What's With The Spray Paint? Surveying Campus

Monday, August 4, 2014 - 4:57pm

You may notice chalk marks and spray-painted lines on the grass over the next few months.  

That's because our campus is an interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) "map-in-progress."  The chalk is marking underground utilities--which will be mapped and layered over aerial photos of campus that were taken last spring.  Layers can be clicked on or off to locate specific utilities.

Why Map?

Mike O'Connor, Physical Plant Director, explains, "The new GIS system map and data will allow the University to improve planning of future maintenance, repair or construction projects.  In addition, it will provide an invaluable tool for our students, faculty and staff to create customized maps and reports that require spatial geographic data." 

Team from Rochester & Assoc. Reviews Underground UtilitiesCan You Dig It?

Knowing what's underground before you dig is a concept we can all understand.  But there's more to this...

Teams from Rochester & Associates are working with the Appalachian State Physical Plant to build a map that includes the condition of our utilities.  Maintenance staff will be able to view the campus as a whole, then activate different layers to locate assets like steam lines and fiber optic lines that run underground. "What is so useful about this type of mapping is that it allows us to include data along with the location of the utilities.  For example, we can note the age, size and slope of pipes.  This will save us time locating problems when they occur," said O'Connor, "and it allows us to be pro-active in our planning."

The survey will also locate sanitary/sewer lines, storm water, water, electrical, natural gas, chilled water lines and cable TV. O'Connor stated, "It's comprehensive.  It will mark New River Light and Power's poles and transformers throughout their service area as well."


Will Parking or Traffic Be Impacted?

"We don't expect any type of disruption to the campus community, but we do want to share what we're doing and why," O'Connor stated. "This is a tremendous planning tool for us.  We are creating an accurate assessment of our campus for future custodians--mapping our campus in this way ensures a consistency of knowledge as employees advance or retire."

  • Surveyors will be on campus from August 11, 2014 until approximately February of 2015.
  • There are two teams of two men each.  You may not notice them, but you will see the chalk.


Ping Me Up. Surveying With Sound.

It's a fascinating process:  surveyors will be 'pinging metal pipes' and following the vibration to map App State's pipes.  They'll also be dropping cameras down various lines to gauge their capacity and identify areas that may be in need of attention.  

Click this video on Rochester & Associate's website to see surveys in progress.

Rochester & Associates has performed similar projectsCampus Surveyors At Work for:

  • Georgia Tech
  • University of West Georgia
  • Fort Valley State University
  • SUNY State University Of New York

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PO Box 32105
Boone, NC 28608-2105
Phone: 828.262.3190

Fax: 828.262.4017

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