Driving Forward with VDOT’s Integrated Directional Signing Program

While driving on the highway you likely find yourself looking at signs lining the road to determine your next meal, gas stop, or a place to stay. You probably do not consider that there is a directional signing program that manages the accuracy of these signs, but you trust the information and services they provide. 

In Virginia, Blue Raster partnered with Directional Signing Program (DSP) to put in place Esri workflows that help ensure you can trust these signs. Using ArcGIS Online, Field Maps, Survey123, Workforce, and Dashboards, the signing program at VDOT has never been more interactive and in real-time. The Integrated Directional Signing Program (IDSP) includes over 16,000 signs across the State and is comprised of:

  • Logo Guide Signs - Blue highway signs with gas, food and lodging company logos
  • Tourist-Oriented Directional Signs - Blue highways signs with directional information, no company logos
  • Supplemental Guide Signs - Cultural, recreational, education and historic guide signs
  • General Motorist Service Signs - Generic symbols representing Gas, Food, Lodging, Hospitals and Camping
  • Historic Markers - Signs depicting historic information about places, people or events

directional sign

Blue Raster's workflows for field GIS allow DSP and other VDOT contractors to inventory and update the status of every sign in the IDSP. The initial inventory of all 16,000 signs was completed in just 5 weeks with the help of Field Maps and offline capabilities. Since then, routine inspections for condition and retroreflectivity, construction inspections, or maintenance work orders for signs has been managed in GIS with Esri's field applications. Data from the field crews feed a series of dashboards configured to show key metrics and status to VDOT in real-time.

Beyond just VDOT, the IDSP is made up of the customers on the signs and the public. Through hosted web maps and Survey123 forms, there is now the ability for both customers and the public to view an interactive map of all the signs in the IDSP (with current image), provide general feedback on the program, and report sign issues or knockdowns.

directional signing program

Integrating ArcGIS into the IDSP allows for significant improvements to data collection, understanding of assets, efficiency, reporting and tracking goals. Continued work with DSP and VDOT includes developing StoryMaps around the Historic Marker Program, leveraging Business Analyst to attract new customers and understand interchange saturation and vacancies, and better use of imagery including 360 degree capture. All of this work makes the IDSP better, and provides a better experience to drivers in Virginia.

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