Yesterday's Data—Tomorrow

by Rob Glasier, Vice Pres. of Business Development; Rolta International, Inc., Huntsville, AL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 5, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


Before the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS), keeping documentation for future usage was no problem. All an engineer had to do was make sure there was a permanent medium for storing the drawings. Computers have changed all that. The hardware on which computer-generated CAD drawings, GIS data and other information is now stored changes every few years, and software gets updated even more frequently. This could make it difficult or even impossible for engineers to access needed information in years to come. Engineering firms must develop a strategic plan for transferring their existing data to consistent, lasting formats, or work with outside vendors who can provide access to obsolete hardware and software.

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