Project Summary

Project image thumnail
Project image thumnail
Project image thumnail
Project image thumnail

Highway Advertising Sign Mobile Data Capture and Permit Management

Designed, developed, and implemented an application to view, navigate, update, and maintain outdoor advertising permit data using mobile devices

Project Problem

In the past, the tracking, administration, and permitting of outdoor advertising signs adjacent to state and federal highways in Minnesota had been done using manual processes. Mn/DOT determined a need to develop and implement an application that would assist in the capture of highway advertising sign locations and the management of those signs along with their associated permits. The system would streamline these tasks, giving Mn/DOT staff the capability to take advantage of GPS connectivity and mobile mapping technology and providing a cost-effective, efficient alternative to the previous manual management effort. The application would utilize GPS for locating and navigating to signs in the field, and would provide users with the capability to edit attributes of existing records, update the location of existing signs, and capture the locations of unassigned signs while in the field.

Project Solution

Great Arc worked with Mn/DOT to design, develop, and implement an application to view, navigate, update, and maintain outdoor advertising permit data using Trimble GeoXT mobile devices. The application synchronizes with the Outdoor Advertising Permit Reporting and Tracking (OAPRT) system on the Mn/DOT network, allowing each user to download OAPRT data as well as roadway and county and municipal boundary data for the state district(s) to which they are assigned.

The OAPRT Mobile application provides tools for finding OAPRT records using any of the feature attributes as search criteria (Permit Number, Customer, City, District, and many others) or by making a spatial selection on the interactive map. Users can then update selected features, editing their attributes and/or capturing new location information using GPS or an attached laser range finder device. Additionally, users may add new records while in the field by capturing location information and entering as much attribute data as is available.

The application provides users with an interactive map display, including tools for zooming, panning, feature identification, feature selection, and measurement between map features.
Users may toggle features for auto-centering the map – which re-centers the map using the user’s GPS position, for example when navigating to a sign location – as well as an alert function which automatically sounds an alert when the user approaches an OAPRT sign.

When users have made updates to the data on the mobile device, whenever they have network connectivity they may then upload their changes back to the Mn/DOT server using the Data Sync function, which copies the data back up to the server and allows the user to pull down a fresh dataset and continue their field work.

For additional access to the outdoor advertising data, Great Arc developed a custom web-based mapping application for viewing OAPRT data. Mn/DOT staff can navigate and search state-wide OAPRT data using through a user-friendly web browser-based application. The web application provides tools for navigation, viewing, and attribute searching for permit and unassigned records. Authorized users may log in to assign permit records to unassigned signs.



  • ArcGIS Server
  • Oracle
  • ESRI Flex API
  • Crystal Reports
  • Web Services
  • VB.Net