Customer Stories

Built with GNSS: A Busy Port's First GIS

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 3

Port NOLA, in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one the world's busiest ports; it sits at the nexus of a large continental network of rail, rivers and inland waterways. The recent acquisition of a rail system underscored the need to develop the port's first enterprise GIS. Port NOLA began a pilot to verify existing asset records and capture features missing from existing datasets. The mapping campaign utilized high-precision GNSS rovers paired with mobile tablets running GIS asset inventory software. overview Location NEW ORLEANS, USA TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS With a goal of streamlining port operations and improving port security and disaster response capabilities, Port NOLA created a new modernized enterprise GIS made accessible throughout the port via a custom web portal. The project tapped the latest technologies in GIS and Trimble field asset mapping equipment. OVERCOMING LEGACY CHALLENGES Prior to 2016, Port NOLA had "No enterprise GIS, no GIS software, and no dedicated GIS staff," according to Maggie Cloos, Port NOLA GIS Manager. "We got a grant for port security, secured GIS software, and plans were formed to convert disparate legacy records, site plans and institutional knowledge." And—most importantly— an initial phase of field asset mapping. Cloos says the port fully recognized three fundamentals of a GIS: completeness, currency and accuracy. The state of the port's infrastructure records included manual and CAD drawings, engineering plans, site plans—but mostly institutional knowledge held in the memories and notes of Port NOLA employees. "This is a big challenge for us when people retire or if we need information and someone is not available at the time," said Cloos. An influx of additional records from the Port's acquisition of a shortline railroad exacerbated the challenges. The port sought to map every crane rail, crane tie- down points, container gantry cranes, wharf decks, piles; things used in everyday operations and disaster response. "Always on our minds is port security and domain awareness," said Cloos. "Say if there were a train derailment, we would need to know the critical utilities in our massive terminals that might be affected."

Articles in this issue

view archives of Customer Stories - Built with GNSS: A Busy Port's First GIS