August 8th, 2011

UDOT PLANNING IS IN STEP

Optimize Mobility, by Catherine Higgins.

UDOT has received a coveted national award for developing a cutting edge Geographic Information System based web application.

Frank Pisani, John Thomas, Jack Dangermond and Andrea Moser. Dangermond is the founder of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), and organization that focuses on developing web-GIS applications. Moser is a consultant with Bio-West, a environmental consulting firm. (See a list of team members below.)

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.

The uPlan team was congratulated by UDOT Senior Team leaders in August 2011.

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

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Responses to “UDOT PLANNING IS IN STEP”

  1. Sounds like a great planning tool and hopefully will be shared with other government agencies throughout US. Nice work.

  2. Hello Frank,

    I saw the tail end of a presentation on UDOT at the Users Conference.

    I’m trying to get in to view UPLAN and am prompted for a user name and
    password. May I visit your site?

    Thanks,

    Bob (I am a GIS coordinator for project delivery/design in the Caltrans San Francisco Bay Area District Office)

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