An old ironworker saying goes, “Rust never sleeps.” Leave steel out in the elements even for a short time, and rust will be showing up. It seems, in many parts of the country, that “Potholes never sleep.” Go to bed with the street nice and even; wake up to a crater in the middle of the road. Civil engineers have these nightmares and infrastructure companies have the answers. Now those companies have a new management tool as well.

Woolpert has designed the Cityworks GeoPhoto Tool to enable field crews and end users to spatially view linear assets, such as streets and bridges, and relevant work order information at the exact location along each asset. The tool leverages the GIS capabilities of Esri with Cityworks asset management software and allows work orders to be started, accessed, and completed from the field.

With this tool, field crews take a picture at a given point along a linear asset and upload it into the work order. The image conveys the condition of the asset when the work order was filed. It is pinned to the map by utilizing the photo’s geospatial coordinates along the linear asset and is compiled with relevant project data.

When the photo of the work order is selected, it lists specific details of that asset, including a timeline and history, as well as what work needs to be done. The tool also uses saved searches and helps identify regional project trends. A pavement assessment can now have 15-20 photos showing work events, all on one street, that’s probably an area that needs more than a little attention. By understanding the greatest need specific to location, cities can identify trouble spots and prioritize and allocate spending specific to that need.

Spatially viewing issues along a linear asset has been a consistent hurdle in work order management, since entering multiple issues that occur along one segment can be cumbersome in the field. The Cityworks GeoPhoto Tool provides a comprehensive, accurate and current record of each issue that occurs along the segment, thus providing a deeper understanding of the required maintenance for that asset.

In some situations, legal actions demand documented and defensible data specific to the maintenance performed. That underscores the importance of having accurate legacy data that can be accessed by management to alleviate known issues.

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