LOS ANGELES — AECOM Technology Corporation developed an information technology tool that it said improves the efficiency and accuracy of field data collection while reducing environmental management project costs for clients. Environmental Mobile Application for Projects (EMAP) is a customized geographic information systems (GIS) application that allows field technicians to remotely collect, edit, analyze, report and store digital data required for environmental permitting. EMAP also consolidates global positioning system (GPS) data, sketches, photos and data sheets into a standardized geodatabase structure. It also stores supplemental information and helps generate reports and tables.
“EMAP allows us to translate data sheets on wetlands, access roads, water bodies and sensitive habitats into the geodatabases while we are in the field,” said Erik Danielson, associate project manager, water, at AECOM.
Developed by employees in AECOM’s environment and water practices, EMAP is used within ArcPad and GPS Correct software, which provides mobile mapping, GIS and GPS integration via Trimble handheld mobile devices.
“Using EMAP significantly improves the efficiency and quality of our field data collection, analysis, and storage,” said Chad Barnes, senior project manager, environment, at AECOM. “Therefore, EMAP reduces project costs by streamlining data collection and reporting that’s required for environmental permitting projects.”
AECOM has more than 90 trained EMAP specialists across the United States.
“Our clients are not charged additional usage fees for using EMAP, and it also produces clean, professional-looking data forms that do not require further manipulation by our specialists,” said Barnes. “The technology can also be configured to collect specific resource data for any project worldwide.”
EMAP has been successfully used on five large-scale interstate pipeline projects ranging from 232 to 850 miles in the United States; two wind farm development projects in Colorado and Wisconsin; and several impact assessment projects such as surveys for threatened and endangered species in the western United States. It is currently being developed for other applications as well.
In addition, EMAP won the 2010 Environmental Business Journal Business Achievement Award.