Development of an Online Repository of Data and Metadata for California’s Highway Bridges

Research Lead: Ertugrul Taciroglu

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: There is currently no single repository for data or metadata on California’s highway bridges, which complicates the efforts of engineers to maintain the bridges at a systems-level. Some of the data for building a useful online database for managing California’s bridges are directly, albeit disjointly, available in several publicly accessible databases. Another set of extremely important data are only implicitly available; harvesting those data and converting them into metadata (from which models and tools like earthquake risk assessment can be constructed) is a more difficult task.

Project Description: UCLA’s already-developed software interrogates publicly available databases and generates the necessary metadata. For example, photographs of bridges can be harvested from Google Earth/Maps, and geometrically accurate structural analysis models created from them automatically by using photogrammetry principles. Aggregating these geometric data with other metadata (such as year-built and location) enables site- and structure-specific analyses of seismic risk and economic loss. This project will support work required to integrate these capabilities into a single website ( that will be publicly accessible and editable. Users will be able to access, analyze, and edit data that are automatically and continuously updated using our harvesting tools. In addition, once the main data/metadata base is available, it will serve as a platform for third-party domain experts who could, in the future, easily develop and integrate tools for identifying hazards, drafting emergency response plans, managing bridge load ratings, among others. This online database will provide engineers (and other stakeholders) a systems-level view that will transform our ability to assess the vulnerability (likewise, the resiliency) of our existing transportation network to physical damage due to tsunamis, landslides, or earthquakes, and to subsequent economic losses to an unprecedented granularity. Additional Resources: A Vision for Regional PBSA of Bridges []

Status: Completed

Budget: $22,000