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Wednesday, May 17 • 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Moving Water Records from Physical to Digital

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) stored close to 25,000 Water engineering project files at its downtown site. While they were easily accessible to staff in that building, considerable effort was needed for employees at remote sites to make use of them.  
Project folders dated back to the late 1800s and many items were known to be the only information source. Contents of the folders varied: project plans, contracts, field notes, material and operation manuals, photos, memos, sketches, newspaper articles and videos. As the records accumulated over the years more storage room was required; it became challenging to maintain organization of the folders as well as track their whereabouts; and deterioration and loss greatly increased.
SPU’s Water Records Repository Project had the precise goal of scanning all the documents associated with the project files and ensuring that they would be available via an existing web application known as the Virtual Vault. While the goal was clear, the project team representing different lines of business across the Utility was diverse - and many times divided - in their viewpoints and expectations. Representatives drew from engineering, technical and delivery services, GIS and other staff thus members of the team were familiar with systems supporting their own unit’s work but sometimes not at all with those of others. Many of you likely know this does not lead to project harmony!  
During February, 2017 the tally was in: Nearly 1,000,000 Water project records went digital. Attend this presentation and you’ll learn of the challenges, pitfalls and successes the project team encountered which ranged from vendor selection, data security, image quality and metadata development to providing staff continued access to the files during the project.


Elaine Eberly

Utility_GIS Data Maintenance Supervisor, Seattle Public Utilities
Elaine Eberly is a member of the GIS Section in the IT Division at Seattle Public Utilities and has been the supervisor of the Utility GIS Data Maintenance Unit for the past 15 years.

Wednesday May 17, 2017 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Room 315

Attendees (16)