How Agencies Can Harness Geosharing to Improve Infrastructure

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As stated by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, there are approximately  4.12 million center-line miles of roads in the United States, that provide an approximate 8.66 million lane-miles for highway travel.

When faced with this staggering number, it’s no question that maintaining not only these roads, but smaller community roads can be a challenge, and the need for state governments to adequately manage their own infrastructure where federal government is unable to.

How can communities become more engaged with reporting smaller issues with infrastructure? An investment in geographical data sharing, specifically through ArcGIS Online, could be a potential solution.

Logging an incident via ArcGIS Online.
Logging an incident via ArcGIS Online.

Map applications can be customized in two potential ways that could allow individuals to engage their government in a discussion on problems with infrastructure. The first being through the inclusion of an interface components labeled as Report Feature, and Incident Analysis. By creating an application with these features, individuals could easily place points on locations with the problem, alongside small descriptions on what the issue is and other identifying coordinates that could be useful. This component can also be customized to include labels to add further detail. Collaborative incident analysis could potentially streamline reporting of road incidents and other infrastructure problems.

Incident analysis form.
Incident analysis form.

The second potential application development could be the inclusion of social media geosharing. Customizable hash tags could allow government employees to utilize private networks on media sites such as Facebook or Twitter to send photos, videos and other forms of multimedia in a cohesive format that could then be extracted and displayed through a map application.

Geolocated social media posts relating to incident reports.
Geolocated social media posts relating to incident reports.

Trial runs for these types of applications could open up new opportunities for better communication between volunteers, citizens and and government employees to have improved methods of contact and speed up response time with their state administrations.

About the Author

Olivia Harne is a GIS developer, writer, and student. LinkedIn:




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