Novi GIS Utility Mapping general header image

City of Novi - GIS Asset Data Collection & Mapping


City of Novi


Novi / Oakland, MI

High-Accuracy GNSS Location Mapping Helps City Update GIS Utility Network

The City of Novi, Michigan partnered with OHM Advisors to update and modernize its Geographic Information System (GIS) for its Department of Public Works utilities, which the city created in the past using digitized as-built record drawings and GPS data from unknown or undocumented sources. Although the city conducted updates to its GIS over time using available record drawings and GPS data, most of the assets had not been accurately located using high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and field verification. As the city began to rely heavily on its GIS for capital improvement planning, utility maintenance programs and emergency response planning, it became imperative that its GIS include accurate attribute and spatial information.

In June 2020, our team began a year-long effort to collect location and attribution information on an estimated 42,500 water distribution, sanitary and stormwater sewer assets over a 31 square mile area—assets which included hydrants, water system valves, residential service valves, stormwater manholes and inlets, culverts, and sanitary sewer manholes and lift stations. We deployed six teams of two technicians in the field with the latest mobile GIS technology and field data collection methods for efficient data collection and provided real-time progress dashboards for the City to view when needed throughout the project.

Our field technicians and GIS experts used Esri Field Maps, ArcGIS Online, and Eos Positioning Systems Arrow Gold Receivers to collect high-accuracy location information and feature attributes including rim elevation for all assets, pipe diameter, invert, and pipe direction for the sanitary and stormwater sewer assets. We developed a method to track progress, documented missing features, collected high-accuracy GNSS locations, and delivered the complete dataset to the city to update its GIS utility network. Once complete, the city’s GIS users will have access to the most complete and accurate information for use in daily operations and future planning.

Project highlights: GIS, high accuracy GPS, high accuracy GNSS, asset inventory, data collection, condition assessment