The National Academies

NCHRP 15-15 [Completed]

Collection and Presentation of Roadway Inventory Data

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: MCNC
Principal Investigator: Hassan A. Karimi
Effective Date: 2/15/1996
Completion Date: 5/31/1999

This research studied ways to improve the collection and presentation of physical roadway inventory data through the application of existing, emerging, and transferable technology. The technical viability and cost effectiveness were verified for the most promising data-collection technologies identified, as were the processes for populating databases that use these technologies to collect geometrics, features, and appurtenances data. Application of a linear indexing scheme to these databases permitted automation of straight-line diagram (SLD) production, proving the entire methodology feasible.

Highway agencies currently have different requirements for inventory data (i.e., different collection methods for gathering that data, different processing activities for treating and/or storing the inventory data, and different distribution needs for the collected and recorded inventory data). No one solution for inventory data collection and presentation will meet every state's needs, and no one collection system will accurately, rapidly, and cheaply gather all possible inventory items. However, since different data-collection technologies can be combined and since ongoing improvements in computer memory and data storage have substantially eliminated data capacity concerns, the question highway officials should now ask is, "What data do we need?" rather than, "What data can we collect?"

The North Carolina Supercomputing Center (NCSC) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, was awarded the contract to conduct NCHRP Project 15-15, "Collection and Presentation of Roadway Inventory Data." The agency final report addresses several important aspects of collecting, processing, storing, and presenting highway inventory data, evaluating each aspect individually before proceeding to attempt to combine methodologies. This presentation format should be especially useful to state highway officials. The report emphasizes not only that information systems containing roadway inventory data should be needs-driven rather than technology-driven, but also that an understanding of the entire cycle of inventory data collection and use will allow state DOTs to avoid some of the common pitfalls that others have experienced through the years. The procedure followed in this research project for the evaluation of the different inventory data-collection methods forms the foundation for a testing protocol that could enable highway agencies and vendors to evaluate data-collection methods in a standardized way. Results from this research are published as NCHRP Report 437, "Collection and Presentation of Roadway Inventory Data."

Status: Research is complete.

Product Availability: The agency's revised final report has been published as NCHRP Report 437, "Collection and Presentation of Roadway Inventory Data."

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