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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > April 1997 > New Software Makes LTPP Data More Accessible
April 1997Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-022

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New Software Makes LTPP Data More Accessible

What makes some asphalt and portland cement concrete pavements more durable than others? To find out, the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program is collecting data from more than 2,000 test sections on pavements nationwide. A new software program-the LTPP Data Sampler and Data Request Program Version 7.0-now makes it easier than ever for pavement engineers, researchers, and others to put that data to use.

The LTPP Data Sampler and Data Request Program includes a sample of the most up-to-date inventory, climate, traffic, layer material, and deflection data for LTPP general pavement studies (GPS) sites. The software also provides tools to:

  • View GPS data.
  • Search GPS data.
  • Learn about the LTPP program and the scope of data available from GPS sites.
  • Prepare a request for additional data from the LTPP Information Management System (LTPP IMS) (see sidebar).

Version 7.0 of the LTPP Data Sampler and Data Request Program has several enhancements that make it more powerful than previous versions. The new release works with all GPS data available from the LTPP IMS, not just the sample data included on the program disk.

"The new version has three new features that make it more of a data handling tool than a data sampling tool," says Barbara Ostrom of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These features let users:

  • Create their own data files using GPS data ordered from the LTPP IMS.
  • Create files compatible with most database software programs.
  • Search for particular information. "For example," says Ostrom, "you can find information on the results of a specific test without knowing how that information is stored in the database. You just need to know what you're looking for."

Because of these new capabilities, users of previous versions of the software will want to upgrade to Version 7.0.

LTPP Data Sampler and Data Request Program Version 7.0 is available free of charge from FHWA's Pavement Performance Division, which manages the LTPP program. It is supplied on a high-density computer disk and operates on IBM-compatible microcomputers running any version of Microsoft Windows. The program requires 3 megabytes of hard disk space, plus up to 250 megabytes of disk space for any additional GPS data that users request from the LTPP IMS.

To order the Data Sampler and Data Request Program, call 703-285-2124. For more information, contact Barbara Ostrom at FHWA (telephone: 703-285-2514; fax: 703-285-2767; email: barbara.ostrom@fhwa.dot.gov).

LTPP Information Management System

The LTPP Information Management System (LTPP IMS) is the central repository for all data collected as part of the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program.

At present, the LTPP IMS can supply data only from general pavement studies (GPS) sites. That will change this summer, when users will be able to request data from specific pavement studies (SPS) experiments on environmental effects, structural factors, and pavement rehabilitation, as well as detailed climatic data from seasonal monitoring sites.

Detailed information about the LTPP IMS and how to request data can be found in the new LTPP Data Users Reference Manual (FHWA-RD-97-001). The manual is available from the FHWA Research and Technology Report Center (telephone: 301-577-0906; fax: 301-577-1421).

Making Sure the Database Meets Needs.

The new Expert Task Group (ETG) on State Department of Transportation (DOT) Usage of LTPP Data is working to ensure that the database is accessible to State highway agencies and other practitioners.

The ETG members-who are almost exclusively State DOT staff-will conduct independent research using LTPP data. These research projects will address topics of immediate concern to States, such as the loss of skid resistance in pavement surfaces and the relative performance of different pavement rehabilitation methods. By conducting this research, the ETG members will help identify any problems that might make the database difficult for States to use.

The ETG members are:

Judith Corley-Lay, North Carolina DOT (chairman)

Jamshid Armaghani, Florida DOT

George Cochran, Minnesota DOT

Dan Dawood, Pennsylvania DOT

Andrew Johnson, South Carolina DOT

Linda Pierce, Washington State DOT

Gary Sharpe, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Shakir Shatnawi, California DOT

Wes Yang, New York State DOT

Guy Dore, Quebec Ministry of Transport

John Hallin, FHWA

Beta Testers Wanted

The next version of the LTPP software, scheduled for release in January 1998, will be even more powerful, allowing users to search and manipulate data from both general pavement studies (GPS) sites and specific pavement studies (SPS) sites. If you're interested in testing the beta version of the software, contact Shahed Rowshan at FHWA (telephone: 703-285-2527; fax: 703-285-2767; email: shahed.rowshan@fhwa.dot.gov).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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