GIS:Technology for Transportation

by Howard J. Simkowitz, V.P.; Caliper Corp., 4819 Cumberland Ave., Chevy Chase, MD,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 6, Pg. 72-75

Document Type: Feature article


Geographic Information Systems show promise as important tools for transportation engineers. As computer hardware continues to become less expensive and more powerful, and as the software continues to grow more sophisticated, transportation agencies will be able to adopt more and more GIS-based solutions to their problems. By definition, the GIS database is tied to a geographical coordinate system so that it contains both geocoded spatial data and attribute data. Each object is classified as either a point, a line or a polygon, clearly related to the others according to the rules of mathematical topology. The attribute data is the same as found in traditional databases. One source of geocoded data is the U.S. Census Bureau, which has cooperated with the Federal Highway Administration to produce TIGER/Line software, demonstrating it first in Columbia, Mo. The transportation departments of several states, notably Alaska, Idaho and Tennessee, are beginning to acquire the technology.

Subject Headings: Spatial data | Geographic information systems | Computer software | Information systems | Databases | Terminology and definition | Mathematics | Professional societies

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