Project Owner
Key Elements
  • Real Time GIS Asset Inventory
  • Custom GIS Applications and Maps
  • Project Tracking Operations Dashboard
  • Stream Survey
  • Watershed Mapping
  • Cross Sections & Structure Survey
  • Hydrographic Survey
  • Remote Sensing
Project Duration
  • FY18: October 2018 to September 2019
  • FY19: November 2019 to March 2021
  • FY20: December 2020 to December 2021
  • FY21: March 2021 to October 2022


GdB has teamed with STARR II, as a survey subconsultant, through four fiscal years to perform Field Survey to obtain current “on the ground” data to support a RISK MAP Study in FEMA’s Region II which includes, Ontario, Orleans, Tompkins, Yates, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Seneca, Wayne, Chatauqua, Franklin, Genesee, Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Wyoming Counties. 


The detailed work was performed in support of riverine activities including hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of inland flooring sources (e.g. streams, rivers and lakes). The survey also included detailed locations of structures within the study limits such as bridges, culverts and dams. The survey data collected was then submitted to STARR II and was used to develop products to identify, assess and document flood risk. All work was performed using methodology approved by FEMA and laid out in their “Guidance for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping” manuals. 


Field survey work included collecting cross section data, establishing benchmarks, performing structural measurements and gathering detailed measurement information on other flood control structure geometry. GdB staff also prepared detailed sketches and captured photographs of existing conditions for all scoped natural cross sections and flood control structures. 


As the scope of work involved natural features, there were certain areas of the project where Safety of the Field Crews became a huge factor. GdB field crews performing this work are equipped with a sUAS Drone to complete work on watersheds with an inaccessible ravine and channel bottom. At GdB, the safety of our employees is paramount, so in order to complete this task and provide the accuracy required by the client, we opted to use Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) flown by one of our FAA Part 107, Certified Remote Pilots to produce low altitude photogrammetry. 


In order to produce high quality survey grade topographic mapping and generate cross sectional data for our client, GdB first needed to set Aerial Targets and establish the Horizontal and Vertical location using traditional GPS techniques. Reflectorless shots were taken with a Total Station on prominent features in the ravine bottom and acted as check points when generating the 3D Point Cloud. This was all done while staying well away from the edge of the ravine and out of the creek bottom. Once Aerial Imagery was produced, it was processed together with the Aerial Target GPS locations and Total Station shots to produce a digital 3D point cloud for feature extraction. A high-resolution geo-referenced orthomosaic photo was also produced. From the data, cross sections were cut out of the point cloud and X,Y,Z data was gathered where the client had requested they be taken. From that data the rest of the process was the same and detailed sketches and photographs of existing conditions were created.

GdB Value

To help keep track and organize the massive amounts of information, GdB used a proven set of GIS web maps and applications used on the FY18 project. Sharing and collaboration of maps and applications continued with the client, so they could track survey progress in real time. Information relating to each structure and cross section such as final sketches, field photographs and survey data was all linked to the GIS. Percentages of field and office work completed and delivered were all tracked within the GIS web map and updated daily. The GIS mapping allowed us to perform an independent QA/QC throughout the duration of the project and allowed review processes or checks necessary to confirm data results or outcomes met relevant accuracy standards and project objectives. A thorough review of the survey data, collection process, data processing, reporting, formatting and organization was performed and maintained before the survey data was submitted for analysis.

This effort with STARR II and FEMA is one of the most important and critical projects throughout GdB’s history in its current rognaization and with predecessor firms. Fiscal Years 19 and 20 took place during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a brief pause via FEMA to this project’s efforts, extra resources were devoted to it by FEMA and STARR II/GdB. Due to the projects nature as being rural and remote, instead of on populated roadways and city infrastructure, FEMA continued these efforts and worked with our team to speed up contracting and support our offices. We utilized field staff from our Melville office during the FY19 and FY20 efforts to support this office and prevent layoffs.