In local government, preparing a department’s budget for an upcoming
fiscal year can be challenging considering all the unknown variables
that determine the available funds for both operational and special
project work, such as tax revenue and unexpected capital expenditures.
This planning process can be complicated further if information on the
quantity and quality of the assets being budgeted is incomplete,
unknown, or inaccurate. To assist with developing a more accurate
supply budget for pavement marking maintenance, the City of Des Plaines,
IL Engineering Department asked the city’s Geographic Information
System (GIS) to assist with developing a database that could be used to
track the actual location of the pavement markings that the city is
responsible for maintaining in order to more accurately track the amount
of materials needed to conduct maintenance on each marking.
The city did not have an existing inventory to work with, either in
digital or paper form, so the GIS department was free to develop a
solution that could be tailored to the information requested for
collection by the Engineering Department. To this end, a file
geodatabase was setup which contained information on the type of marking
being collected (i.e. stop bar), the color of the marking (i.e. white),
and the length of the marking, which was measured automatically within
GIS. To collect this information, internal Engineering Department
staff already familiar with how to use the desktop GIS software was
trained on how to enter information into the database, while using
resources such as the city’s aerial imagery and recently updated Google
Street View imagery, to determine where each marking was located and
what type of marking it is.
By systematically going through the city and drawing in these
markings, the Engineering Department staff was able to develop a
comprehensive marking inventory that could be easily analyzed and
reviewed in a spatial environment. Viewing and managing the information
this way gives context to where the marking is located, allowing for
better coordination between marking maintenance and other department
projects, such as road reconstruction or utility system improvements.