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Latest News

Developing Fast: Increasing Image performance using HTML5 and JavaScript

February 14, 2016


Everybody loves to go fast. Our Mobile Asset Collection team has set the bar high with the innovative Mobile Asset Collection (MAC) vehicle fleet. So here in the development shop, we match their ingenuity with blazing fast web apps with HTML5 and JavaScript.

Our VUEpoint web app sorts through terabytes of images to simulate a driving experience for users at their desktop. Our clients love to view these images as rapidly as possible, and in doing so there are huge performance bottlenecks that we have hit and overcome. This topic deserves multiple blog posts to elaborate on, but we’ll keep it simple today.

Switching from Images to HTML5 Canvas

Our first iteration of this web app was built with JavaScript Image objects and HTML Image tags. For every single image requested, an Image object was created to load the image data and then insert into the Document Object Model (DOM). This worked, but over long periods of time we noticed memory leaks occurring. Chrome specifically would chew through memory preloading images due to this known bug:

We then shifted our focus to HTML5 Canvas and got more performance gains than athletes doping with human growth hormone. Now, for each image requested, we continually reuse one canvas context reference. We can insert images into the canvas as fast as we receive them from the server without seeing any major spikes in RAM usage. We did not stop there.

Request Animation Frame API

We made another cool change to utilize the JavaScript requestAnimationFrame API. This optimizes the animation paint cycle to hit an ideal 60 frames per second refresh rate. It also results in more appropriate utilization of the CPU by the browser.
Previously we solely relied on using the JavaScript setInterval function to control painting the image to the screen, but it seemed to cause a bit of a stuttering effect between images. Now with incorporating these changes, the images have a silky smooth transition and use even less RAM.


There is always still more to do, but we have made great performance gains as our VUEpoint web app continues to grow. Our driving experience went from a casual Sunday cruise with your grandparents to your hair whipping through the wind in a Ferrari with the top down.

A quick shout out goes to Paul Irish of Google for all his great contributions and resources we have used in testing and increasing web application performance. Check out his requestAnimationFrame API tutorial here:

Visualizing Pavement Distress – The Complete Story of Pavement Inspection

January 28, 2016

Pavement management incorporates data collected utilizing various methods to gain a complete view of how the pavement is performing through its life-cycle. One of the most common practices in pavement inspection is imaging utilizing high-resolution cameras mounted on vehicles outfitted with precision GPS and inertial navigation. This imaging, when combined with laser profiling, constitutes a typical pavement inspection setup utilized by many DOTs as well as Local government agencies.

dts van

Pavement Inspections tend to follow a process that in many cases is proprietary and “black box” in nature. This makes it hard for the purchasing agency to see how their roads were inspected and how the resulting pavement condition scores were generated. Our team of Engineers and GIS professionals have worked hard to develop a process to remove the “black box” related pavement inspection and to make it easy and simple to trace inspection results back to their originating distresses from the field.

First, our entire process is geospatial in nature from the get-go. Our van’s location is tracked in six-dimensions in real-time and this information is used to calculate the exact location of pavement cracks in the resulting images. Next, the pavement images are geospatially referenced in 3-d and 1mm-pixel resolution, making it easy to extract low-severity cracks in a true 3-d environment. This process then allows us to create GIS vectors (points, lines and polygons) of each distress for each pavement image and deliver them to our clients as part of the pavement inspection deliverables.



This is a crucial piece to the pavement inspection “story” because it shows the purchasing agency exactly what distresses were identified and measured when creating the pavement condition scores for a section of road. Being able to see these distresses on a map helps to complete the story by providing the ability for a rigorous QA/QC process utilizing some simple GIS tools.

Each Section of road can be colored by the condition score and its range of values. This tells one component of its story. The underlying distress information tells the rest of the story related to “How” a section of road was scored and assigned its inspection score. By having this information at their fingertips, pavement inspection personnel have a GIS-centric and user-friendly tool that allows them to QA/QC pavement inspection data efficiently.


DTS Helps State DOTs Meet FHWA ARNOLD Requirements

January 20, 2016

In 2012, FHWA announced that the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data collection would be expanded in 2014 to include all public roads required under 23 CFR 460. This requirement was later entitled the “All Roads Network of Linear Referenced Data” or ARNOLD. A very helpful overview of ARNOLD from FHWA can be found here:

Many state DOTs have been challenged by the expanded requirements as they focus on their State-owned system while local entities manage non-State public roadways. FHWA decided to help states build a sustainable all-roads network that meets the ARNOLD requirements through the ARNOLD Pooled Fund Study. FHWA is working with state DOTs through the development of individual work plans designed to meet their specific needs and DTS was selected to assist states through a variety of approaches. Activities may include the planning, development and maintenance of the network geometries and linear referencing systems (LRSs) as well as the development and maintenance of network attributes supporting HPMS, MIRE (the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements) and/or FMIS (the Fiscal Management Information System).

