ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The depot’s Directorate of Public Works and other organizations are assisted in their operations by a system combining all data for each building.

The installation’s Geographic Information System, is a repository for electrical and plumbing systems for each facility on the depot as well as information on its construction and any environmental concerns.

“We connect several systems we use into one system,” said Brett Burford, the depot’s senior geospatial engineer. “We cover security, public works and other information.”

The information is layered into the map and is accessible on a need-to-know basis. Employees request access through the system and are granted entry only to areas needed for their job.

“Not everyone has access to every feature,” said Burford. “A lot of the information is aimed at the DPW shops, for their information.”

The system is used to submit and track dig permits.

When an area on the installation needs to be excavated for any reason, using the GIS to submit the dig permit enables the requestor to specify the exact area on the map and allows the permit to be routed through the proper approval process.

The GIS is connected to the depot’s real property system and includes current and historic aerial photographs.

Matt West, chief of DPW’s Utilities Branch, said GIS is a tremendous asset to his electricians and other utility employees.

“The maps are used to identify and locate buildings, utilities and individual components of a utility. They also assist with measuring buildings, structures and the distances between structures,” said West. “GIS has information on each building, such as square footage, year built, fire rating code, prior construction projects and repairs, warranty information, floor plans, drawings and pictures. Access to this information without leaving the office is very valuable and saves DPW a tremendous amount of time and effort.”

The floor plans include historic drawings, useful for DPW employees who need to know a facility’s layout as well as how that layout has evolved. The modern floor plans are useful for the installation’s Fire and Emergency Services Division as well as security forces.

“We try to associate all buildings with all their documents,” said Burford, adding this includes information from Industrial Hygiene regarding hazards in the buildings.