McLeod County Highway Department Uses GIS to Manage Spraying and Culvert Projects By Christy Christensen, McLeod County GIS Director
The McLeod County Highway Department is responsible for county road ditch weed spraying and county road centerline culvert inspections.
Ditch Weed Spraying: McLeod County has been collecting GPS data since 2008 for weed spraying. A Garmin 76CSX is used to collect tracks where full spraying takes place and points where spot spraying occurs. A record of the chemicals used along with other notes are added after the data is downloaded. This allows staff to see what has been covered in prior years for budget purposes. Staff are also able to see repeat problem areas.
Culvert Inspections: We have just begun to collect a value at the end of each culvert when the inspections are performed. As shown in the graphic, two roads have a total of 80 culverts or 160 points. Currently, a Garmin 76CSX is used and we are joining the spreadsheet to the point afterward. We may be changing that inspection process to use a Trimble GeoXT which will allow the inspector to collect the information in the GPS device rather than transferring data afterwards.
Managing the data in this environment helps staff and the County Board visualize and appreciate the kind of work required for these types of projects. It also is used to support annual budgets.