Wyoming Department of Transportation
Geographic Information Systems Standards
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Geographic Information Systems/Intelligent Transportation Systems Program
June 10, 2008
Table of Contents
- Section 1: Database Standards
- Section 2: GIS Database Standards
- Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
- Document History
- Appendix A: State of Wyoming Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Standard March 17, 1999
This standard establishes criteria and guidelines for implementing and maintaining GIS technology within the Wyoming Department of Transportation. It is not meant as an introduction to GIS methods or applications. For an excellent overview of GIS and how it can be used, see the Geographic Information Systems page maintained by the USGS at http://info.er.usgs.gov/research/gis/title.html.
To facilitate development of efficient and cost-effective GIS implementation, maximizing system compatibility and departmental sharing and utilization of spatially-referenced data.
This standard is meant to supplement the existing State of Wyoming Information System Architecture Standard - GIS Hardware / Software Standards (see Appendix A). It is currently focused on database standards to GIS-enable existing WYDOT databases, but will continue to evolve over time.
Section 1: Database Standards
In order for a database to become GIS enabled, it must conform to the Department’s existing database standards. Please contact the Information Technology Program about migrating an existing database to these standards.
The database to be GIS enabled must be in the database system that has been endorsed by the Department for enterprise-wide use. That system is Oracle.
The database to be GIS enabled must be “normalized.” Normalization is a database design that allows for efficient access, storage, and maintenance of data in an object relational database. The level of normalization that must be met is Third Normal Form.
Section 2: GIS Database Standards
The following sections outline how a database should be set up in order to integrate it with GIS data. What fields are needed and how they are to be formatted (i.e. width, data type, content, etc.) will be based upon what is being mapped. It is important that these standards are followed - it is on these key fields that the GIS will join the database information with the spatial features. Please contact the Information Technology Program on standardizing and validating database fields to match these standards.
If the database records are spatially referenced by roads, then the following must be included in the database.
ML = Main Line
OT = Optional Turn
RP = Ramp
TN = Turnout
|ID_Number||NUMERIC(6)||1 - 999999|
I = the divided section that has mileposts increasing in direction of travel
D = the divided section that has mileposts decreasing in direction of travel
B = undivided section or both divided sections
Any information linked based upon the above information will be displayed across the entire length of each unique road section. If the database record occurs at a single milepost, then the following must also be present:
|Milepost||NUMERIC(7,3)||0 - 999.999|
Alternatively, if the database record occurs over a segment of the road, then the from and to mileposts must be present:
|F_Milepost||NUMERIC(7,3)||0 - 999.999|
|T_Milepost||NUMERIC(7,3)||0 - 999.999|
Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
If the database records are spatially reference by a PLSS description, then the following must be included in the database.
|Township||NUMERIC(3,1)||0.0 – 99.9|
N = North
S = South
|Range_||NUMERIC(4,1)||0.0 – 999.9|
E = East
W = West
Please note, this standard does not detail the valid combinations of township and range, nor the valid values within Wyoming. Those issues must be address on a project by project basis based on areas of interest.
Any information linked based upon the above information will be represented geographicly by the entire township and range. If a database record includes section, tract, or lot information, then the following must also be present:
|STL||NUMERIC(3)||0 - 999|
S = Section
T = Tract
L = Lot
Any information linked based upon the above information will be represented geographically by the entire section, tract, or lot within the township and range. Please note that tracts or lots have numbers greater than 36 and do not coexist together in the same township and range. If a database record includes quarter section information, then the following must also be present:
NE = Northeast
NW = Northwest
SE = Southeast
SW = Southwest
Changes since document version:
- September 10, 2001
- Added PLSS Section.
Appendix A: State of Wyoming Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Standard March 17, 19991
This standard establishes criteria and guidelines for implementing and maintaining GIS technology. GIS refers to an information technology capable of collecting, storing, analyzing and displaying both spatial (geographically-referenced) and non-spatial data. Components of a GIS include both computer hardware and software, spatial data features (raster grid cells, or points, lines, and polygons) and associated tabular attribute data.
Utilization of GIS technology occurs in a wide range of applications, from Land Information Systems (LIS), Automated Mapping and Facilities Management (AM/FM), Census and Legislative Redistricting and "transportation" GIS (GIS-T), to natural resource management, environmental modeling and spatial decision support systems (SDSS). Consequently, each area of specialization has unique needs for data and computing. This standard focuses on general criteria for those aspects of GIS technology specifically associated with computing architecture (e.g., hardware and software). In addition, guidelines are provided for two other GIS standard categories: spatial data transfer format and metadata content.
