images, drawings, database text, computations, or nearly anything else that you can envision. The presenter will review the use of the technology, municipal applications with examples, typical system components, software requirements, and upgrade path for existing PCs.

Subject Headings: Vector analysis | Computer software | Databases | Stormwater management | Traffic accidents | Mapping | Geographic information systems | Information systems

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