Using GIS to Support Housing Departments
August 5, 2020
What do you think of when you hear “GIS”? For us, GIS is this incredibly powerful tool that allows you to visualize your data easily, effectively, and creatively – it gives you the power to interpret your surroundings in different ways, and for different purposes. One of the many ways GIS has proven its value to us is its capabilities in infrastructure management. Housing departments have an important but challenging role, and over the past 10 years we have been able to support them in a lot of ways – ranging from conducting infrastructure inventories, developing digital housing databases that make maintenance more efficient, to helping with site selections and custom lot plans, just to name a few.
One of the projects that we have found to provide substantial benefits for our clients is an infrastructure inventory. When paired with our survey-grade drone, we can offer advanced services and create more refined tools through these projects by capturing data more efficiently, and with sharpened precision. This includes extremely accurate locations for all utilities and buildings, making it easier to manage, plan, and develop your infrastructure. The nature of using a drone to collect data also allows us to fly virtually anywhere, helping to map out areas a lot faster and that are less accessible with traditional methods.
We have taken the infrastructure inventory process and enhanced it with MapAki, our user-friendly, web-based GIS solution. Not only are utilities such as fire hydrants, water lines and shutoffs, and septic systems marked out, but additional information like maintenance records and engineered drawings are brought into the database alongside them. A simple location of a building is paired with all available photos, floorplans, damage reports, and other pertinent information such as addressing and current tenants. By using MapAki, all of this crucial information is accessible from one central location with just the click of a button.
With these trying times and the importance of following safety restrictions, an infrastructure inventory and database can be a great solution for community asset management with its contactless approach, and wide range of benefits. This is just one of the many great ways we can use GIS to improve daily processes. Do you have an idea about how GIS can support your work? We would love to hear it!