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Writing Successful GIS RFPs (2010)
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Presented at WVAGP meeting 7 Dec 2010 by Rob Rickard, Woolpert.

Presented at WVAGP meeting 7 Dec 2010 by Rob Rickard, Woolpert.

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  • Introduction Thanks to Kurt and the WVAGP committee for allowing us to present Brief background on me
  • These consultants should know their work so don’t tell them how to do it. Clarity in describing what is desired while leaving enough room for alternative approaches You aren’t putting out an RFQ to stimulate the economy but for an overall need. Make sure this need is well-defined.
  • RFQ is driven by state law and CCNA and QBS It is to limit the influence of price/cost, upfront, on the selection committee RFQ doesn’t mean the highest price/cost will be paid for services. Means best qualified and best respondent. Selection committee should rank the respondents. Negotiate with #1, if #1 is too high, go with #2
  • If a RFP is put together well, then there shouldn’t be huge differences in the costs A Checklist can assist when reviewing responses to see if consultants answered everything and meet your requirements Questions and Answers can assist with clarification for all parties but be cognizant of overall goals. Don’t open doors to others. Ex: Question was asked by a consultant on whether the agency would relax the vertical tolerance requirements for MMS LiDAR acquisition. Agency responded yes that they would relax the tolerances from 0.10’ to 0.30’. This would allow the precision that the agency was originally looking for not to be met, allowed for another method of collection (airborne/helix) to be possibly used, and may confuse the other respondents, who had the tools available to meet the requirements, to rework their responses and cost estimates to meet the new requirements.
  • CEs can be separately sealed from the RFP so that the committee that reviews the RFPs are not jaded by the costs and can evaluate the proposals on QUALIFICATIONS first. Try to limit the respondents amount of paper submitted but keep allow them enough room to adequately describe the methods that they will do your project. Some can on and on and on about qualifications Resources should be made available to a project for the given schedule but keep in mind that delays can hinder the availability of resources (planes, cameras, etc). A consultant can’t allow their equipment and personnel to stay idle and wait while decisions are being made by you or County Commissioners. Idle time costs the consultant lots of money.
  • Refer to Brooks Act and WV statutes
  • Thinking and asking different departments may turn up other funding sources and may eliminate redundant services within your organization Is this data going into a more robust GIS system (ArcSDE, Oracle Spatial, or other central repositories) or will the data be used by one or two persons
  • You can phase this data depending on the amount of change in your county/area, the specific needs of the county Web based tools are available for the immediate QA/QC of data. Woolpert is developing web-based tools for client being able to redline the orthos.
  • What happens when the responses come in and it is higher than you anticipated? Where will you try to access more money to get what you want or are you going to cut services? What happens when the responses come in and they are lower than you anticipated? Do you have to return the grant money? Why are they lower? Did the respondents not understand the requirements?
  • The flying altitudes are average altitudes and differentiate with the terrain.
  • NSSDA sort of replaced NMAS because of digital boom
  • Advantages are
  • Advantages are
  • You can review the images so that they meet expectations (no atmospheric interferences)
  • Digital Surface Models (DSM's)   DSM's measure the height values of the first surface on the ground. This  includes terrain features, buildings, vegetaion and power lines etc. They therefore provides a topographic model of the earth's surface . Used for 3d flythru, support location-based systems, viewsheds, and simulated environments Digital Terrain Models (DTM's) DTM's provide a topographic model of the bare earth / underlying terrain of the earth's surface. They are usually derived from DSM's by digitally removing the cultural (man-made) and vegetation features described above.   As a result of these processes, the stated accuracy of a DTM will usually be slightly lower than that of the DSM from which it is derived, paricularly in area of continuous and dense building and tree coverage.
  • What are the classifications? Buildings, Roads, High Veg, Low Veg, Bushes, Bare Earth Colorized Height Aerial LiDAR image
  • Costs for WV will be slightly different than costs for Indiana because of terrain Ohio statewide (OGRIP) costs in 2006 were $4.3m, 1’=200’ LiDAR + Orthos, 2m post-spacing Lidar, Buyup for Counties were $175/tile using accurate LiDAR DEM for image orthrectifications Ohio 43,000 sq miles and 88 counties With newer hardware and software, the Ohio project overall project costs could be lower if priced today. WV is appx. 24,000 sq miles and 55 counties $135/sq mile for Orthos + LiDAR for 1 foot (1”=200’) and 1.5 meter LiDAR posting hydro (USGS)


  • 1. Presentation to the WVAGP Writing a Successful GIS RFP Robert A. Rickard – Geospatial PM
  • 2. Overview
    • Situation…..
    • You are putting out an RFP to seek QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS to do work that meets your requirements
    • Clarity in the needs
    • Why?
