Sain’s Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow you to visualize, question, analyze, interpret, and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends. At Sain Associates, we use GIS to support the following engineering activities: converting GIS data to and from CAD, generating aerial clips and 3D contours for design projects, creating GIS-based analysis and report maps for planning projects, and developing conceptual drawings for proposed transportation and site projects. Another aspect of our GIS services is direct GIS support to various city, county, and utility organizations, ranging from general GIS data development and maintenance to GIS software upgrades and other GIS technical support.

One of the most exciting projects I have been working on recently is performing feasibility studies and future project planning for broadband infrastructure in various counties. The State of Alabama defines “broadband” as internet service with download speeds that exceed 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds that exceed 3 Mbps.

Feasibility studies involve an in-depth look at existing broadband infrastructure, or lack thereof, and help the county develop a plan to expand that infrastructure to meet the growing needs of their citizens, businesses, and communities. The study identifies areas currently unserved and underserved (having only a single internet provider available) with broadband internet service, and it ultimately defines specific construction projects and an implementation plan that would help alleviate gaps in service.

We noticed the need for broadband studies over the last several years and more recently at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In many areas of Alabama, particularly in rural areas, broadband internet is limited or unavailable. One county had taken a proactive approach in addressing their broadband gaps by partnering with Sain to perform a feasibility study before the pandemic. The study helped identify stationary public education internet hotspots for students participating in distance learning with no access to broadband service at their residence.

Sain uses multi-level quality control measures and automated computer procedures to produce high-quality data to meet our clients’ needs. Our staff has implemented GIS mapping systems for Air Force and Naval bases, city and county governments, and utilities of all kinds, including water, wastewater, storm, electric, gas, and communication utilities. We also address specific GIS solutions such as asset management, facilities management, cemetery management, document management, and work order management. To learn more about Sain’s GIS services, visit