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The Data Collection Answers You Need: Frequently Asked Questions

If you don't have an asset inventory, or you simply don't trust your data, Cartegraph can help you build one quickly and cost-effectively. From pavement and sidewalks to traffic lights and storm drains, our Data Services team combines advanced technology and superior know-how to deliver asset data that’s accurate and detailed.

Looking to learn more about about the data collection process? Check out our frequently asked questions below to learn more.

Why is data collection important?

There are four key reasons why data collection is important to your organization. Data collection: 

  1. Helps you know what assets you have. It is common for our customers to have thousands of assets—in multiple  classes—spread across their jurisdiction. These assets are constantly changing as organizations retire their older/damaged assets and add new ones. Frequent data collection provides you a detailed understanding of exactly what you have. 
  2. Pinpoints where your assets are located. While it's beneficial to have a database of your asset inventory, many times this data does not include an accurate location for each asset. Advancements made in mobile-mapping technologies make it easy to collect highly accurate GPS coordinates for your assets. 
  3. Lets you know what condition your assets are in. Condition data is critical for any asset management system. If you don't know what condition your assets are in, how can you plan the type of maintenance work you need? Data collection provides you with an easy snapshot of the condition of your individual assets at the time of the collection activity. 
  4. Gives you the ability to predict the future. Frequent and accurate data collection allow you to create accurate performance models for your assets, and in turn, allows you to better optimize your resources and investment strategies for operations, maintenance, replacements, and improvement. 

What common asset types can Cartegraph collect?

With the help of our data services partners, the Cartegraph team can help you collect any asset that is in the right-of-way and clearly visible while driving. Typically, this includes, but is not limited to: pavement, sidewalks, ADA ramps, medians, pavement markings and striping, hydrants, street signs, traffic signs, traffic lights, traffic control cabinets, street lights, manhole covers, trees, and guardrails. Our partners are also trained to collect assets that can't be captured from vehicle-based image acquisition systems. So, if you're looking to collect park or facility assets, or need to inspect pavement that is difficult to reach or drive upon—we're here to help. 

Are your data services dependent upon using Cartegraph software? How is the data delivered?

While we highly recommend managing your operations with Cartegraph, our data services are not dependent upon or exclusive to using our software. Once our team helps to collect your organization's data, we clean and optimize it for delivery into your current software through a GIS file or a spreadsheet. Your organization will receive every detail, from basic information to condition ratings. If you're a Cartegraph user, we'll load your data directly into your system—ready for you to use.

Does doing this asset collection make me compliant with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements? 

Yes. Pairing our sign collection with a nighttime inspection makes you MUTCD compliant. 

How does Cartegraph assess pavement conditions?  

Cartegraph performs pavement condition assessments according to one of two industry-recognized methodologies: Pavement Condition Index (PCI) and Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER). 

  • PCI: This method is standardized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and was developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It requires the identification of the types, extents, and severity of various distresses. Based on the amount of these distresses, a PCI score ranging from 0-100 is calculated—the higher the score, the better condition the pavement is in. The PCI method is detailed and thorough since the calculations require accurate measurements. 
  • PASER: This method was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Transportation Information Center, and assigns a rating from 1-10 based on the overall observation of pavement segments. The PASER method is simple, easy, and fast, since there is no need for measurements of specific distresses to classify pavement conditions. 

Both pavement methodologies have their pros and cons, but if used properly, each can help organizations maintain an effective pavement management system. The Cartegraph Data Services team can assess pavement conditions by using either of these two standards, and our own pavement management software can incorporate either rating. 

How do you track and record street segments of different conditions?

The  Cartegraph Data Services team is well versed on segmentation best practices, and can track each segment and provide condition data for it. If you have already performed street segmentation, we will use that  information to inspect and provide the condition of each individual segment. If your organization is new to pavement management and you do not have a segmented street network or would like to update the segmentation scheme, our team will help you every step of the way.  

How often do you recommend doing a pavement redrive after an initial data collection?

We recommend a pavement redrive every three years. Regular assessments help you understand how your assets are performing over time, and see how your work is holding up. In addition, the assessments can be analyzed to make data-driven decisions on work planning, material selection, and more. 

How does the imagery you collect coincide with GIS? 

All asset data that is extracted through the collection process is geo-referenced thanks to state-of-the-art data collection tools and vehicles. Our partner vehicles are equipped with powerful GPS antenna, providing you with better than 8 inches global accuracy as they record the location of your assets. 

How do we limit citizen requests while your partner vehicles are collecting data? 

Naturally, people are curious when they see data collection vehicles during their daily commutes. To keep your citizens informed, Cartegraph will provide a press release for you to share with local media, on your website, and through your social media channels ahead of the project. 

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