IDOT outdoor advertising control support services

Project Summary

In 2010, the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Bureau of Land Acquisition selected Hanson as part of a three-year contract to coordinate its outdoor advertising sign control efforts across more than 12,000 miles of roadways in Illinois and to report on an estimated 23,000 signs. 

These services include a complete inventory of all signs within IDOT control for each of the three contract years; a massive data collection effort, involving sorting, scanning and entering data into IDOT’s Outdoor Advertising Control System (OACS) geographic information system (GIS) database; statewide processing of all sign permit applications; and continual surveillance activities – including illegal sign control mitigation efforts – for all of Illinois’ controlled route network.

Using the latest mobile and data collection technology, Hanson’s staff is covering all the routes in Illinois to provide the documentation process to collect the required information during all three years of the contract. The teams are recording IDOT registration tags found on sign supports, taking digital photos, collecting latitude and longitude positions and documenting other required data fields for signs along primary highways and interstates in Illinois.

One of the most interesting aspects of the data collection process is the vehicle used to provide geospatial imaging services. This retrofitted van uses the Trimble Mobile Data Capture for Digital Imaging System – a complex unit that includes external mounted cameras, GPS and geospatial components – to collect data.

The system transmits information in real time to an onboard workspace equipped with highly sophisticated computers and servers. The system can capture sign dimensions, position, digital imagery, latitude and longitude with GIS mapping-grade accuracy while the van is traveling at highway speeds. For this project, the geospatial imaging van will cover approximately 200 miles per day.

With the documentation obtained during the first year, the geospatial imaging van will be able to document data quickly and efficiently in the second and third year, providing IDOT with added value over conventional survey methods.

Hanson also is developing and maintaining a GIS Web-enabled controlled route map that will display sign locations; will link to IDOT's Outdoor Advertising Control System (OACS) database; and will provide a means for project status reporting and data review. This includes developing various controlled route map layers, depicting business areas, urban area limits, municipal boundaries, airport clear zones and scenic byways.