March 11Transportation for the NationCase Study Kentucky:Linkage of the Transportation centerline to HPMS, other route dependantdatabases, and e911TFTN Strategic Plan Use Case
OverviewIn the late 1990’s the Kentucky Transportation Public Road Centerline projectwas originally conceived as the brainchild of Greg Witt from the Kentuckytransportation Cabinet (KYTC) as a way to derive better statistical informationand analytical products from all of the centerline data for the State. Gregrealized very early on that there was a definite need to improve the State’sgeospatial data infrastructure in to more spatially accurate geographicinformation system (GIS) powered by a data model compiled entirely bylinearly referenced and routable data. Tremendous effort was put forth tocontract with Area Development Districts from around the State to collect allthe centerline data. These data were to be the foundation geospatial layerthat could be used by other agencies within the state, the Federal HighwayAdministration (FHWA) as well as the general public. They represent the GPScollection, dissemination, update cycle, statewide E-911 repository and linkagebetween other data sources that would not otherwise be possible without ahigh level of collaboration between all stakeholders.Project BackgroundWorking with the Area Development Districts as the rural equivalent of aMetropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Kentucky TransportationCabinet began the development of the Public Roadway Centerline pilotproject in 1999. This pilot project was initiated to use GPS technology to collectroadway centerlines in four distinctly different counties in select regions of theState. The pilot project was intended to GPS all the roads in the target regionsto help the State identify any issues associated with launching a State widecontract and to provide rough cost estimates. There was also the need tohave better highway information so that the State could more effectivelysubmit their data to FHWA HPMS. US DOT accuracy standards took precedentover other challenges of the time but the project met or exceededexpectations and the project was considered a complete success.Based on the findings from the pilot project that ended in 2000, the State wasable to contract with the Area Development Districts (ADD) to map the entireState. Several estimates from vendors were established beforehand to do thework and it was discovered that it was orders of magnitude cheaper to takeon the project “in house” or through the use of the ADDs than by specializedvendors. The state also attempted several means of data collection includingdigitizing off of aerial photography, ground survey and GPS collection. It wasthe GPS collection by actual feet on the ground that was able to meet thecost and accuracy standards and guidelines the teams were required tomeet.
The original roadway centerline data that was collected was stored andmaintained in ESRI’s ArcInfo coverages as individual county files. The otherroadway assets, such as functional class, lane widths, median types, etc., werestored in an Oracle database using the Oracle Highways software. Theseassets, being stored separately than the actual geometries, posed a problemfor proper long term storage and dissemination although much effort wentinto keeping the individual assets in sync with the roadway geometries. Propermaintenance of the geometries and assets in different data environments didallow for engineering dynamic segmentation to take place so that accurateasset locations could be mapped and consumed. A annual maintenancecycle of the locally owned roads was launched in 2005 so that individualcounty updates could be completed on a predetermined date once peryear. Also, in 2005 State maintained roadway centerlines were updated asroad projects were completed. This two processes were initiated to provide amore coherent and interoperable data model to be used in all applicationsdeveloped by the state. During this time period, the master data set wascompletely refactored and placed in another GIS application provided byEXOR Corporation (which has recently been purchased by Bentley Systems).This new database now serves as the Kentucky base transportation network forall state agencies. The Division of Geographic Information publishes the dataset for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to all other agencies andthe public as well as to other KYTC Divisions. This system serves as a datastorage mechanism for some KYTC owners of roadway data (i.e. ScenicByways, Bicycle Routes, Adopt a Highway, Truck Weights, etc) and also servesas a base transportation network to link to other databases for update of itsdata (i.e. PONTIS). Today the system maintains roughly 360,000 arcs that are afull LRS and routable.A process is run on a weekly basis to rebuild the data set in its entirety toincorporate any new updates from the previous week and then madeavailable for public consumption. State maintained roads are updated withintwo weeks of the roads opening to traffic. The state maintained roadscenterlines are now derived from the actual design files used to build the roadoverlaid within the database. As time permits, filed spot checks arecompleted using GPS equipment to verify and or update for as builtconditions. The local road centerlines are submitted by the ADD’s working incollaboration with the local governments of their assigned counties using aspecialized shapefile that is downloaded from a KYTC FTP site. This shapefilecontains all the necessary attributes for the purpose of fully relaying thoroughinformation in order to properly make changes to the local road centerlines