    • What is driving the need for this RFQ?
  • 3. RFI vs RFQ vs RFP
    • RFI = Request for Information = Request made typically during the project planning phase where a buyer cannot clearly identify product requirements, specifications, and purchase options. RFIs clearly indicate that award of a contract will not automatically follow.
    • RFQ = Request for Quotations = Documents used in soliciting price and delivery quotations that meet minimum quality specifications for a specific quantity of services. Consultants respond to a RFQ with firm quotations, and generally the lowest-priced quotation is awarded the contract.
    • Source “www.businessdictionary.com”
  • 4. RFI vs RFQ vs RFP (cont.)
    • RFP = Request for Proposal = Document used in sealed bid procurement procedures through which a purchaser advises the potential suppliers of (1) statement and scope of work, (2) specifications, (3) schedules or timelines, (4) contract type, (5) data requirements, (6) terms and conditions, (7) description of services to be procured, (8) general criteria used in evaluation procedure, (9) special contractual requirements, (10) technical goals, (11) instructions for preparation of technical, management, and/or cost proposals. RFPs are publicly advertised and suppliers respond with a detailed proposal, not with only a price quotation. They provide for negotiations after sealed proposals are opened, and the award of contract may not necessarily go to the lowest bidder .
    • Source “www.businessdictionary.com”
  • 5. Best Practices
    • Consider these first:
      • Research your subject (What is GIS? Orthos? LiDAR?). Call Kurt, Tony, Hussein, WVAGP members, Me
      • Organize the RFP
      • Allow for a question/answer period
      • Contact Person?
      • Potential Cost (does it meet your expectations? Are there huge differences?)
      • Create a Checklist to grade the respondents
      • Qualifications…qualifications…qualifications
  • 6. Best Practices
    • Consider these first:
      • Experience
      • References (call and check the references)
      • How many copies
      • Cost Estimates separately sealed from RFP
      • Alternatives and Options
      • Pages per section
      • Schedule
      • Resource Availability and Location
      • SBE or MBE (Small or Minority Businesses) or Local percentage required or suggested?
  • 7. QBS
    • The West Virginia Qualification Based Selection (QBS) Council is comprised of the American Council of Engineering Companies of West Virginia, the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers, and American Institute of Architects-West Virginia, and advocates the use of Qualifications Based Selection because it is the most widely recommended method for obtaining quality engineering and architectural services, and quality design is more likely to result in a constructed project that is highly economical to build, maintain and operate over its useful life. Chapter 5G of the WV Code, passed by the WV Legislature in 1990, mandates the use of a QBS-type procedure by all state and local government entities.
    • Brooks Act - Since 1972, all agencies of the federal government have been required to use the QBS procedure. This law is known as the Brooks Act. There have been several updates to the Brooks Act since 1972.
    • The QBS process is endorsed by the American Public Works Association and included in the American Bar Association's Model Procurement Code for State and Local Governments.
    • http:// wvqbs.org/?nav =home
  • 8. Determine Needs
    • What are the needs of not only your department but other departments within your organization
      • Properties/Parcels - Assessors
      • Traffic Design – Planning/Engineering
      • Roadway Design – Engineering
      • Mapping – Planning/Assessor/Engineering
      • Terrain Models – Planning/Engineering
      • Accidents – Police/Commissioners/Ops & Maintenance
      • ID of Features – Planning/Assessor/Engineer
      • Environmental Impact Studies -
      • Asset Management – Engineer/Ops & Maintenance
    • How will data be utilized
    • How will data be stored
  • 9. Determine Output & Delivery Method
    • What datasets or output do you want
      • Digital Orthophotography
      • DTM
      • Boundaries
      • Utilities
      • Structures (buildings over ?? Sq foot) /Bridges
      • Planimetric Features – manmade features and vegetation
      • Parcels
      • Roadways (centerlines and/or edges of pavements)
      • Hydrography
    • Delivery Methods
      • CD/DVD/Hard Drive
      • Web Based
      • Flat Files
  • 10. Determine Budget and Funding Sources
    • Where is the money
    • Who is contributing
    • Grant applications and their stipulations
    • Flexibility
  • 11. Technical Specifications – Scales
    • Mapping Acquisition Pixel Used
    • Scale Altitude Resolution For
    • 1"=50' 2,400-feet AGL 0.25-foot Engineering
    • 1"=100' 4,800-feet AGL 0.5-foot Eng + Plan
    • 1"=200' 9,600-feet AGL 1.0-foot Planning
    • 1"=400' 19,200-feet AGL 2.0-foot Planning
  • 12. Technical Specifications – Scales
    • ASPRS – American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (http://www.asprs.org/)
    • NMAS – National Map Accuracy Standards
    • NSSDA – National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy
    • Sample Standards
      • Ground Sample Distance—0.48-foot
      • Output Resolution—0.5-foot
      • Flying Altitude—4,800-feet above mean terrain height
      • Forward Lap—imagery is captured at Nadir continuously
      • Side Lap—30 % (maximum)
      • Climatic Conditions—sufficiently clear sky
      • Ground Conditions—free from snow, haze, fog, or dust;
      • when streams are within their normal banks
      • Sun Angle—greater than 30-degrees
  • 13. Technical Specifications – Push Broom vs Frame camera
    • There are two basic types of large-format digital camera systems
      • Push-broom camera systems—Push-broom cameras capture imagery in strips
      • Single-frame camera systems—Single-frame camera systems capture imagery as single frame images.
