A location referencing system to support data integration

A location referencing system to support data integration

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  • Abstract:
    An investigation of South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) location referencing practices and procedures identified the functional requirements of and specific changes that should be implemented to establish a standard location referencing system that will address SDDOT data integration needs. Critical elements of the proposed location referencing system include a relational database to enhance data access and data management capabilities, coordinate transformation interfaces to enable integration of data from diverse referencing systems, and a time data attribute to enable historical data management. A review of literature on recent developments in location referencing and related issues as well as a review of ongoing activities in states actively addressing location referencing issues revealed that the principal referencing method used in the transportation industry is linear. Further, the use of multiple referencing systems to support transportation management is common. Databases used to manage location-referenced data are predominantly relational, and historical data management is essential for effective transportation management. Interestingly, the states exploring the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are addressing location referencing issues because of associated needs for coordinates; increased data sharing; and increased emphasis on open systems, standards, and cooperation. Management commitment/support was identified as critical to ensure success in data integration and GIS implementation efforts. The study identified 13 discrete location referencing systems in use, provided insight on data sharing needs and uses of location-referenced data, and provided a basis for recommended changes that should be implemented to address SDDOT data integration needs. Implementation alternatives were investigated, and a recommended implementation strategy was defined. A relational DBMS was identified as the preferred DBMS based on comparative analyses of system functionality and life cycle cost and SDDOT institutional constraints. Preliminary design investigations, recommended as the first phase in the recommended implementation strategy, will resolve technical uncertainties that will have a direct impact on how the system will function and on the direction and cost of design and implementation efforts. The remaining implementation phases involve development of detailed system functional and design specifications to guide subsequent implementation of a standard location referencing system specific to SDDOT data integration needs.
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