DTS is proud to be working directly with all nine participating states including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Utah.

The table below provides a brief listing of key project tasks and current status for each state.

Participating State Key Project Tasks


LRS System Development Plan

  • Assess Caltrans’ LRS Business Needs and California’s LRS Requirements Objectives
  • Analysis of Alternatives for Caltrans’ LRS Related Business Needs
  • System Development Plan for Caltrans


ARNOLD Data Collection and Process Development

  • Data Collection and Development
  • ETL Script Development
  • Local Outreach for Local Roads Data Collection


ARNOLD Network Development Assistance

  • Develop Plan for Building the ARNOLD
  • Build the ARNOLD Network
  • Develop ARNOLD Maintenance Plan


ARNOLD Local Government Coordination and Portal Planning

  • Local Agency Coordination
  • GDOT ARNOLD Portal Planning
  • Design ARNOLD Portal Architecture


ARNOLD Implementation Plan

  • Implementation Plan Technical Requirements
  • Define Information Pipeline and Local Agency Coordination
  • Conduct Pilot Project
  • Develop Final Implementation Plan


ARNOLD Geospatial Portal Plan

  • Develop Shared Centerline Requirements
  • Develop Geospatial Portal System Architecture and Development Plan
  • Long-Term Strategy for Improving the ARNOLD Network

New Mexico

ARNOLD Development and Strategic Plan

  • All Roads Network Development Planning Review
  • Development of the All Roads Network
  • ARNOLD Maintenance Strategic Plan


Data Integration for ARNOLD Development

  • Develop Plan for Building the ARNOLD Network
  • Build/Develop the ARNOLD Network
  • Develop an ARNOLD Maintenance Plan


Geospatial Data Assessment and Local Stakeholder Involvement Program

  • Develop a UDOT Geospatial Data Summary Assessment to Support ARNOLD and Esri Roads & Highways
  • Conduct Local Outreach and Regional Workshops
Participating State Key Project Tasks

For more information regarding the ARNOLD Pooled Fund Study or to inquire about DTS’s geospatial planning and development services, please contact Greg Yarbrough, Director of GIS Solutions. Mr. Yarbrough may be reached via email at or by calling (803) 960-9665.

Do You Have A Map-21 Compliant Asset Management Plan?

January 11, 2016


Has your organization completed the federally mandated, MAP-21 required Risk-based, Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP)? There are still many state DOTs which have not completed these plans. For some the daunting task of developing such a plan is hampered by the fact that the initial questions which need to be answered to begin have sometimes not even be contemplated.

  • What is the current state of your assets?
  • What is the Level of Service desired/necessary to maintain or achieve acceptable performance?
  • What/where are my critical assets?
  • What are the best strategies to employ for Operations and Maintenance and Capital Investments?
  • Where is the funding coming from to implement this plan?

There are examples available through FHWA of states’ plans:

Key to these plans in addition to knowing what you have, where it is and in what condition it is, is understanding the likelihood and consequence of an asset’s failure. This is the risk component of the asset management plan – in other words, the ‘tree in the woods’ scenario. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, who cares? Likewise if an asset fails with little or no impact to system performance, the environment or safety, where is it on the prioritized list for funding or attention? More to the point, where are the critical assets that if they failed would catastrophically affect safety and/or performance?!?!

DTS stands alone in the transportation industry as the ONLY firm that understands and has experience with the full cycle of asset management, from data collection, feature extraction and condition assessment to planning, work management and operations and maintenance. Others collect data, while some offer software systems, but DTS alone has the necessary expertise and experience to support your agency through the entire process.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2015


It is axiomatic that 2016 will bring many exciting new adventures. At DTS, we will continue to lead the vision for a more perfect performance asset management solution. This includes our collective leverage of geographic information systems, mobile asset collection and support for sustainable infrastructure care.

From all of us at DTS, we wish you a very safe and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays!

December 26, 2015


Thank you for an exciting and successful year – we are truly grateful to you, our growing family of customers, team members, and friends.

From all of us at Data Transfer Solutions, may you and your families have a safe and festive Holiday Season!