General Coordinator of Cost of Transport Infrastructure
Felipe Fernandes Queiroz
Technical Support for Transportation Infrastructure
The complexity of investments in national transport infrastructure requires an efficient planning and management of their projects. In this scenario, the decision-making happen where several analysis “criteria” manifest themselves in the territory, so the possibility to evaluate how the interaction of these analyses can influence those processes is essential. In this way, methods of Multicriteria Evaluation (MCE) associated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can provide the necessary subsidy to the planning and management of that infrastructure, especially in moments of decision.
Since 2006, the National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT) invests in geotechnology to support the planning and management of their projects. Initially, the work consisted in the construction of a spatial database representative of the national transport infrastructure (DNITGeo) that extends to the present day, and it maturation, reached the stage of acquisition of high quality data from the demand new projects.
One example of this moment is the project of Restructuring the Pavement Management System (PMS) which, in addition to reformulate its methodology, deals with the characterization topographic and visual, functional assessment (International Regularity Index – IRI and Visual Continuous Survey – LVC) , register signaling (vertical and horizontal) and security devices, survey measures deflection by FWD (Falling Weight Deflectometer), cadastre and assessment of special works and environmental characterization of 10,000 km of federal highways.
Quality data about the object of planning are fundamental to project efficiency, however, only the data are not enough. Initially, it is necessary to have hardware capable of storing this data volume, as well as specific software for processing and generating the necessary information.
It is exactly in this moment that DNIT invested in the expansion and modernization of its technology. Modern computers and robust machines for the processing and storage of this data volume (storages and servers) were purchased, as well as licensing specialists program ESRI (ArcGIS), AutoDesk, and recently the Quantm.
The Quantm process various information such as digital land models (DTM), territories with restrictions usage (protected areas, indigenous territories, etc..), way mandatory areas and similar in order to suggest routes for road nets and their costs of implantation. However, these costs and parameters should be appropriate to the standards and the reality of DNIT.
Conclude all this investments in data, hardware and software, it is time to acquire the key elements for the consolidation of a GIS: spatial intelligence and knowledge. The GIS has caused a technocratic bustle in contemporary organizations. We observed many repeated speeches that selling the deployment of these tools as the solution to the planning and management of institutional projects. What reduces this important system to a simple computational technique.
The idealization of GIS preceded the emergence of expert systems and the evolution of computer hardware, which led us to the current scenario of technology. GIS are mainly the result of the theoretical and methodological basis, built mainly by sciences whose objects of study are the space and the phenomena manifested in it. However, it was with the advent of powerful technology tools of actually information that happen a great widespread use of GIS – most because of the facilities offered by the software and interfaces for easy handling.
Therefore, GIS goes beyond the computer programs. There is a whole knowledge in spatial analysis at the core of its development, which requires specialists workforce, starting from a theoretical character space, apply efficiently the possibilities of GIS for planning purposes and decision making. Thus, GIS is a consequence of the evolution of information technology aligned with the development of knowledge of spatial analysis.
According to this idea, DNIT held a territorial modelling study for the implantation of federal highways planned. This study aimed to interrelate the factors constraining the possible construction of planned roads of the Federal Roads System (SFV). Thus, it was realised a territorial system crossed by each of these roads, supporting the activities of planning and management of SFV.
To do so, we started with a systemic conception and we used a modelling based on the principles of territorial MCE as a methodological tool in the construction of this work. It is based on the knowledge of the elements (“criteria”) that compose this system and, especially on the inter-relationship (“Combination”) which it was composed a model suitable to the needs of the planning and decision making. In this context, the use of Geographic Information System of the SFV, the DNITGeo was essential to achieve the proposed goals. This study was presented at the Latin American Geospatial Forum (LAGF) 2012.
As a result of all this work and the acquisition of Quantm, the Department started a research project for the modelling of these costs references of the national infrastructure of transport. The idea is, from a multicriteria evaluation, to suit the costs parameters used in the processing of Quantm, providing unprecedented challenges to DNIT.
The challenges begin by data acquisition and normalization with the required resolution for the development of engineering drafts, including the definition of the relevant criteria for this scale of analysis and its subsequent combination, allowing the construction of representative scenarios of the actual projects costs.
In this way, the aim of this project consists in improving the use of assessment tools Multicriteria Evaluation and GIS in planning the national transportation infrastructure through the development of this spatial intelligence. This evolution is a continuous institutional effort. In brief, the results of this research will be published.