To facilitate development of efficient and cost-effective GIS implementation, maximizing system compatibility and interagency sharing and utilization of spatially-referenced data.
This standard focuses on four aspects of GIS standards: hardware, software, spatial data transfer format, and metadata content. The recommendations outlined here are provided for the purpose of ensuring compatibility both between different GIS platforms and with the other information system architecture standards outlined in this document.
The GIS hardware standard establishes consistent configurations for GIS-based computing platforms and associated peripherals.
PC computing hardware should be Intel-compliant. Intel platforms utilized for GIS should conform to the Technical Level Desktop System Minimum Specification outlined in Appendix II, with the following exceptions: 1) minimum 32MB RAM, 2) minimum 17" monitor size with 1280x1024 by 256 color with 4MB VRAM, and 3) 101-key Keyboard.
In addition to PC hardware platforms, GIS technology has been widely implemented on workstation computers utilizing a UNIX operating system. Because so many brands (e.g., non-compatible variations) of UNIX exist, an ITCC UNIX standard has not been established. However, in considering purchase of such a workstation, agencies are strongly urged to consider six major vendors, including (in alphabetical order): DEC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intergraph, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems. Other hardware specifications to be taken into consideration include RAM requirements (min. 32MB), monitor size and resolution (see above paragraph), and hard disk requirements (min. 1 GB in shared (e.g., networked) disk-space environment; 2 GB for stand-alone workstation).
GIS peripherals should conform to the specifications outlined for peripherals in the Desktop Computing Hardware/Peripherals Standard, with the following exceptions and additions:
|Digitizing Tablet||Minimum active tablet area dimension of 24x36 (D size) with an accuracy of +/- 0.005 inches.|
|Scanners||Minimum 400 dpi resolution for both B&W and color scanners. Minimum paper size of 24x36 (D size) for B&W scanners and 11x17 (B size) for color scanners. It is also recommended that color scanners have the ability to scan transparencies.|
|GPS||No recommended standard for Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers at this time. However, the following specifications need to be considered when purchasing a GPS receiver: mapping grade (e.g., 5 meter horizontal accuracy) versus survey grade (e.g., sub-centimeter horizontal accuracy) receiver, number of channels (6,8,12), external versus internal antenna, data logging capabilities, and post-processing file conversions compatible with standard GIS software (see below).|
|Printers||Laser or ink jet technology, with minimum 300 dpi resolution. Minimum 11x17 (B size) paper size. Dot matrix printers are not recommended for map output production.|
|Plotters||Ink jet technology, with minimum 300 dpi resolution. Minimum 36x48 (E size) paper size. Graphics file RAM and format (e.g., Postscript) requirements should also be taken into consideration when purchasing plotters, as should acquisition of a plotter management software such as ArcPress or Impresario.|
Note: Selection of a GIS software is highly dependent on a number of factors, including the intended use of the chosen application, software and maintenance cost, software "learning curve" and the current technical expertise of agency personnel. The software standards identified here are representative of two broad GIS application categories (i.e., professional and desktop). To assist state agencies in ultimately choosing the most appropriate GIS software for their requirements, development of a GIS Needs Assessment Handbook is being planned by the Wyoming Geographic Information Advisory Council (WGIAC).
GIS application software should be capable of running under a Microsoft Windows (Windows95, Windows98, Windows-NT) or X Windows (e.g., UNIX) environment. While it is recommended that software incorporate both vector and raster data models, priority should be given to vector data model capabilities. GIS software incorporating a relational database must conform to the Structured Query Language standard (FIPS 127-2) described in the Database Management Systems for Multi-user Applications Standard. GIS software not using a relational database should be able to export/import SQL data.
Beyond the differing data model specifications described above, GIS's may be categorized, compared and contrasted based on their functional capabilities, ranging from basic mapping packages to "desktop" and "professional" GIS software applications. Typically, mapping packages are not "true" GIS's, possessing a flat file structure data model with no topology or spatial analysis capabilities; such applications will not be addressed in this standard. Becoming more powerful every year, "desktop" GIS software applications most often run within a Windows environment, and make use of a relational database management structure. In addition to map creation, desktop GIS functionality typically includes address geocode matching capabilities, proximity analysis (e.g., "what is near?") and buffering, as well as polygon overlay utilities. Desktop GIS packages are gaining in popularity particularly due to their "point-and-click" graphical user interfaces and relative ease of use. "Professional" GIS applications are exemplified by software running under either a UNIX or Windows NT operating system, incorporating both vector, raster and, potentially, TIN data models, as well as some level of CADD integration capabilities. The best choice for database development and management, professional GIS's are capable of performing complex spatial operations from feature overlays to nearest neighbor analysis. Such systems also feature programming capabilities for user-customization of the system.