Before submission to the State, each county must standardize their data inaccordance with what is in that shapefile. The update schedule permits anupdate of local roads in all 120 counties every 2 weeks to attempt to serve E-911 and local initiatives. In reality most counties are updated once or twiceper year due to varying local issues.During the initial maintenance period the KYTC began collaboration with KSPwho had gained access to a grant to help enhance their E-911 system. Thismeant that each police cruiser was going to be retro-fitted with a mobilecomputer with software that would ingest the State transportation data set foruse in a variety of different applications including emergency response.Working with the state police prevented overlapping efforts and helped builda better data product for all 120 counties in the State.The address-enhanced centerline dataset is the state centerline with valueadded attributes like to/from address ranges for each arc on each route andspecific codes, which attaches geometries in the system with the exactattributes for any location along a specific route. Because several counties inthe state do not have a dedicated staff for maintaining their own roads datasets, regional efforts from better equipped counties help those counties if theyare willing to participate. Additionally, counties that border other states workwith the adjacent counties to ensure that the data has a fluent transactionacross state boundary lines. This collaboration is especially important in thecase of the Ohio border where E-911 operators maintain close relationshipsbetween other operators from different states.The HPMS program was one of the original catalysts for the project in 1999 sothat more accurate statewide statistics could be reported to FHWAconcerning the status and condition of our roadway network. Today the Stateuses and participates in the HPMS program and has established a ratingsystem based on the rideability of the route, congestion or volume, and safetywhich is derived from accident rates, against a homogenous road segment forthe entire federal aid eligible sections of roads. This data is used for statewideneeds analysis to identify possible future roadway projects.Lessons Learned and Challengeso Political issues at the local level are still prevalent.o There were at least 20 different assets/attributes in the original working data model before the move to the EXOR database. Any changes were made manually after communication took place between the GIS and data sections. After the move to EXOR the update of asset locations became automated when GIS edits take place. The process helps to eliminate the “human factor” in the update cycle.
When a change is performed on the road centerline the asset LRS location updates automatically without much human interaction. The new database now housed nearly 50 asset with more planned for the future. Some of these assets are actually stored in the database and some are asset location links that update the LRS location of assets stored in other databases. During the initial collection phase of this project, there were issues with accuracy, qualified staff and GPS technologies in general. The staff had to be trained to use the technology (both hardware and software) and there were tremendous challenges related to topology especially in the eastern part of the state where getting a “good enough” signal from the GPS satellite constellation was not an option due to interference from the surrounding terrain.o Better local buy in for more timely updates of locally owned roads and road name issues at the local level (i.e. 911 designated name of road vs. Fiscal Court official name). Better involvement at the Highway District level to include locals at an early stage in the design of new state maintained roads so that issues of bypassed roads and maintenance and ownership issues can be resolved before the new construction opens.o The State does not anticipate (m)any problems with the new HPMS guidelines because of original project that began in 1999resulting in the data being complete and very well maintained. The HPMS submission is therefore considered relatively trivial and a low risk activity.o The State realized very early on that data from other sources was nowhere near as accurate as the HPMS standards. This was an enticing factor for carrying out the data collection in-house using high quality GPS equipment.ConclusionsKentuckys main success was putting forth the resources and effort into buildinga spatially accurate route network to use as a foundation to build many, manyuses and applications. The building of the network was purposefully planned tobe used by many different organizations and entities and issues were discussedand considered during the planning stage. The second most importantsuccess was the resources and efforts were also equally applied to keep thetransportation network as up to date as possible. These efforts have allowedcountless consumers to use the information in their everyday jobs and theyhave confidence the network is accurate and complete as possible. Any andmost all roadway assets can easily be applied and made much more usefulbecause the base network is accurate and complete.Sources: Keith Dotson - Systems Consultant IT (Oversees all data issues with theData Management Branch, Transportation Systems Branch, Traffic CountyBranch, and cabinet wide Asset Management pertaining to the Highway
Information System). Josh Wentz (Geoprocessing Specialist 3, Team Leader ofAsset Management Team in the Data Management Branch). Bob Goodman(Branch Manager of the Administrative Branch, Acting Branch Manager of theData Management Branch), Kevin Cornette (Area Development District LeadGIS and technical advisor for the Roadway Centerline project), Greg Witt(Retired former Department Head at KYDOT). Additional team membersinclude: Arthur Box (GIS Team Lead), Angie Willhoit, Willard Jackson, KevinBishop (Team Leader Highway Information Team), Jeremy Ray, GretchenSanford, Charlie Nowlin, Jadie Tomlinson (Traffic Counting Branch Manager),Melissa Brown, Carol Brent (Transportation System/Cartography BranchManager), Crystal Casey, Bonnie Lynch, Dawn Mattingly, Casey Wells.