It’s hard to predict the future, but having a tool that can identify issues early on in the construction process can be just as valuable. Now, with the help of mapping technology and connected devices, contractors involved with roadway projects can add a bit of intelligence to the upfront planning process.

Last week Rii (Resource Intl. Inc.), www.resourceinternational.com, Columbus, Ohio, which provides asset-management technology, announces the release of advanced infrastructure management software, iiCollector. Formed in collaboration with Google Maps, the technology is a new component of the company’s Web-based project-management platform ProjectGrid.com.

ProjectGrid is an interactive project-management platform focused on communication and collaboration throughout the course of a construction project. By now including the iiCollector infrastructure asset manager, the company adds another component with some unique features that focus on the infrastructure elements to a project.

According to the company iiCollector is flexible and customizable; an asset-management system that can be used to rate both pavement and non-pavement elements all by using a handheld device. There are two components to the system: A field data collection Web app that runs on a smartphone or tablet and the ProjectGrid.com software. The ProjectGrid.com component runs on the desktop and creates reports, maps, and additional output.

With the technology, field technicians will be able to rate road deficiencies under various categories, including drainage, guardrails, medians, pavement, and traffic. Deficiencies that can be identified include such things as potholes, road debris, and high drop-offs on the road.

Being able to flag such deficiencies early can help in the creation of safer road projects. In essence, the technology is playing a strong role in eliminating the lag time between when information is discovered and reported. By recording the data on a connected device from the field, users can send vital information back to the office for review at a moment’s notice.

According to the company, the iiCollector is currently being used by technicians on pilot projects in the field, with development of the product still being finalized. The company expects the product to be available in the coming months.