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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Increased Efficiency Using Document Image Processing
Project Researcher: Jim Morrow,
Project Manager: Paul Orth
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Construction project documentation exists in multiple files distributed throughout the Department. The Office of Central Services maintains a central project file, but it is not readily accessible or up to date. Thus individual offices maintain separate files, which leads to unnecessary duplication, inconsistency, and occasional loss. Because documents prepared in one office are not readily accessible by other offices, design progress may be delayed. Similar situations arise with plans prepared by consultants. Consequently, manpower expended on maintenance of multiple files is unavailable for more productive purposes. Furthermore, storage of multiple paper files consumes valuable space.

Several new technologies may provide solutions to this problem. Document management software can index all of a projects files and documents by type, author, date, or location. Document viewing programs recognize and display various word processing file formats and can search for specific words or phrases in a set of electronic documents. Similar programs display drawings generated by computer aided drafting systems, and allow reviewers to mark up drawings without actually changing CAD files. Imaging systems scan paper documents optically, producing an electronically recorded image which can be indexed, retrieved and viewed. By using a combination of these technologies, it may be possible to create and maintain a single, integrated project file electronically. The file would be complete, current, authoritative, and accessible to the Departments technical staff in the central office and field offices. It could also support an Executive Information System for management. But at present, the Department has not specifically identified how a combination of appropriate technologies can be most effectively used for this application.


Research Objectives:
1  To assess the need for automated management of department- and consultant-prepared project documents in SDDOT's central and field offices.
2  To identify appropriate technologies for integrating construction project files into a single inclusive file accessible to all of SDDOT's central and field offices.
3  To develop a plan to effectively implement these technologies, assessing costs and benefits.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the technical panel to review project scope and workplan.
2  Review literature review pertinent to current technologies and other state DOT's methods of integrated project filing.
3  Assemble individual and global needs summaries by: (a) Reviewing existing project files from project authorization through completion and acceptance. (b) Developing a questionnaire to identify subject area, frequency, quantity, importance, type,
4  Identify appropriate technologies to satisfy needs based on research thus far.
5  Assess the usefulness of SDDOT's current Local Area Network and proposed Wide Area Network as the technical architecture for the proposed system.
6  Submit an interim report summarizing needs and outlining preliminary options to satisfy needs and meet with technical panel to review interim report.
7  Develop an implementation plan including procedural and organizational changes, necessary purchases, costs, benefits, and other relevant considerations.
8  Submit a final report and executive summary summarizing relevant literature, research methodology, findings and conclusions.

Documents Available:

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