The extreme variations, shapes, and sizes of any given built environment creates the opportunity for unique identities and dynamic cultures to flourish. However, since no city or town is exactly alike, collecting data on buildings can be an incredible challenge, especially when these results are needed quickly and efficiently.
VHB developed the Cultural Information Resource System (CRIS) for the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as a web-based resource information system to catalogue and manage the agency’s huge range of programs and assets. CRIS records and manages data concerning the cultural resources within the State and gives both SHPO and its partner agencies a platform to submit, review and process wide varieties of historic preservation projects—effectively eliminating bottlenecks during a review process. CRIS also eliminates nearly all physical paperwork to help streamline record-keeping.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2015, VHB launched CRIS Trekker as a mobile-friendly enhancement to CRIS to help SHPO assess the condition of historic buildings and resources within the areas affected by the storm. CRIS Trekker captures real-time data in the field using hand-held devices and collects information in a cloud-based mapping system. The tool’s easy-to-use interface allows users to simply fill out a form, take a photo with their device, and submit digitally. The enhanced flexibility makes submitting, storing, analyzing, and managing incoming building surveys faster and more efficient.
In early 2020, VHB launched CRIS Trekker 2.0, a complete re-engineering of CRIS Trekker based on the latest Esri GIS platform. In the field, CRIS Trekker 2.0 has been critical in keeping technicians safe in the field and allowing building surveys to continue. The combination of CRIS and CRIS Trekker 2.0 has provided SHPO with an integrated digital platform to enable the continued review and processing of incoming projects without interruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.