Geographic Informations Systems (GIS)
All Chen Moore and Associates' (CMA) engineering and GIS staff completed an ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) training program in 2009 called "Intro to GIS." Follow-up training for advanced GIS applications included aerial interpretation, lidar processing, surface model creation and quantity analysis. A GIS task force has been established with key users in each office to provide daily GIS support to engineers.
CMA has been on the cutting edge of GIS/engineering integration for over 10 years. All our engineers are trained and well-versed in GIS which is uncommon in most engineering firms. This is a powerful advantage over traditional firms that house engineering and GIS in different departments in that we understand the desired output and apply GIS tools to achieve it. We routinely use GIS data, analysis and procedures for engineering planning studies, design, permitting and construction administration. As such, we have developed in-house scripts and procedures that enable us to gather and process GIS data efficiently. Much of this development has been geared towards the design of utility drainage projects, which require building 3-D surface models to delineate drainage basins; extracting data on surface area and volumes; then extracting those results into pipe flow diagrams; and finally importing this information into stormwater models. We have built complicated geo-databases for numerous clients with varying criteria. We have applied these tools to single parcel clients to very large county projects. These tools were initially developed as full procedure tools, from start to finish at the click of a button, but over time they were broken out into components which proved to be more adaptive to varying client needs. One advantage of our small firm performing these complicated analyses is that we have developed these tools generically and can adapt the technology and procedures to any client of any size.
Chen Moore and Associates has extensive experience with the integration of GIS technology. The use of existing GIS data during the preliminary investigation stage is advantageous. The main benefit is that GIS data can be used for discussions and preliminary layouts before a field survey is complete. This takes survey out of the critical path of design, speeding up the overall project process. There are also other GIS functions which allow for analysis, modeling and conceptual design. The display capabilities of the technology allow for maps that are more easily understood by the community than traditional CAD maps, allowing for better communication with residents and city staff.
The following data can be used in streamlining the project process:
- Parcel Data – Used to identify property lines and residents within a project area
- Roads Data – Used for basic mapping and coordinating with sunshine one
- Project Boundary – Created by project to determine surrounding properties and projects
- Aerial Photographs – Identify possible field conditions for conceptual layout
- Drainage / Sewer / Water Atlas – Used to determine existing conditions
- USDA Soils – Used for drainage permit maps
- Flood Zones – Used for drainage permit maps
- LIDAR – Used for topographic modeling of drainage basins
- Building Footprints – Used for calculating pervious / impervious areas for drainage modeling
- Rainfall Data – Used for drainage modeling
- Contamination Sites – Used for dewatering permits