As a whole, Lochmueller Group uses GIS, or geographic information systems, to convey project aspects or processes to better explain topics to the public. However, each department at Lochmueller Group uses GIS in different ways; some use it solely to create figures, while others use it to analyze large sets of data to solve issues and ultimately display those results on a map.
GIS uses location data to position objects in space. When out in the field, the Survey department uses GPS and GNSS technologies to record the position of objects they discover (power poles, edge-of-payment, utilities, roadways, etc.). Each of these objects has data attributes associated with it, like the type of pavement, size of a water line, and materials used. This data is then used throughout the duration of a project as a reference for design.
The Water Resources department uses GIS to collect and organize spatial data related to rivers, lakes, reservoirs, groundwater, water quality, water infrastructure, and more. Once collected, the data can be used for hydrological analysis: modeling and simulating water flow, calculating runoff, managing watersheds, assessing the impact of rainfall, etc. Collected data can also be used to support municipalities in water distribution, delivering clean drinking water to homes, and routing wastewater to plants.
The Environmental Services department uses GIS as much, if not more, than any other department in the company. Our Environmental Specialists work with mobile devices in the field, collecting and organizing environmental data related to ecosystems, habitats, land use, pollution sources, and more. Once collected, the data can be used to conduct comprehensive environmental impact assessments, map habitats and cultural resources for conservation, track wildlife, and predict the impact of proposed engineering projects.
Traffic Engineering and Planning
The Traffic Engineering and Planning department uses GIS to collect and organize massive amounts of data related to traffic. This data includes, but is not limited to, traffic volume, speed, congestion, and accident statistics. Once collected, this data is analyzed to identify problem areas, optimize routes, and generate simulations. These simulations help the team make informed decisions about potential improvements.
Our Transportation Division, which includes our Roadway/Highway Design and Bridge/Structural Design departments, relies on GIS to provide data needed when designing roads and bridges. Such data includes utility locations, traffic counts, land ownership, right-of-way, topography, and more. This data is fed into design software so it can be incorporated into the planning process.
GIS isn’t just for engineering! The Marketing department relies on GIS for past project data. Lochmueller Group’s project portal uses GIS to make past project data both searchable and visible on a map. This data is essential when creating proposals for potential projects.
Each discipline relies on GIS for Public Involvement meetings, creating and sharing digital maps of proposed projects. These interactive visuals allow the public to explore projects in detail to gain a true understanding of both the impact and benefit of the work.
GIS is incredibly important not only to Lochmueller Group but also to the clients and communities we serve. With this technology, we are able to gather the data required to forecast client needs, design the best solutions, and provide greater understanding of project impacts to the public!