State departments of transportation (DOTs) and other transportation agencies are responsible for development, utilization, and maintenance of a spatially distributed system of physical assets. A DOT’s management structure necessarily is also distributed spatially, but may be more influenced by the specific concerns associated with bridges, pavements, and other particular classes of assets. While the organization’s overarching goal is to seek the highest possible return on the public’s investment in transportation infrastructure, ensuring that available resources are applied most effectively across asset classes is a continuing challenge. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) actively support the DOT application of transportation asset-management principles and practices, and substantial work has been done to explore and provide guidance on the subject. Application of GIS technologies to transportation asset management is advancing rapidly through improvements in hardware and software for computation, location measurement, condition assessment and monitoring, and data management protocols. Available technologies offer many new applications that can help DOTs to do their jobs more effectively.
The objectives of this research were to (1) develop guidance for how DOTs and other transportation agencies can enhance their asset-management capabilities through effective adoption of GIS technologies and (2) encourage more extensive adoption of GIS technologies by conducting pilot demonstrations and workshops on implementation of GIS-based asset management. The guidance developed is intended to present (a) for senior DOT leadership, the business case for investment in GIS technologies; and (b) for practitioners, information on lessons learned from current practice, approaches to evaluating benefits of adoption of GIS technologies, and strategies for how an agency can effectively apply GIS technologies in transportation asset management. The research team's final report, including an Executive Guide and an Implementation Guide, was published as NCHRP Report 800: Successful Practices in GIS-Based Asset Management
. Digital file versions of the report, the two guides as separate documents, and a set of PowerPoint workshop slides are available for download; click here