New technology in the form of low-cost, high-definition, GPS enabled cameras now lets you easily and quickly capture asset data along roads.  You can now capture all your field data with just one field trip – just like the big end of town.

Many road infrastructure maintenance and management companies have been using video to take a rolling snap shot of their assets.  The systems that are set up to capture these videos are quite sophisticated with multiple cameras (side, forward, rear and pavement) all linked to a GPS and synchronised. The capture of the videos has been a specialist activity in the past that has been outsourced to service providers.

These videos are supplied together with GPS tracks so that the position of individual frames can be determined as they are played.  This enables valuable data to be captured such as the location and condition of signs, safety concerns, environmental factors and maintenance issues.

There are four distinct benefits of using video as a medium to capture road asset data.

1. Safety
We have all had the experience of being pulled up behind a vehicle that displays the sign “caution vehicle stopping frequently”.  Stopping regularly along a road is dangerous, particularly when the driver is focused on making observations and not concentrating on driving.

2. Cost
Roads by their nature are long and extensive. Visit to particular sections are costly and often different members of an organisation will need to visit for different reasons (safety, vegetation and maintenance). These costs soon add up.

3. Time
Doing more with less is the order of the day.  We can’t afford to waste our time driving to different sections of road.  You can use your time more effectively by getting a designated driver to capture road videos for your organisation.  You, and everyone else in your business, can then later fast forward through the videos of the road until you find what you are looking for.

4. Climate
Driving the road once to capture videos reduces the number of unnecessary cars on the road.  That has to reduce carbon emissions and has to be good for climate change and our planet.

GeoDrive – linking the video to ESRI products
Using low cost high definition GPS enabled cameras, such as the contour,   just about anyone can drive along a road and capture videos.  Then by linking the video to ArcPad or ArcGIS via GeoDrive you can easily capture data from the videos.