New York City Sewer Mapping Project

Client: NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)

AEC firm: Michael Baker Engineering Inc.

Cost: $10 million

Completed: December 2007

Significance: The world's largest GIS deployment? Maybe not, but because it involved 6,600 miles of sewers and 300,000 manhole structures, the sheer scope of it boggles the mind. NYCDEP Project Director Magdi Farag, PE, calls the department's 5½-year effort to merge the disparate sewer map systems from each of the city's five boroughs into one seamless GIS layer “a remarkable engineering undertaking.” More than 180,000 documents were scanned, indexed, geo-rectified to the department's base GIS map, and digitized; and data was collected from more than 11,000 locations citywide. The result is a comprehensive set of 1,600 “tile” maps that can be accessed from the field as well as the office. Michael Baker Engineering Inc. created three custom applications to manage mapping and data, perform engineering analyses of sewer networks, and cross-reference citizen complaints to specific system areas. The map has already been used to support economic development projects such as construction of the new Yankee and Shea stadiums.