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How do you manage the following projects (i.e. what GIS software / platform would you use)?

 An extensive Footpath Construction & Renewal Program
 Improved drainage systems at x Street, y Street, z Avenue
 Traffic Management along A Avenue, B Road and C Road        
 Reconstruction of the following roads: K Street, S Court, D Road
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@Michael, will they (the software like ArcDekstop and MapInfo) work off the shelf without customization for this asset-management projects? –  portoalet May 18 '11 at 22:33
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I agree with Michael, with the cavaet, the it will depend upon the skill level of the user and how much one wants to spend on purchasing/deploying and managing the system. If you are willing to spend money, I am sure that the commercial vendors have shelf-ready solutions but don't expect to find that kind of package already assembled elsewhere (although it could probably be assembled). –  Dan Patterson May 18 '11 at 22:55
    
Do you want to do this on the web or desktop? Sources of data become a question as do types of users. Project Coordination apps are nothing new, you have lots of options. –  D.E.Wright May 18 '11 at 22:59
    
@DEWright I guess it starts with Desktop, and then eventually it will be web based? –  portoalet May 18 '11 at 23:03
    
@Dan have you ever worked with shelf-ready solution from the commercial vendors? –  portoalet May 18 '11 at 23:04
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5 Answers

Given finite budget, often the problem involves solving for x,y,z,A,B,C - where to spend the money in other words.

An extensive Footpath Construction & Renewal Program

The City of Austin Sidewalk Master Plan involved prioritizing sidewalk construction projects.

Improved drainage systems at x Street, y Street, z Avenue

Esri's Water Distribution CIP Template can be used in conjunction data describing existing condition, but it doesn't prioritize.

Reconstruction of the following roads: K Street, S Court, D Road

Compliance with FHWA's Highway Performance Monitoring System often uses GIS, and supports prioritization of highway funding.

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thanks for the examples, i need them :) –  portoalet May 19 '11 at 1:23
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Whoooohooo, tough call. I guess it all comes down to your plans. You have two strong options that you can follow through.

One, is a CAD based solution where you get data from the various contractors that you can overlay and easily see to coordinate the various projects. This would save you time and efforts as often you AE/Contractors are already in that realm, usually not GIS.

Two, you go the ESRI route; which can read in most CAD data and help you visualize all the data and spatially represent it.

You have different users with a different mission goal, MapServer can host the CAD data easily so you have a short publication path easily for the future web-platform.

But from the ESRI side, you can move to ArcGIS Server and then put up maps and applications also.

Both offer you pretty good support paths, in the near term the CAD path may actually have less burps since both Autodesk and Bentley easily go that route and have in the long run a less per seat cost than ESRI.

But on the other side, ESRI does have a lot of easy to access knownledge and tools that at the backend when you move to the web are easy to put into place. I have played in both areas and for this kind of thing, for me I saw CAD better, higher precision, data import/export was easier and was a lower cost.

Either way you have some customizing you need to do, but you can control that by being thoughtful on the front end.

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Intergraph provides solutions in this regard. Check out these links:

  1. Utilities
  2. Transportation
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I would prefer the ESRI products for this requirement. If some business specific action is not required, ESRI can be used off the shelf. I dont see a need of any 3 dimensional visualization, but Network and/or Spatial analysis could well be a part of it. I think ArcEditor with Network & Spatial extension should do the job.

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I would really wonder why spatial or network analyst would be really needed. Those are just added functions that when looking at project coordination or tracking doesn't really require much of those functions. I have worked on more than a few large systems for this area and really basic data interchange and tracking/visualization make up most of the functions. –  D.E.Wright May 19 '11 at 4:55
    
Agree, and if it's a case of only data generation they are not needed. But with such data in place, Network analysis could very well follow. Thats the reason I included it as well. –  ujjwalesri May 19 '11 at 5:08
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I think we also have to ask the question about stakeholders i.e. do you have external suppliers of data and/or do you supply data out to these stakeholders? If so, you may want to ask what format would be their preference too.

If you are starting out on the desktop, but may migrate to the web, then you may wish to invest in a Spatial RDBMS, if the project is large.

Looking at your requirements, I'd say the engineering nature of most of your requirements would point to a CAD system, which could store data on something like Oracle Spatial, which most other vendors can hoover up.

TfL have a massive Asset Management system developed with MapX on VB, and a very trick planning system for works and traffic management, all MapInfo based, but they are/were a MapInfo house.

The truth is, there are lots of COTS software that could fulfill your requirements, but all would require some customisation, in order to properly fulfill the requirements. But the important area for me is the stakeholders.

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