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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > October 1998 > A Hands-On Introduction to DataPave
October 1998Publication Number: FHWA-SA-98-026

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A Hands-On Introduction to DataPave

DataPave, a new software program from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), contains such a wealth of data from the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program that if the information were transferred to floppy disks, the stack would reach higher than a 44-story building. To help engineers and others from State highway agencies, private industry, and the academic community learn how to navigate this data, FHWA, in cooperation with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), has held a series of 1-day workshops around the country.

Workshop participants learn how to use the software's different modules to obtain data on everything from traffic to environmental conditions at the more than 2,400 LTPP test sections on in-service highways and roads across the United States and Canada. The modules include a map section, where all the LTPP sites are displayed, along with the major cities and highways in each State and Province. The user can then zoom in on and pan across the map to view data on a specific site. Users looking for more detailed information about each LTPP section can turn to the section presentation module, which reports on such variables as location, construction, traffic loads, and climatic data. Users can also view a cross-section of the test section's pavement and obtain information on its layer composition and thickness.

To date, 14 workshops have been held, with two more scheduled for this fall in Arizona and Mississippi and one scheduled for next summer in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop in Cairo was planned after an instructor at the University of Cairo heard about DataPave and requested that a training session be held in Egypt. If State highway agencies or universities would like to host additional workshops after the scheduled ones have been completed, FHWA could provide instructors.

An August workshop in Raleigh, North Carolina, drew a diverse crowd of 25 participants, including graduate students, faculty members from North Carolina State University, North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) staff, and representatives from private companies and research organizations. The workshop "helped me to understand the whole LTPP process and how to use the data," says participant George Gibson of North Carolina DOT. "I also liked the hands-on format."

For more information on the DataPave workshops, contact Mike Hewitt at ASCE, 703-295-6115 (fax: 703-295-6132; email: mhewitt@asce.org), or Shahed Rowshan at FHWA, 703-285-2527 (fax: 703-285-2767; email: shahed.rowshan@fhwa.dot.gov). To obtain a copy of the DataPave software, contact Kurt Dunn at FHWA, 816-276-2734 (fax: 816-363-3347; email: kurt.dunn@fhwa.dot.gov). Information on DataPave can also be found at FHWA's DataPave Web site (datapave.fhwa.dot.gov).

The original DataPave 97 has been replaced with an updated Version 1.1, which now includes transverse profile pavement data. Work is already underway on Version 2.0, which is due to be released in July 1999. Version 2.0 will feature substantial enhancements to the program, including a database about three times as large as the existing one. The new version will also include more graphics capabilities and improved reporting features.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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