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Batty Apps: Customized Field Collection for Management of NCDOT Bat Habitat Structure Data

Wednesday, August 26
10:00–10:45 AM PT
 | 1:00–1:45 PM ET

About the Session

As a critical element for NC Department of Transportation's (DOT) maintenance and compliance, field inventory efforts are becoming increasingly sophisticated and efficient. By leveraging customized and off-the-shelf solutions such as Esri’s suite of cloud applications, environmental management and infrastructure assets can be easily collected, organized, and reviewed in user-friendly format. As part of the DOT process improvement initiative (ATLAS – Advancing Transportation through Linkages, Automation and Screening), our team has developed a seamless, cloud-based survey platform for the statewide inventorying of bridges, culverts, and caves for potential bat roosting habitat. By utilizing the Esri’s Collector and Survey123 application and custom-designing it, field teams are equipped with the ability to digitally collect environmental and structure field data developed from a Trimble collection system with supporting hand written forms (pdf deliverables). The digital survey method also leverages automated population of standard constant variables (such as date, time), standard bridge attributes from a DOT bridge database (e.g., bridge location, deck type, bridge orientation, height of bridge above water), and known environmental data (mine and cave locations, land cover type), providing crucial time-savings and consistency in the data collection process. To further increase field data quality, design of the application applies conditional statements to streamline the inventory process and increase ease of use among field workers; users are prompted to fill in the necessary fields for complete collection based on initial survey choice selections. Utilizing Survey123 has enabled field users, project managers, and the DOT to dynamically collaborate on field efforts in real-time. Additionally, the platform has served as a central “data gateway”, providing 24/7 accessibility and adaptability for both the large-scale data effort and the efficiency client-consultant relationship.


  • Endangered Species 
  • Role of Government in Environmental Improvement 
  • Infrastructure Upgrades & the Environment 
  • Planning and Permitting 

About the Speaker


Erin Koch
Senior GIS Analyst
HDR, Inc.

Ms. Koch is an accomplished GIS Manager and IT professional with 18 years of experience supporting state agency environmental and natural resources-related objectives. Her areas of expertise include development, planning, and coordination of large multi-disciplinary GIS projects, working with decision-makers to promote GIS use, project management, oversight, and scheduling, diagnosis and resolution of software issues, data management, as well as training and mentoring scientists and non-scientists in GIS.

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