Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


McAlpine maps highways assets with innovative survey tech

22 September 2020

Sir Robert McAlpine is mapping both overground and underground highway and utility assets on the A19 DBFO truck road contract using innovative surveying technology from Mobile GIS Services (MGISS).

Liverpool-based MGISS is working alongside Sir Robert McAlpine to design and implement new workflows as well as converting and updating historical data to populate the contractor’s works management database. 

MGISS originally began working with the contractor when it first introduced the HighStone contract management database from Claremont Controls. MGISS customised its GeoGrafi app services so that asset condition data, collected in the field using mobile devices, could be synced to the centralised HighStone database.

The latest collaboration on the A19 has built on this initial development by converting and updating potentially outdated historical utility drawings.

Plans were traditionally printed out for use in the field, but these have since been converted, so they can be uploaded to a GIS dataset. Using ArcGIS Explorer (a mobile app that is part of the Esri Geospatial Cloud toolkit), inspectors and engineers can access location-accurate asset data in real time and, using Survey 123 that is also part of the same environment, report defects and condition reports directly to the hosted system.

The system is 3D, augmented reality and BIM ready.

Andy Sinclair, A19 project manager at Sir Robert McAlpine said: “The highway network is a complex environment. In order to maintain and operate this essential infrastructure safely and efficiently, we need to understand where above and below ground assets are on the network. This allows early conflict management with utilities on site when planning new works or reacting to incidents.”

“Using the MGISS-developed solution, inspectors and engineers operating on the highway can live access asset information using existing mobile devices,” he continued. “We are also able to share information, which improves our decision making and collaboration, and the overall efficiency of our inspection routines.”