Stormwater GIS Build-Out

Bowie, Maryland Stormwater Utility GIS

The City of Bowie contracted Weston & Sampson to build out their stormwater utility GIS. Weston & Sampson took delivery of a small sample of existing GIS data as well as approximately 700 digital as-built PDF drawings.

In addition to PDFs, our team also worked with raster data stored in an Esri file geodatabase. We organized the plans into private and public developments. We reviewed each plan set, and converted the pertinent plan and profile pages showing asset locations and geometries to TIF format for georeferencing. We used some of the 1,403 individually referenced images to establish a geographic index (geoindex) of the plan sets. Weston & Sampson digitized the limits of work on each plan and attached the original PDF of each to the feature for retrieval and reference directly from within the GIS.

Additionally, we preserved the georeferencing of each individually referenced image so that the TIFs may be used as a background image in GIS for direct comparison to digitized features. From the georeferenced images, we digitized stormwater assets to the appropriate features within the file geodatabase including gravity main, force main, catch basin, manholes, outfalls, fittings, and detention basins. Our team populated attributes as they appeared on the plans for material, diameter, installation year, associated plan reference, from and to structures, ownership, etc.

Particularly important to the city, we populated elevations of structure rims (manholes and catch basins) as well as inverts and slopes (gravity main). These elevations are valuable attributes for the city to have available in GIS for use in modeling or 3D representations. Weston & Sampson initialized the project using a pilot area to understand the full needs of the city, and finished the project on time and on budget.


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Thank you very much for helping us with this important project! You and your team provided excellent and timely deliverables which greatly helped us to meet our stormwater permit requirement. The whole project implementation and delivery process is smooth, well planned and pleasant. Your communication is very efficient and your team’s product quality is fantastic. I do highly appreciate you and your team’s effort!

Hong Yin
Assistant Director of Public Works
Bowie, MD

Posted in Geomatics, GIS.