Photo Based Real Property Asset Management
Asset Management

Photo Based Real Property Asset Management

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Omaha District Real Property Accountable Officer (RPAO) developed, organized and implemented a comprehensive photograph based real property asset management system where there was none before. It documents the 5000 plus real property items (structures/buildings) for the more than 40 different civil projects within the Omaha District (which covers a six state region).

The Photo System developed for Omaha District has and will continue to save, at a minimum, $10,000 a year, organize needed information and enhance the ability of all users to understand the over $2 billion in real property they are assigned.

At its core, the latest technology developed for digital cameras was used to capture GPS coordinates and other necessary information required to track the more than $2 billon government owned real property assigned to the Omaha District. The extremely simple to use processing program provides outstanding individual photos with all the appropriate information watermarked on them, it automatically gathers 2 different aerial photos from other sources based on the embedded GPS information, it produces individual html files, overview/index html files and many other files that greatly enhance the ability for everyone that views them to get a clear picture of “what it is”, “where it is at” and “what condition it is in”.

An organized and consistent way of maintaining the information and photos (over 77,000 files) was set up on a portion of the district computer network server so that the system was always kept up-to-date and allowed all interested personnel access to any of the photos/information contained therein at any time. Binders were also assembled and distributed (containing inventory listings, information and all real property photos for their individual areas of responsibility) so that anyone that did not have access to the network server or who worked in the field away from the home office would have the same tools at their fingertips.

This system was so well received that the Operations Division bought eight of the same GPS enabled cameras for their personnel’s use in the field. Their personnel were trained on its use and now they directly email their additions/updates regarding real property structures/buildings. Implementation of this program has saved the District over $10,000 in labor and travel costs due to time savings alone (in the past a major project would take a minimum of 1, 2 or even 3 weeks, using this system it now only takes 1 to 7 days).

It will also result in a projected labor and travel savings of approximately $10,000 each year in the future as the RPAO will no longer have to make one to three week trips that were made to gather all the necessary information at each site. Future trips will be of a short duration due to only having to update or add to the present inventory of pictures maintained.

This system now gives managers the ability to easily see and understand the real property account items they are signing for in the system.

Roger R. Miller, Real Property Administrative Officer
US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District

This is a Federal best practice submitted to the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Real Property Management for competition in the GSA Innovative/Best Practices Achievement Award.