Spring 2010

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning 
Salary Survey Results

MN Compass
TB Monitoring in Deer
Stimulus Map Phase 2

MN Geospatial Commons Planned

New Arrowhead Imagery
Metro Address Point Specs

GIS in Sewer Inspections - New Brighton

New Generation Topos
Topo Anniversary
The National Map Update
Crop Productivity Index
Crop Data Layer
Census Participation Maps
Occupations Website

GeoMoose New Version
ESRI Grant Program
Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping

Other Places
SC Data Policy Development Guide
Map Quizzes



The City of New Brighton Utilizes GIS to Access Sewer Maintenance Videos
By Mark Andrle, City of New Brighton GIS Specialist

Each year, the City of New Brighton’s Public Works Department televises about a quarter of the city’s sanitary sewer lines for inspection purposes. An operator uses a robotic camera on wheels to televise each segment of pipe from manhole to manhole. Each pipe segment video is then viewed by Public Works staff to assess and identify obstructions, cracks, water flow, roots and the general condition of each pipe.

Within a single year, staff views about 400-500 pipe segment videos and associated pipe condition reports and images. While watching the videos, staff also reviews the hard copy sewer as-built construction plans to access specific info about each pipe segment. This process of pulling together numerous documents from several sources became a very time-consuming and tedious process.

In the spring of 2009, the city began preparing for the annual televising process. To make the viewing process more efficient, staff wanted to create a system where all videos and documents could be accessed digitally through a single source. The solution was to create a web-based mapping application using MapServer that allows users to simply click on a pipe segment to access the videos, reports, as-built plans and other specific data about each pipe.

The first step was to create a shapefile of the televised sewer lines that included information about each pipe segment and links to the videos, documents and scanned as-built plans. Once the layer was created and all the attributes added, it was added to a simple web application that provides users access to the videos and documents.

Mapping Application – Allows users to select specific pipe segments.

The application allows users to select specific pipe segments and information about the pipe including links to the videos, reports and plans. In the past, users would have to locate the pipe ID on a map, open the videos and reports from an external hard drive and pull the printed as-built plans. With the application, users can now pan from pipe to pipe and watch the video while accessing any corresponding documents all at the same time directly from their desktop.

Pipe Info Page – Provides specific info about the pipe and links to the videos and reports.

This project has reduced the amount of time staff needs to organize and access the various media sources to complete their pipe inspections. The City plans to utilize the application again for the 2010 video inspections and has plans to add archived videos to compare pipe conditions from previous years.

For further information, contact Mark Andrle at: or 651-638-2058.