Project: County Asset Inventory
Jurisdiction: Washington County, Utah
Agency: Public Works Department
Vendor: Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble; Fort Collins, Colo.-based CartoPac Field Solutions; Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI
Date began: October 2008

Like many county governments, Washington County, Utah, is taking steps to comply with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) requirements to complete a comprehensive inventory of infrastructure assets, which include signs, roads, culverts, bridges and manholes. To comply, the county purchased five handheld computers from Trimble with integrated global positioning system (GPS) capabilities and cameras, and loaded with customized data collection software by CartoPac Field Solutions. Starting last fall, two teams of two employees began traveling through the county twice a week, using the devices to record asset types, locations and conditions of road signs and culverts, as well as to take photos of each asset.

Back in the office, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst Peter Hansen transfers the field data into ESRI's ArcGIS environment, where it can be used for reporting, mapping or spatial analyses. "In just four months, four field workers have been able to collect information for about 1,500 culverts and 1,100 road signs," Hansen says. "We're now well on our way to having an up-to-date inventory of county assets."

Seeing the results of the asset inventory data collection project, the Washington County Mosquito Abatement District began using the same devices and software to collect information about mosquito species, locations and larvae throughout the county. "We are already talking about other ways we can use GPS technology, and I'm sure even more departments will follow our lead," Hansen says.