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GIS helps Philadelphia implement massive project

Philadelphia, US: The city administration in Philadelphia is using Esri’s ArcGIS software to give shape to its ambitious traffic light replacement program. The project, which is being funded in part by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, aims at replacing 87,000 incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

The total savings that will result from lower use of electricity, greater longevity of LED bulbs and the fixed department costs to replace bulbs are expected to be around USD 1 million per year.

Besides, it will also help in providing data access to other departments within the city, resulting in a return on investment and wider use of the data across a variety of public works functions.

“The opportunity to capture the asset data for the light replacement project and use it for other applications within the Department of Streets and share it with other departments saves the city a considerable amount of time and money,” says Andy Mehos, GIS manager for the city’s Department of Streets. “It is significant enough to offset any cost of software development and the purchase of equipment. After observing our success in implementing this project, other city departments are considering similar GIS [geographic information system] projects of their own.”

The streets department employed a consultant to develop a custom GIS application integrated with ArcGIS that supplies a spatially enabled mobile solution for tracking street-related city assets. The application’s bar code-scanning capability provides a quick way to add an LED bulb record to the geodatabase while in the field. In addition to LED bulbs, the department is capturing asset data about traffic heads, traffic control boxes, and light and sign pole attachments with the application.

Source: GovPro