August 8th, 2011
UDOT PLANNING IS IN STEPOptimize Mobility, by Catherine Higgins.
UDOT has received a coveted national award for developing a cutting edge Geographic Information System based web application.
UDOT has taken advantage of recent advances in web GIS and developed a user friendly, state of the art planning tool. uPlan, an online map that integrates data from many different sources, was recently recognized by Esri with a Special Achievement Award for as being in the top tier of web GIS applications in the United States. UDOT was one of only 100 to be recognized from a field of over 100,000 projects. “Getting this award indicates that UDOT is in-step with the world in employing the latest GIS technologies,” says John Thomas, Director of Planning at UDOT.
UDOT’s original goal was to build or find a data-sharing tool that could display information spatially. The project was started over four years ago after UDOT conducted an extensive review of available methods and tools. uPlan developers eventually combined two tools, the ArcGIS server and the Adobe Flex viewer.
Over the last two years, more data has been added and the application has been improved with customized widgets. The latest version includes live data from ePM, UDOT’s statewide online project tracking application. External agencies like planning organizations and utility companies have also contributed data. Soon, data owners will be able to upload data from a PC desktop.
While providing access to data was the goal, better partnering has been an important outcome. “We are approaching the ability to display and eventually analyze nearly any type of business data,” says Thomas. uPlan encourages broad participation in the planning process by presenting data in an easy to understand format and allowing and encouraging participants to bring their own information to the table.”
New advances in technology lets UDOT put information in the hands of many users where previously, only GIS analysts had access. With about one hour of training, users can easily learn to “build a custom map in minutes,” says Thomas, by simply clicking boxes. And, data silos can be combined and viewed together to allow for better collaboration among agencies. For example, users can view future UDOT projects along with planned utility improvements to see potential conflicts. Automated functions within uPlan allow users to get detailed reports and fact sheets that pull and format data from different databases.
Congratulations, uPlan Development Team!
Frank Pisani, UDOT GIS Specialist
Tom Twedt, Bio-West, Consultant Project Manager
Andrea Moser, Bio-West, GIS Specialist/Technologist
April Brough, Bio-West, GIS Specialist
Stephen Lawe, RSG, System Architecture
Spencer Jenkins, AGRC, Governance
Bert Granberg, AGRC, GIS Specialist
Bryce Lovell, RSG, Developer
John Thomas, UDOT, Project Manager