April 4th, 2011

YOU CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES

Optimize Mobility, Preserve Infrastructure, by Catherine Higgins.

Visiweb is a new, easy to use web-based photo log that merges images and data to provide a better view of UDOT’s roads.

As seen from Visiweb, a cyclist enjoys a ride on SR 167 in Weber County.

Visiweb provides high resolution pictures of the road along with data such as  IRI,  GPS with elevation and cross-slope. The new view of state roads will help UDOT maintenance workers and engineers identify problem spots and plan for  future improvements, all from the comfort of an office PC. A link to Visiweb, which replaces Road View Explorer, can be found on the UDOT website.

While it has taken some time to develop, the new tool was worth the wait, says Russ Scovil, UDOT Pavement Condition Engineer. ” It enhances what we had before,” says Scovil. The application allows users to configure the operation to meet their needs when it comes to accessing information about the road.

A two-screen view shows close and far views of the Shepard Lane Bridge over I-15 in Davis County. Data at that location is listed under the image.

The data was gathered in a new way that is more reliable. “It’s repeatable and less subjective,” says Scovil. The new information will improve the decision making processes that takes place at UDOT from planning through construction and maintenance.

The data and images — 250 images per mile — were collected by a specially built Fugro truck during the annual pavement condition survey. The user can use the application to zoom in to see signage or other features.  The viewer can also customize the data, for pavement condition, or elevation, etc. that are shown integrated with the images. Still shots can also be captured easily.

People at UDOT are putting the tool to good use. “I use road view a lot, says Wes Starkenberg, UDOT Operations Design Engineer. “The new version is better in that it loads much faster and the clarity of the photos is much better. It appears it will be easier to navigate as well.”

Herscher and Starkenberg like the new tool

UDOT’s Statewide Pavement Engineer Gary Kuhl uses Visweb “to check if the pavement images to match what the reported condition data says, or to find examples of different levels of distress for presentations,” says Kuhl. ” I also check to see where the number of lanes change, or what the shoulders look like.” The road characteristics that can be viewed from Visiweb effect the scope and cost of maintenance projects that Kuhl plans.

Crash Studies Engineer Danielle Herscher likes “how it lists the County and Region for each route selected.” Users can narrow a search very quickly and “high resolution images allow users to see more details of the roadway. Also, I like how fast the program is.”

To get started, here are some helpful tips:

  • Follow this link to the find Visiweb.
  • The online application works with Firefox, Netscape Navigator and the two most recent versions of Internet Explorer.
  • Use the “configure” button to select the data you need. First, choose the data from the drop-down menu, then click the “add” button to populate your customized list.
  • Use the “help” button if you have questions.

The new Visiweb tool is an easy to use and very helpful tool for anyone at UDOT, from traffic engineers to Public Involvement Managers, and will improve the way UDOT manages the state transportation system.

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