In early 2012, the City of Bozeman GIS Department was asked to create a comprehensive map of the City’s stormwater system, supporting both the Bozeman Stormwater Program and Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permit for stormwater discharge. The question quickly became….what is the best way given the resources we have to create the inventory in a timely fashion and at an accuracy level that supports our needs including flow analysis and modelling?

Around the same time that Jon Henderson and others at the GIS Department where wrestling with this question, Trimble Mapping & GIS introduced the Geo6000 XH Centimeter Edition. Without needing to learn new software, the Geo6000 XH CM Edition was a natural choice given the trusted GIS workflow, ease of use and built-in Floodlight technology. Shortly thereafter, the City acquired the first of two CM Edition handhelds and bridged the gap between productivity in the field and high-accuracy GNSS mapping.

Then in comes Kyle Mehrens, the new Montana State University graduate tasked with hitting the streets and inventorying the stormwater system. I recently met up with Kyle and after mapping thousands of features in less than two years, he had this to say…..

“The ease of use, unmatched handheld accuracy, and mobility of the Trimble (Geo)6000 has changed the way the City of Bozeman manages infrastructure. We have recently mapped over 10,000 stormwater assets and are excited to leverage the accuracies achieved through the future modeling of the systems networks of pipes, inlets, and manholes.  New technology and high accuracy data, especially within the vertical component, has paved the way for this effort. Public safety and fresh water quality depend heavily on a municipality’s ability to plan and manage its stormwater assets. The Trimble (Geo)6000 is changing the way we interact with our system and is ensuring a healthier future for the City of Bozeman.”

The GIS Department uses interactive maps to share information regarding the stormwater mapping program with the public and other specific groups within the City. The first one to visit, The Interactive Stormwater Map, is an Esri ArcGIS Viewer for Flex application. The City also uses ArcGIS Online to share data (see the Online Stormwater Story Map).

For those interested in learning more about the stormwater mapping program at the City of Bozeman, please contact Jon Henderson ( and Kyle Mehrens (  You can also find more details at the City of Bozeman’s Stormwater Website.


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