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A Remedy for Relieving Sign Inventory Headaches

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Blaine Hackett
Senior GIS Advisor Transportation Safety Systems Division Roadway Maintenance Services

Why am I (GIS guy) talking to you about sign inventories???


- Geographic Information Systems for 15 years
-Minnesota Department of Transportation -Transportation Engineering Consulting Firm -Business Owner

- Dealing mostly with state and local government - Experience in collecting roadway assets - 3knows signs
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What are we talking about??


Sign Inventory

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What IS a signs inventory??


Inventory Assessment System What do we have? What condition is it in? Keep track of it

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Inventory
Hopefully you only do once! Most expensive up front cost!

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Assessment
Initial Once a year Every six months Monthly Constantly!

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System (Management)
Initial input! Update!

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Are inventories necessary?


Yes! if you want to know what is out there You NEED to know what is out there! Assessment and System hinge on inventory! Government mandate

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Are assessments necessary?


Yes! You need to know if your signs are up to standards Legally you need to maintain signs! Retro Retro-reflectivity standards!

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Why Are field inventories painful?


Time consuming Resource drain No tools Difficult to get data into system Expensive

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Are management systems necessary?


Yes, if you want to know what is there and don don t want to inventory again Budgeting What exactly needs replacing and when Government mandate!

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Why do sign management systems fail?


Software is too difficult/time consuming to learn No one to update Make poor decisions using old data People lose confidence

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So what do we do about that?


Technology Simplify rather than complicate

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What tools (technology) do we use?


Electronically readable tags on signs Computers GPS GIS Intranet/Internet

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Electronically Readable Tags


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Barcode

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RFID
Very fast Read from distance Safer Efficient

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RFID
Very fast Read from distance Safer Efficient Price Metal signs Placement

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Durable Bar Code


Long lasting Unique ID Reduce input errors Speeds up inventory Easy to find sign asset

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GPS Location
Many methods to get GPS location Agree on accuracy Accuracy tied to time Accuracy tied to cost
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Attribute Capture
More attributes more expense Can be easy or time consuming to capture

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Attribute Capture
Easy MUTCD Sign orientation Sign position (left or right) Date of inspection Name of inspector

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Attribute Capture
More time consuming Sign Offset Mount Height Dimensions Retro Retro-reflectivity .etc

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Attribute Capture
More time consuming Sign Offset Mount Height Dimensions Retro Retro-reflectivity .etc

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Attribute Capture
Use custom menu's!! Faster More efficient Less chance for error

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Wireless Technology
Bluetooth enabled devices Wi Wi-Fi enables devices

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Umbrella to bring all data together! Data spatially aware Connect other data Access info quickly Use custom tools!!

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Leverage current GIS data to to -Update inventory -Glean useful information -Help with utility locates -Create custom maps -Plan replacement

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Leverage current GIS data to to -Update inventory -Glean useful information -Help with utility locates -Create custom maps -Plan replacement

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


GIS can be complex! You want easy access to information! You want information informationfast! You want information readily available! You want information up to date!

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Internet Mapping
Bridge to getting sign information easily Many different software products No software to load on individual PC People are comfortable Specific to your needs

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Interactive Web Mapping Site


Password Protected Fast/Easy access to up to date information You can host or have someone else Internet Browser based so no special software required Access from any computer with Internet browsing Simple Tools for ease of use

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Sign Inventory System


Color coded legend shows type of sign Selecting sign(s) pops up attribute data Attribute data can be copied and pasted easily into Excel/Word Search/Sort Attributes All signs data in industry standard GIS format

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Case Studies McLeod County Chevron Project


36 curves deemed dangerous dangerous 247 Chevron Signs GPS GPS ed each post Used GIS to help with utility locates Used website for project progress
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Case Studies Town of Gilbert, AZ


Over 1000 signs Complete sign replacement Had old inventory in GIS Used GIS for in field sign verification Used GIS for street name legends Used GIS to verify sign placement Durable bar codes on all signs Used website for project progress
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Case Studies Coconino County, AZ


Over 650 D series signs Complete sign & post replacement No Inventory Used GPS for new sign placement Used County GIS intersections Used GIS to verify sign placement
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Review
Sign inventory is painful but necessary Sign management system is necessary and must be kept up to date GPS accuracy tied to time and cost Attribute capture tied to time and cost

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Review
Use technology to simplify not complicate GIS is umbrella technology Use the Intranet/Internet Customize technology to your specific needs

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Conclusions
There is no silver bullet No ONE piece of hardware to do it all No ONE piece of software to do it all Technology used correctly will aid in a successful sign inventory program

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A Remedy for Relieving Sign Inventory Headaches

3
Blaine Hackett
Senior GIS Advisor Transportation Safety Systems Division

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