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32 understand its full potential. The case studies in this synthe- TRAINING sis revealed that the primary decision makers for its use are the project managers. Most project managers do not incor- The case studies convey that training has generally been lim- porate visualization into the design team early in the process. ited. Mentoring and cascading information are the primary Visualization should be a byproduct of design if it is under- methods used for training. Informal training is frequently stood and agreed that "design" begins early in the project done through self-taught or on-the-job processes. By creat- development phase. However, most highway departments ing proper job titles, career paths with training guidelines can view design as beginning after the project development be accomplished. This, in turn, will lead to more accurate phase is complete and after the preparation of final construc- budgeting and scheduling for formalized training. tion plans and documents is underway. A significant challenge with training is the lack of fund- Overall, project managers are not well versed in the visu- ing. Limited agency budgets have significantly curtailed the alization process. They have limited knowledge of what amount of formal training that individuals receive. In addi- technology is available and, more importantly, how it is pro- tion, there have been significant reductions in travel, which duced. Their perceptions are mostly that the visualization hinders attendance at formal training seminars, conferences, process is time consuming and expensive. However, there and professional societies. Without standards and guidelines are some examples of project managers consistently reusing for visualization it is difficult for management to justify the technology for the next project. Several examples within training expenses. The current tight funding trend will most this synthesis show how visualization played an important likely continue, at least for the near future. role in the design or approval process for a project. Another training challenge is to determine the type of Because visualization is not usually part of the design training. There is a diverse array of visual applications to process, it is often misunderstood. The technologies used select from. Training often depends on the software applica- to implement visualization are not standardized the tions that each transportation agency uses. The wide variety way they are for engineering or CADD applications. This of software applications and the lack of standardization for causes conflict, because management must make decisions visualization training make it difficult for a supervisor to concerning its use while having little to no guidance. For assist the technician in selecting the correct training regimen. example, the software applications used for visualization often require more advanced graphics cards and significant During the review process for this synthesis, interviewees amounts of random access memory. These unique require- noted several times that learning 3-D modeling was difficult ments are not standard for purchasing. Because there are for most individuals. This difficulty is considered the biggest no guidelines for visualization, managers often refer to impediment in the visualization process. Training sources for CADD standards for guidelines. However, in most cases, 3-D vary from software vendors, universities, and technical as described in the Caltrans case study, CADD hardware schools to CADD vendors offering 3-D CADD modeling requirements fall short of visualization requirements. The classes. The transportation agencies interviewed for this syn- case studies frequently refer to relying on underpowered thesis all started the 3-D modeling process using CADD systems to produce visuals. applications, which have built-in 3-D modeling capabilities; therefore, no additional software or hardware investment was needed by these agencies. Once individuals became profi- Visualization Workforce cient with 3-D CADD modeling and rendering, other visual- ization software applications were purchased. Another significant challenge is properly staffing transporta- tion agencies with qualified visualization technicians. The In addition to in-house training and professional seminars, lack of qualified visualization technicians has hindered the visualization is increasingly being taught by universities and development of visualization at these transportation agencies. technical schools. However, although these schools produce quality students who know the visual tools quite well, most stu- Although many agencies do not have qualified visualiza- dents do not know how to adequately read design plans and/or tion technicians, an available workforce is slowly develop- understand the design process itself. Significant time is required ing as visualization technology matures. Most of the staffing by transportation agencies for the training of these individuals. requirements from transportation agencies have been filled In the case of UDOT, it is estimated that an additional 80 by in-house transfers, who typically come from the CADD 120 h of training is required. The training ranges from CADD and landscape architecture departments. The transfers are design to learning specific UDOT design specifications and generally self-motivated and have good CADD skills and art procedures. The average trainee requires several additional backgrounds. Often, this type of individual is difficult for months of on-the-job training to become fully proficient. transportation agencies to find. There is usually a significant investment needed to train these people on how to use visu- Despite the need to provide on-the-job training for new alization technologies. hires, many of the new hires who have recently graduated