The method used for traditional “Phase I” Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) has required staff to physically walk the rights-of-way (ROW). In order to compete the ESA in a more timely and cost-effective manner than traditional techniques allowed, URS Corporation (URS) contracted LinearVision (LV) to fly the utility ROW and collect low-level, airborne, geo-referenced videography, complemented with geo-referenced still-imagery to enable URS to complete the Phase I ESA data analysis in their office. The data provided enabled URS’s analysts the ability to access all ROW points of interest in their Geographic Information System (GIS), and “fly” the line with oblique and downward perspectives from their computer screen. The digital video could be sped up or slowed down allowing URS the ability to review each frame for careful, detailed analysis, and identify potential recognized environmental conditions (RECs) and encroachment upon the ROW. The high-resolution still-imagery provided URS the ability to zoom into the potential REC for a closer inspection of site features, vegetation, and surrounding land use. URS created a database of potential RECs and areas of interest along with a simple user interface as a deliverable to the client, which allows the user to link directly to specific video frames and high-resolution photographs for their own review and analysis. The cost of the airborne data capture and processing was substantially less than a traditional Phase I ESA. Furthermore, the video and high-resolution images provided for a more comprehensive analysis tool, which can be reviewed by multiple analysts and catalogued for future reference by third parties. An additional benefit is that the high-resolution photographs can be imported into AutoCAD or other software for development of maps and figures. Overall, the net result of low-level GIS integrated videography is enhanced quality of data and a 50% reduction in total cost for the ROW project as compared to traditional Phase I ESA methodology.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.