PA Water Environment Association Annual Technical Conference

PennTEC 2017

April 23-26, 2017


Featuring SSM's Al Guiseppe: Public-Facing Maps: Using GIS as a Community Outreach Tool

The presentation will provide real-world water/wastewater system examples that use online GIS applications to transform their infrastructure data into an easy-to-use operations asset management system.  This low-cost approach captures vital data within a secure geo-spatial database.  By creating customized mobile web applications, field-critical data (material description, installation date, inspection reports and service history) is available when needed most and accessible to operators in the office or in the field.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) emerged in the 1970s and became accessible enough for deployment within local government and utility companies in the 1990’s. For the past 20 years, municipal authorities were sold on the power of GIS in asset management.  But after investment in the hardware, software, and data conversion, many small water and wastewater systems found themselves with a system that is not living up to their expectations.  Cost-cutting measures may have relegated updating and maintaining the GIS data to in-house operators with whisper-down-the-lane training. Hesitant to invest in a poorly-understood system, but eager to capitalize on the benefits, small utilities are seeking a low-cost, effective asset management approach. Recent advancements in web-based GIS applications, similar to Google Earth, have provided new means to create, store, and access GIS data.