/ Event Coverage / Exploring the Infrastructure Lifecycle

Exploring the Infrastructure Lifecycle

Matt Ball on January 23, 2015 - in Event Coverage, Land Development, Surveying/Mapping

David Totman, public works and AEC manager at Esri, opened the day today at the Geodesign Summit, talking about the different infrastructure life cycle phases of plan, design, build, operate from a GIS perspective. When the built environment and natural environment come together nicely things go well, but data gathering and analysis are a critical part of ensuring that alignment. With today’s workflows, there are data gaps along the progression that new tools address.


At the planning level, we need a regional perspective with planning that refines the intent as more data are gathered. Intent is part of every infrastructure project and at this phase sharing with the public and communicating intent are key.


At this phase we start to refine specifics about materials and do some scenario planning. This is when we do some value option evaluations, refining material performance compared to cost and other objectives. At the final design there are engineering-grade details with surveys of the site and other high-resolution details that pass off to the builders.


The contractors receive all the information, but they fine tune and use only what data they need, but as we all know, not always to plan. This is when the design data loses some resolution and doesn’t necessarily match the design.


At the commissioned state, the asset is fully functionally and it’s a “do nothing” state until you have your first failure. At that point you go back to collecting data to understand and decide what you need to do for maintenance.

At the point of replacement the world has changed, you need to broaden horizons to evaluate and start the process again. If you have all the information about planning and design intent you have a jump on the process, but often the data doesn’t exist or you can’t get to it.

Esri has a number of tools and workflows that are aimed at improving the gathering of planning details to help ensure that the design phase meets the intent for the replacing infrastructure. GeoPlanner for ArcGIS is one of those tools where planners can explore land use and compare scenarios against objectives.

Esri holds the AEC Summit as part of the International Esri User Conference in San Diego from July 18-21. The event contains a Forum for High Accuracy that ties design and planning to precision and on-the-ground accuracy. It is the place for AEC professionals to gather for a GIS-centric view of infrastructure lifecycle tools from the company, and a place where the myth of GIS not being surveying grade is dispelled.


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About Matt Ball

Matt Ball is a former editor and publisher of V1 Media.

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