How big data, cloud technology and GIS are changing infrastructure projects.
Big data. Cloud-based technology. Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These three concepts are changing the way governments and businesses operate. They’re increasing efficiencies, streamlining operations, facilitating better decision making, and saving time and money. They’re also transforming how SEH clients manage and interpret data on large-scale infrastructure projects.
Imagine all the scattered documents, spreadsheets, random forms and files a county manager or city engineer might have about their transportation system or drinking water infrastructure. That’s big data. Big data is a popular term for a large and complex collection of data that is difficult to gather, manage and process if only for the reason that it’s all over the place: in multiple locations, among numerous staff members, and in varying versions and formats.
While harnessing this data can be confusing and onerous, technology is making this information more accessible and, importantly, more usable. Rather than scattered about, imagine all of that information about your transportation system or drinking water infrastructure in one easy-to-find, easy-to-understand place. Side by side, from this data, you are suddenly able to see patterns, identify connections and make decisions you never would have thought of before.
Cloud-based technology is becoming more and more widely adopted—and for good reason. Cloud-based technology breaks down geographic barriers between people and data. It brings them closer together, streamlining workflow and increasing collaboration.
The cloud allows people and organizations access to shared information through any device that supports the web including mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktops and servers. Using the cloud, your project team members are able to access and collaborate on a document together in real-time, at the same time, rather than forwarding multiple files (from team member to team member) for review and edits.
At SEH, our team is helping our clients reap the benefits of big data and the convenience of cloud-based technology. We’re helping data and information flow within and across entire organizations in an efficient and meaningful way. It’s changing how our clients approach and manage data on large, complex infrastructure projects.
Recently, the City and County of Denver, Colo. hired SEH to assist with a planning project for the North Denver Cornerstone Collaboration (NDCC). The Mayor of Denver established the NDCC to oversee the planning and redevelopment of infrastructure and City-owned facilities along the Interstate 70 corridor in North Denver. The area includes the National Western Stock Show campus, as well as numerous residential neighborhoods and transportation corridors.
SEH helped the NDCC to harness large amounts of data from a variety of datasets to help their team make informed decisions about a major downtown redevelopment effort. To meet this goal, the SEH team created eight interactive maps to organize and present these various datasets, which included data about future projects, environmental issues, geotechnical investigations, street assessments, utilities, and other infrastructure assets and conflicts.
Suddenly, all of this information was available and accessible in one location. No need to search through hundreds of GIS layers and thousands of pages of scattered documents. By harnessing the power of GIS and cloud-based technology, the NDCC, its office staff and field consultants were able to successfully organize, manage and share real-time access and input on their data.