Woolpert: Geospatial Depth Meets Mapping Heights

Jon Downey, Vice President & Market Director, Google Maps and Cloud
Long before Google Maps and Cloud came into being, Woolpert, a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm, had established a strong foothold in the geographic information system (GIS) space. Initially, GIS was a public sector focus for Woolpert; but through the Google Maps and Cloud partnership, Woolpert was able to apply its knowledge base and expertise to benefit its private sector clients.

“Woolpert is a leader in solving both private and public organizations’ unique mapping issues by leveraging its profound geospatial expertise,” Jon Downey, Woolpert Vice President and Market Director, said. He added that companies leveraging GIS technology must have a clear understanding of how to implement solutions properly before adopting the technology. The combination of the Google Premier Partnership and GIS expertise allows Woolpert to strategically assist companies with a cost-effective implementation that ensures a seamless integration of Google Maps into existing company data. By helping businesses understand licensing and optimize usage, Woolpert enables them to appropriately plan for overall platform costs and empowers them to customize beyond a basic platform to best meet organizational needs.

As a trusted advisor, Woolpert begins each customer implementation by understanding the business problem and then designing a roadmap to the solution. “When it comes to initial engagement, we focus on getting to know the key team members,” Downey said. “Then we peel back the layers of the project to understand exactly what a win looks like.” He added that this is followed by either training developers, if the customer has multiple developers in place, or by creating prototypes or proofs-of-concept, if the customer requires a more hands-on approach—all while ensuring thorough interaction at all levels of the project. Woolpert’s key differentiator, Downey said, is the internal development staff’s long tenure in the geospatial/location space. This experience allows Woolpert to adeptly customize each customer’s journey to align with all requirements.

Woolpert customer onX is one of the leading applications in mobile mapping technology for outdoor adventurers, with over 250,000 users. Prior to implementing the Google Maps Platform, the company had its own mountain to climb when its content provider was not providing cloudless and up-to-date imagery in rural areas.

Woolpert is a leader in solving both private and public organizations’ unique mapping issues by leveraging its profound geospatial expertise

When customer complaints increased due to these issues, onX needed a solution that could easily integrate sources of new aerial imagery into its existing app, while striking a balance between aesthetics and recency of imagery.

With Woolpert’s assistance, onX seamlessly implemented the Google Maps Platform into the current onX platform by leveraging the Tile API. To facilitate accurate location searches and make users more aware of location, Woolpert also leveraged Google’s Geocoding API. This created a solution with better imagery for customers, more reliable data, and integrated tools for the app. onX also relies upon the Google Cloud Platform, which has helped them establish a robust infrastructure. As Downey put it, “With Woolpert’s deep foundation in geospatial application and science, we are in a league of our own as a Premier Partner for Google Maps and Cloud. We pride ourselves on taking our knowledge base and helping customers easily solve business problems, as we did with onX.”

As a geospatial veteran, Woolpert amalgamates its expertise with the Google Maps and Cloud Platform, which has helped the company grow exponentially. The company continues to vigorously invest in Google Maps and Cloud, which has helped transition Woolpert’s geospatial footprint from the public to the private sector. “Woolpert has decades of experience in geospatial and spatial data acquisition,” Downey said. “Our long history of acquiring, hosting, analyzing, and optimizing data storage is truly unique in the Cloud marketplace. Woolpert clients realize the value of this experience. It’s a key differentiator that helps them optimize their data management solutions.”

Woolpert News

Woolpert Contracted to Expand State Route 48 at U.S. 22 in Warren County (OH)

HOPKINSVILLE, Ohio - ” The Warren County (Ohio) Transportation Improvement District has contracted with Woolpert to widen a 1.5-mile stretch of State Route 48 (SR 48) at Montgomery Road/U.S. 22 in Hamilton Township. The $10 million project will expand SR 48 from three lanes to five, adding a through lane in each direction, a curb and gutter, and an enclosed drainage system. The project also includes widening Montgomery Road to provide added left turn lanes on southbound SR 48 and eastbound Montgomery (U.S. 22/SR 3).

Jon Wiley, Woolpert project manager and traffic engineer, said this project will alleviate traffic congestion and safety issues in the corridor and at an intersection that ranks among the highest crash locations in the region. The intersection sees 46,000 cars per day and supports Warren County, which is one of fastest-growing counties in the state. Woolpert will provide transportation design and engineering, utilize its mobile mapping system (MMS) to collect lidar data and supplement with traditional field survey.

The MMS will drive up and down the corridor, mapping the road at the posted speed limit, and field survey will be conducted on the sides of the roads, Wiley said. This process is not only safer because it limits the time surveyors are in the roadway, but it provides advanced, precise data.