      • This difference in technology gives the push-broom system numerous advantages over a single-frame system, especially for large project areas
  • 14. Technical Specifications – Push Broom vs Frame camera
    • A typical 500 square mile area would require +/-25 ADS40-SH80 image strips, which in turn would require:
      • image processing
      • aerial triangulation
      • Orthorectification
      • ortho mosaicking for +/-25 strips
    • A typical 500 square mile area would require approximately +/- 1,000 single-frame images, which in turn would require:
      • image processing
      • aerial triangulation
      • Orthorectification
      • ortho mosaicking for the +/-1,000 images
    • With a single-frame system there is a greater possibility of errors along seamlines because there are a far greater number of single images to mosaic together. This increases the likelihood of buildings/vehicles/bridges being split by a seamline and unequal water colorization or balance
  • 15. Technical Specifications – Digital vs Film
    • Preliminary images within 3 weeks
    • Film must be:
      • Shot
      • Unloaded
      • Processed
      • QC’d
      • Scanned into digital format
      • Georeferenced
      • Must mosaic, color-balance, stitch each frame image
    • Digital imagery is:
      • Shot
      • Unloaded on a hard drive
      • Automatically Digital and Georeferenced
      • QC’d
      • More accurate than Film
      • Easier to mosaic, color-balance, stitch between strips
  • 16. DTM vs DEM vs DSM
    • DEM (Digital Elevation Model), which is required for the generation of digital orthophotography, is a less accurate representation of the ground surface using a regularly spaced grid of mass points and breaklines.
    • DSM (Digital Surface Model) is the first surface on the ground which includes terrain, buildings, vegetation, etc.
    • DTM (Digital Terrain Model), which is needed for the generation of contours, is a highly accurate representation of ground surface using mass points and breaklines. Can be derived from DSM by removing vegetation and features
    • DTM and DEM can be created from either stereo orthophotos or LiDAR
    • Flight scale determines if DTM or DEM is produced. Higher altitude=lower accuracy=DEM
    • DTM can be used for the rectification of the orthos
    • Rectification = adjustment of images to simplify stereo vision or to map images to a map coordinate system (GIS)
  • 17. Technical Specifications – LiDAR
    • What can LiDAR be used for?
      • Rectify the new orthoimagery
      • 3D values for new planimetrics
      • DEM/DTM production
      • Contours
      • Automatic Building Extraction
      • Change Detection
      • Impervious Surface Analysis
      • Land Use/Land Cover Extraction
      • Forestry Analysis
      • Flood Analysis
      • Addressing
  • 18. Technical Specifications – LiDAR
    • Flying altitude, average posting, and side lap should match or be better than the orthoimagery specs.
      • EX: 0.5 foot orthoimagery requires
        • Flying Height: 6,300 feet AGL
      • Avg. Posting collected: 1-meter (or std. 2 meter)
        • Side Lap: 30%
    • Leaf-off
    • Less than 5% atmospheric interference
    • Flight Plan to take advantage of terrain and boundaries plus overlap (half mile buffer)
    • Review for voids
    • Validation – compare LiDAR points to a separate sample set of control points
    • Require a LiDAR report (avg pt spacing, RMS error, Validation results)
    • Deliverable: Classified .LAS format v1.2
  • 19. Details
    • In the RFP, be as specific as possible
    • EX:
      • Planimetric Mapping: Transportation: centerlines of paved and unpaved roads. Include Federal and State Parks.
      • Hydrographic Features: Edges of Waterways greater than 25’ wide and Water Bodies (lakes and ponds) greater than 0.5 acres .
      • Structures: Buildings greater than 100 sq. ft . ID structure as New, Changed, Deleted, Existing
      • Classified Bare Earth data in .LAS format ( version 1.2 )
  • 20. Estimated Costs
    • Differentiation in costs are during the Processing stage
    • Costs are cheaper with volume
    • Costs vary depending on Terrain
    • Ohio Statewide = $4.3m