News & Event
Happy GIS Day! Today we celebrate geographic information systems (GIS) technology and help unite the geospatial community in a global movement of collaboration, sharing and education.
GIS technology makes a positive difference and benefits the lives of millions of people. It enables us to make smarter decisions about land use, energy, water, natural hazards, biodiversity, climate and other key issues with geospatial analysis and insights.
Here's a look at a Holland Engineering, Inc. project that involved GIS and a Phase II Site Assessment in Detroit, Michigan:
The primary objective of the Phase II ESA was to evaluate further the potential presence of Recognized Environmental Conditions associated with past uses of a brownfield redevelopment and adjacent properties.
Historic resources provided a plethora of information to the Holland Engineering, Inc. team about the Subject Sites’ background. Previous investigations documented the presence of railroad siding between 1926 and 1967. Historical maps and aerial photographs dating back to the early 1900’s indicated disturbed soils and material, equipment, and vehicle storage in the past.
Due to the historical map being a scanned, it did not contain spatial reference information. Therefore, the map did not align properly with the rest of the data collected by HEI. For us to be able to use the historical map in conjunction with the rest of our spatial data, we needed to align or georeference the historical map into a coordinate system. Using the Georeferencing Tool in ArcMap, HEI was able to align parcel boundaries of the historical map and the present-day aerial basemap. Features on the scanned map, such as the railroad, were then digitized to become a layer on the map. By utilizing GIS, the Environmental Team was able to conclude that the soil borings containing high toxin concentrations were located where railroad siding was previously present on the site.
If you’d like to learn more about our GIS and Phase II ESA project, follow this link.
Cursory Review Maps – Typically, an environmental project starts with this set of mapping. Completing a desktop environmental review of the project area, to figure out the types of permits the project will need. Which then starts the discussion of how much a project is going to cost. Wetlands, floodplain, watercourses, and soils, are some of the environmental factors we review before starting a project.
Arc Collector for Field Collection
NEPA Process Figures – An Environmental Assessment (EA) is part of the decision-making processes, that takes into consideration all environmental and socioeconomic effects of proposed actions. The EA analyzes potential environmental impacts of proposed actions and their alternatives for public understanding and examination, by avoiding or minimizing adverse effects of proposed actions, and restore and enhance environmental quality to the extent practicable. Our Environmental and GIS team has evaluated multiple projects in the past year.
Alignment Sheets – Using Lightning, a program created by Blue Sky Development, we were able to produce pipeline alignment sheets in ArcMap for several projects this year. Lightning is ideal for design, construction, as-built and maintenance projects.
If you have questions about how GIS can benefit you, or if you have general GIS inquiries, email GIS@hollandengineering.com or call our Holland, MI office at (616) 392-5938.
Our world is ever changing. Keeping track of and communicating these changes can be a nearly impossible task unless you have the right people, process, and technology. The good news is Holland Engineering has all three, and we’re continuing to provide value to our clients by adding a powerful mapping tool to our arsenal, ArcGIS Server.
ArcGIS Server helps our team build, manage, display and analyze spatial data on the Internet. This mapping technology creates a server-based platform that enables HEI to develop and manage GIS web services, applications, and datasets. It allows our team to share real-time data to any device, anywhere, and at any time.
Some of ArcGIS Server’s most advantageous features include:
Holland Engineering's GIS department capabilities allow us to provide our clients with a highly efficient organization of geospatial data. Whether a client is in conceptual planning, preliminary design, significant project changes, permit and agency submittals, construction or as-built documentation phases we can provide an analysis of real-time data, plan documents as well as online interactive mapping.
Holland Engineering’s GIS team has years of experience, strong educational backgrounds, and are committed to continuing their education. They are all members of IMAGIN (Improving Michigan’s Access to Geographic Information Networks) that has a mission to promote the professional development of Michigan’s geospatial community by offering special educational events, conferences, and networking opportunities.
ArcGIS Server is another step forward toward our commitment to using GIS at Holland Engineering. Next on the agenda, implementing ArcGIS Pro!
If you have questions about how ArcGIS can benefit you, or if you have general GIS inquiries, email GIS@hollandengineering.com or call our Holland, MI office at (616) 392-5938.
