2,000 needles in a haystack

Using a handheld data collection unit, Brandi Boderick of the Colorado DOT records information for a sign that is illegally located, i.e., advertising for a good located on a separate land parcel. Most of the time, sign owners voluntarily comply with CDOT notices of violations; only rarely do these issues result in litigation. Photos: Don Talend

Colorado's DOT is creating a single database of the state's billboards using handheld GPS units optimized with GIS software, customizable GeoAge software, and a comprehensive Microsoft Access database. Unlike many other wireless devices, the Topcon GMS-2 unit records GPS coordinates for the database.

Colorado DOT regional personnel have other primary responsibilities besides billboard code enforcement, so handheld data-collection technology is necessary to improve collection efficiency.

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