Geospatial Dashboard

Geospatial Dashboard

Location: Southwestern Connecticut

Client: Northeast Utilities

Completion Date: Mid-2009

As part of the $1 billion program management contract to design and manage the construction of an 80-mile transmission line through Connecticut, Burns & McDonnell built a geographic information systems (GIS) application to address the community relations concerns of this project. The application allows construction managers, subcontractors, the program manager, schedulers, the controller, material managers, and public relations, real estate, environmental and engineering personnel to share data in real time.

Safe Software’s FME translation software is used to convert AutoCAD, MicroStation and PLS-CADD design drawings into Google Earth keyhole markup language (kml) files that are then linked to attributes stored in Primavera’s Expedition project management software, Primavera’s P3E/C scheduling software, and other Microsoft Excel and Access sources.

Superintendents are equipped with WiFi cards and mobile office stands so they can access the information and monitor progress directly from the project site. Community relations professionals log public complaints and action items that then appear on the GIS model. This alerts the superintendents and allows them to quickly take action. Team members can zoom in on the properties, houses and tree lines. Properties with “notices” attached are red-flagged so that team members can address the residents’ concerns before beginning work on the property. The program keeps a running history of all issues.

“Collaboration across the team, including contractors, is essential. This creates one central location to stay ahead of issues and avoid miscommunication,” says Brett Williams, program manager. “We are currently mitigating 90-95 percent of the issues. On average we make one mistake a week, but our goal is to be 100 percent. With this program, that goal is attainable. It helps us address why the mistake happened, who made it and how to correct it.”

Clients love the control it offers. “In fact, the NEEWS (New England East West Solution) project made the program mandatory,” says Williams.

The project team has been innovative in using new software since the inception of the project. The team was one of the first to deploy Expedition 10.0, the Web-based project tracking system, on a project of this size. But the innovation is more than Expedition. Its integration with multiple data sources has created a unique management tool.

  • Information system integration
  • Geospatial project dashboard