Holland Engineering donated hard hats to the Burt and Mullet Student Chapter of Ferris State University (FSU) on September 23rd, 2016 for an engineering tour of the Mackinac Bridge in beautiful, Northern Michigan.
The Burt and Mullett Chapter is a student chapter of the National Society of Professional Surveyors. Their main goal is to expose students to real world surveying topics outside of the university curriculum. All of the FSU Surveying Engineering graduates at Holland Engineering were members of the Burt and Mullett Chapter when they were studying for their Bachelor of Science Degrees. They are still members in good standing and continue to support this fine group of young students.
“When Burt and Mullett Trustee, Dr. Richard R. Sauve, asked if we (HEI) would be interested in donating hard hat’s to the Burt and Mullett students, we thought it was an excellent idea for several reasons; first and foremost it would illustrate how important safety is to all the students, secondly on average HEI hires 6-12 FSU surveying students every summer and we want them to start getting comfortable in safety gear, and thirdly we want our Burt and Mullett students to look like professional surveyors wherever they are working,” said Eric Osterhaven, P.S. / Project Manager, HEI.
Aerial imagery captured from planes has been used for years for a multitude of reasons, however, in the surveying and engineering world, we use them for mapping and planning. Aerial imagery captured from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is becoming more widely adopted in the industry because of reduced cost and a higher resolution which leads to more accurate mapping. Aerial imagery captured by a UAS today are used for inspection purposes and to produce 3D site models, digital terrain models, orthographic photos, and topographic maps. For future design, we can map features like roadways, buildings, and driveways. We can quickly and easily mobilize and take pictures with extremely high resolution, all from the safety of the ground. Our images are also used to create 3D models of buildings or other large objects for planning purposes.
Holland Engineering, Inc. (HEI) offers UAS services. We own a hexacopter UAS with several RGB imaging sensors. We also have the ability to lease a fixed wing for larger projects when needed. It’s important to us to invest in the safest UAS units on the market today. In addition to safety, our UAS is very stable and able to carry high-resolution sensors. The combination of stability with high-resolution produces very high-quality results. The biggest benefits that a UAS offers is very quick mobilization, shorter time in the field, and more detailed results which allow our clients to make better decisions and designs.
Not only have we invested in the technology, but we've also devoted significant time and training into our UAS program. Our team has a very thorough understanding of the technology, and its limits. It is important to know what type of accuracy you can produce, and more importantly, how to obtain highly accurate results.
In our industry, we are driven by the need for accuracy and not just a pretty picture, but the bonus is that we're able to deliver both. Contact our Geospatial Services Group Manager, Jeff Schepers, PS, PE, at (616) 392-5938 or email him for more information.
We are excited to announce that Nick J. Gressick, MS has joined Holland Engineering's Environmental Group as a Senior Biologist.
Nick has a comprehensive background in wetlands and aquatic ecology. He has worked extensively with the Michigan Nature Association and was a previous employee of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
He has expertise in plant identification including floristic quality assessments, vegetation identification, and mapping, wetland delineation and mitigation, restoration projects, biotic sampling (fish, insects, etc.), abiotic sampling, report writing, etc. Nick also teaches as an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University and Davenport University. He's taught various courses throughout his career, including Environmental Science, Ecology, Botany, Plants in the World, Biology, and more.
For more information on environmental services, contact our Environmental Group Manager, Sherry Slocum, at sslocum@HollandEngineering.com or by calling (248) 827-7322.
Holland Engineering (HEI) is proud to continue to support Heifer International, a charity with the mission to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.
Throughout the year, our staff donates their can and bottle return refunds to our ongoing charity fund. We use the proceeds, along with additional donations from HEI, to fund various projects and support sustainable farming all over the world through Heifer International. This past spring, we gave the Gift of Clean Water and the Gift of Seedlings.
The Gift of Clean Water provides communities with clean, healthy water for daily living. Treadle pumps are installed so families have better access to water, communities are taught to manage water resources, and overall health and living conditions are improved.
The Gift of Seedlings includes a variety of seedlings and saplings that are appropriate for the region. Families are taught to nurture these young trees and the importance of reforestation. The trees provide firewood, and nutritious nuts and fruits to improve health. They also purify the air and enrich the soil.
We're proud to continue to support Heifer International as they fulfill their mission to end hunger and poverty.
Holland Office: 616-392-5938
Southfield Office: 248-827-7322