Wiley lauded the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Warren County and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) for combining resources to advance this project. OKI is contributing more than $6 million in state and federal funding, ODOT is contributing more than $1 million in safety funding, and the Warren County Board of County Commissioners is contributing local funding and resources to prioritize safety in critical growth areas. Traffic safety engineering also is a priority for Woolpert, which recently was selected for ODOTs Statewide Safety Design contract.

Warren County Engineer Neil F. Tunison said this project has been discussed for multiple years.

ODOT did a safety study of this intersection about eight years ago, seeing the need even then, and the region has continued to develop, Tunison said. This is a challenging time financially for local and state governments, but we will always need to provide the infrastructure necessary to protect our people and our economy. This project does both, and were excited to see it move forward.

Design and right-of-way easements for this project are underway, and road construction is expected to start in the spring of 2023.

Woolpert Selected by National Safe Skies Alliance to Develop UAS Response Guidebook for Airports

DAYTON, Ohio - The National Safe Skies Alliance, through its Program for Applied Research in Airport Security (PARAS), has contracted with Woolpert to develop a guidebook to assist airports in working collaboratively to plan for and respond to unmanned aircraft system (UAS) threats. According to the projects RFP, federal agencies and the U.S. Congress have identified UAS to be a major concern at airports, and little guidance exists regarding response protocols.

Safe Skies is a nonprofit organization that works with airports, government and industry to maintain a safe and effective aviation security system. Funding for Safe Skies programs is provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Woolpert is a recognized leader in UAS aviation, research and application development. The firm is under multiple contracts to provide ongoing research regarding UAS and is represented on the Transportation Research Boards inaugural Standing Committee on New Users of Shared Airspace, which focuses on UAS.

Under this contract, Woolpert will develop strategies for planning, identification and threat assessment, response and recovery. The firm will address detection system considerations and legal, public policy and regulatory considerations; provide relevant examples and case studies; and prepare a plan for community awareness and prevention. As part of its research process, Woolpert has formed an advisory board to provide additional perspective.

Woolpert Aviation Project Manager and Principal Investigator Zachary Shuman said the firm will conduct a literature and data review, including engagements with stakeholders throughout the airport community. These processes will involve the advisory board and the PARAS project panel overseeing the research. The project panel includes representation from airport operators, airport law enforcement, the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration. Varying sizes and types of airports will be incorporated into the review to ensure the guidance is usable for all airports.

UAS present a very real incursion threat for airports and introduces multiple unknowns into the airport environment, Shuman said. This guidebook needs to be innovative and detailed, providing a consistent framework for airports to immediately, safely and effectively respond to UAS threats, and to work with local law enforcement to clearly define how to plan and identify these threats.

The production of this guidebook is underway and will be completed in 2021.

Tennessee DOT Selects Woolpert for Statewide Photogrammetry and Mapping Services Contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- ” Woolpert has been selected by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to provide on-call photogrammetric and mapping services to support the design and construction of roadways throughout the state. The three-year contract has a ceiling of $5 million.

Woolpert Geospatial Program Director Sam Moffat said the firm will provide orthoimagery and lidar, digital terrain modeling and topographic mapping for projects that include lane and corridor expansions to facilitate growth and ease congestion, roadway design and landslide mitigation. The firm also will provide TDOT with land surveying and geospatial and topographic mapping services. Woolpert was previously contracted by the U.S. Geological Survey to acquire lidar elevation data across the state.

Moffat said the statewide lidar program has been a tremendous success, providing high-accuracy data to increase safety throughout Tennessee. That program is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

TDOT was a huge supporter of the statewide lidar program, committing $2.4 million to that effort and utilizing that mapping data for multiple feasibility studies, engineering and construction projects”as well as to help protect our streams and wildlife habitats, Moffat said. That speaks well of what they thought of our work, and the money invested by TDOT has already paid for itself many times over. Weve been collecting lidar and mapping data for the state since 2015, and were super excited to work with the folks at TDOT to support their mapping initiatives and to expand our geospatial footprint in the great state of Tennessee.

TDOT Aerial Survey Manager Brandon Webb said Woolperts familiarity with Tennessees topography and its experience providing geospatial services to departments of transportation across the country made it a good fit for this contract.

We know Woolpert can deliver the data we need as we design infrastructure to best protect drivers and passengers throughout the state, Webb said. Were excited to work with Woolpert and get our needed roadway improvement projects underway.

Woolpert Roads and Bridges Practice Leader Tom Ruschkewicz said shared and complementary geospatial mapping data collections and applications have proved beneficial for states across the country.

Woolpert has been providing orthoimagery, lidar and mapping services to states and municipalities for decades, Ruschkewicz said. Weve seen the benefits of ensuring that the geospatial data collected is specific to the needs of DOTs to support the planning, design and construction of transportation projects. We are very excited to be selected for our first contract with TDOT and to provide geospatial services that will serve the department and the state for years to come.


Dayton, OH

Jon Downey, Vice President & Market Director, Google Maps and Cloud

Woolpert is the fastest growing architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm in the country