News: Ontario News

New Ontario Asset Database Will Offer 3-Dimensional Views

September 4, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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Municipal planners and managers in Ontario will soon have access to three-dimensional views of their roads, bridges and other assets by means of a shared database, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) has announced.

Through the Municipal Lighthouse Partnership, OGRA is joining forces with Autodesk Inc. and Marmak Information Technologies to offer OGRA member municipalities access to the enhanced Municipal DataWorks solution. 

Municipal DataWorks (MDW) was developed as a member service by OGRA in 2005 to give municipalities a standard, comprehensive view of the condition of their roads and bridges.  About 400 municipalities now use the service to assist with managing their capital assets and preparing financial accounting information required by federal law. 

The integration of 3D software with MDW will give municipalities much greater capabilities for programs such as sustainable asset management and emergency management, officials say.  

Creation of the Municipal Lighthouse Partnership was first announced during a session at the MISA Ontario 2013 Annual Conference in June in Waterloo by Joe Tiernay, OGRA executive director. 

Tiernay says that, by the end of 2013, users of MDW will be able to see the data represented visually in three dimensions, using software that will simulate the views so they can be examined from different perspectives and in relation to real-world situations, such as the addition of a proposed building.

New Perspective

The 3D software will be supplied by Autodesk.  Gord McElravy, a national manager with Autodesk Sales Development, says the Municipal Lighthouse Partnership will "change the whole perspective on municipal asset management.” 

"The enhanced database will bring traditional two-dimensional data from GIS (geographic information systems) into a 3D collaboration environment,” McElravy says. 

John Tarantino, vice president of Marmak, a systems integrator and Autodesk distributor, adds, "The objective will be to have road data, infrastructure data and traffic data all stored in Municipal DataWorks.  Then, when municipalities set out to create and build asset management plans, capital plans and so on, they will be getting true integrated data.” 

Further information about the partnership is available from Tarantino at