Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Oracle Spatial Transportation Asset Management

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Challenge

The UDOT maintenance division is responsible for maintaining 5,900 miles of interstate, primary, and secondary roads and over 250,000 transportation-related assets including bridges, pavement striping, drainage systems, digital sign boards and guardrails. Over several years, the maintenance division has developed a number of Oracle-based reporting and analysis tools to help supervisors assess, plan and schedule required maintenance. However, these tools primarily produced tabular reports. Given the size of their road and asset network, UDOT wanted to spatially enable their Oracle infrastructure to provide a map interface to maintenance crews and management. This would let them more efficiently deploy and track limited resources, reduce costs and allow implementation of field verification methods, such as GPS.

Solution

UDOT worked with Farallon Geographics to create an enterprise-wide spatial database that would serve as the foundation to spatially enable existing Oracle applications, as well as develop new geospatial applications.

UDOT’s staff has strong Oracle database expertise including Oracle 9i, Oracle Forms, Reports, Developer, Designer and Oracle HTML DB web application development. However they were unfamiliar with Oracle Spatial and in particular, how it could seamlessly integrate with UDOT’s existing geospatial tools such as ESRI’s ArcSDE, ArcGIS and ArcIMS.

UDOT and Farallon reviewed several technologies to integrate spatial and business data into a web-based application. Previously, the tabular information was accessible to a limited number of trained staff through Oracle forms. The web-based application extends the availability of the data to all maintenance staff, including those at remote locations. A web-based application also speeds up access and improves ease of use. An authorized user can visually ascertain the status of any assets, and make database queries within the web application to analyze the relationships between spatial and non-spatial information.

Farallon integrated Oracle Spatial with ESRI’s ArcSDE to enable users to view and edit data. Data could also be edited and viewed using ArcGIS tools and the SQL-level tools in Oracle Spatial, Oracle Forms, Oracle Reports, HTML DB and other applications. This maintains one single source of data to support multiple functions, eliminating duplication and errors. It also provided UDOT’s IT staff with the ability to choose the best tool for application development.

This project allowed UDOT to pilot a spatially enabled asset management system focused on transportation maintenance and operations assets, without having to deploy a new or separate GIS. It also created a scalable foundation which allows UDOT to build additional spatial applications within their existing Oracle infrastructure and internal staff capabilities. Through Farallon’s on-site Oracle Spatial expertise and training, UDOT staff now has the in-house expertise and flexible tools to leverage geospatial information and functionality in any application.