The Village of Riverside, IL has over 1,700 street signs within its 2 square mile municipal boundary, which equates to one street sign every 10 feet. Combine the number of signs in town with a small, full-time public works staff, and the result is the management and maintenance of the street sign inventory being a cumbersome undertaking. To assist with managing this inventory, the Public Works staff asked the village Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff to create a process that would allow the department to store and update the inventory in a digital environment.
Recently, a mobile GIS data viewing and editing application, called Collector, was released by a GIS software company called Esri. The Collector application is available for use on the Apple or Android tablets already owned by the village, so no additional hardware costs were needed. The licensing for this application is included in a bundle with the GIS desktop software licensing the village already pays for, which adds further value to the program without the need to spend additional funds. The Collector application allows Riverside’s Public Works staff to update a sign’s location, maintenance, and condition information in the field as part of their everyday workflow. More importantly when the staff member updates the sign information, the changes are seen instantly on the device and are available to staff throughout the village within 48 hours as a layer in the village’s web-based mapping application, MapOffice™. Having the ability to make changes to the inventory digitally removes the need of owning and operating large format printers that are typically used for printing paper maps for use in the field and reduces the turnaround time for making the most up-to-date information available to all village staff.