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Digitizing Infrastructure

January 23, 2017

Of the 20,000 incorporated cities and over 3,000 counties in the USA , only a fraction can share data via open data portals. Sharing data universally among local governments has a long way to go.  There are many infrastructure items involving Inter-County connections. Who would look for Macomb geographically based items on an Oakland County website ?

With the Red Run Drain being an Open Channel StormWater entity in Warren, who would think to look into Oakland County computer/internet resources for information ? This exact issue causes confusion when folks seek out true stormwater and sewage info in local government. Residents lives, economic welfare, and health are affected by combined sewer overflows. Michigan needs to push hard now to eliminate CSO and SSO events.

As 2017 starts off , there needs to be a Michigan mandate for the adoption of digital technologies in infrastructure contracts, figuring in the cost of digitization and technology when setting project budgets.

The construction industry has had a poor productivity record due to its reliance on paper. The processes and deliverables such as blueprints, design drawings, supply chain orders, etc. suffered a gap in transparent information sharing.


“The digital-collaboration and mobility-solutions segment has attracted close to 60 percent of all venture funding in the construction-technology sector. One start-up has developed apps for tablets and smartphones that allow changes in construction blueprints and plans to be relayed in real time to on-site crews; site photos can be hyperlinked to construction plans. This solution maintains a master set of documents with automatic version control and cloud-based access.”  –

A new mindset is needed. Everyone from the Project Owner to the Contractor needs to see past the bare minimum required for contractual obligations.  There is a need for a Technology Officer whose mandate involves a digital agenda, forcing a digitization evolution forward in Michigan counties.


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