Two levels of software application standards have been identified based on the “professional” and “desktop” functionality levels described above. For the professional level, the ESRI ARC/INFO suite of products is the standard. At the desktop level, the standard consists of two vendor packages: the MapInfo product suite and ESRI’s ArcView GIS and associated extensions. In addition to contrasts in functionality (see detailed descriptions below), professional and desktop applications may also be differentiated based on cost and “ease-of-use”/”learning curve”. Typically, professional-level GIS’s require a higher software investment (up to five times more) than a desktop application. Cost of supporting hardware platforms also tends to be greater when operating on a UNIX-based platform, but is negligible under Windows-NT, etc. Designed as much for the end-user as the analyst/programmer, desktop packages are generally menu-driven, containing a number of generic query, display and mapping utilities which allow the user to quickly access, manipulate and utilize spatial digital data without extensive specialized training and/or experience. Certified training is available throughout the region for each of the product suites identified below.
Professional GIS Software Standard.
The professional GIS software application standard is ESRI, Inc.’s ARC/INFO GIS, Rev. 7.x. Available under either a UNIX or Windows-NT operating system, ARC/INFO contains a comprehensive selection of advanced functions for data entry and editing, data conversion, coordinate projection and transformation, spatial and tabular data management, spatial analysis, cartographic production, and end-user query and display. System customization is made possible through a set of user productivity tools called ArcTools, programmed using the ARC Macro Language (AML) scripting language. Several optional extension products add application-specific tools to ARC/INFO, including: NETWORK (network modeling), TIN (surface modeling and terrain analysis), COGO (interactive coordinate geometry data entry and management), GRID (raster data analysis and management), ArcScan (raster-vector data editor and conversion tool), ArcExpress (vector graphics display utility) and ArcStorm (spatial feature storage and management utility).
ARC/INFO is recommended for agencies that create, manage and maintain large, multi-user spatial databases integrating multiple data types, as well as in situations requiring sophisticated spatial analysis and complex cartographic production.
A number of other products are available from ESRI which compliment ARC/INFO GIS. SDE, ESRI’s Spatial Database Engine, is a high-performance, object-based spatial data access engine employing client/server architecture to perform fast, efficient spatial operations and management of large, shared geographic data sets. PC ARC/INFO software provides a mature, mid-level GIS solution for Windows or DOS-based PCs. ArcCad provides for an extension of AutoCad within the ARC/INFO data model. Finally, ArcView is a menu-based query and display tool for accessing ARC/INFO data layers. Combined with the Data Automation Kit, it also provides users with selected desktop mapping capabilities (see below).
Desktop GIS Software Standard.
The desktop GIS software application standard consists of two vendor packages:
- MapInfo product suite
- ESRI’s ArcView GIS and associated extensions.
- MapInfo Professional version 5.01 (http://www.mapinfo.com)
- Continuous Thematic Shading (GRID technology) - Enhanced Cartographic Legends
- Live ODBC Access to Data Sources - Seagate Crystal Reports
- Updated Universal Translator - Step-by-step dialogue boxes, extensive drawing tools, and automatic/manual map labeling
- Object buffering and advanced geocoding - Geographic selection and search & find
- Full SQL capability with geographic extensions on expressions
- Digitize paper maps to create digital vector maps - Drag and drop maps into other applications
- Create custom solutions or integrate mapping into other applications.
Data Visualization: MapInfo Professional users can manipulate and display data in several ways to better understand the meaning behind database records. Layering lets you place different data sets on the same map to reveal geographic relationships. Thematic Mapping and Thematic Templates for shading maps based on data values helps visually reveal patterns and trends. Choose from hundreds of colors, symbols, and line types to enhance comparisons. You can save frequently-used templates for future reference and modification. Raster Image Support, for use of raster images such as scanned paper maps, satellite images, photographs, and logos; provides a detailed content layer for your maps. Attach Data to Map Objects with a click of the mouse to view information associated with a particular point on a map such as name, address, and account history. Linked Views allow users to simultaneously see and/or edit data in three linked views: rows and columns, graphs, and maps.
Geographic Analysis and Presentation: With MapInfo Professional, users can perform powerful geographic searches and queries, such as: - Build and save SQL queries that access and integrate data from multiple tables. Frequently performed queries only have to be written once and can be distributed to others. - Perform detailed geographic searches with buffering and area selection tools. - Integrate geographic criteria into database queries (contains, intersects, within, etc.). - Perform sophisticated redistricting to balance regions and test alignment scenarios to discover how to improve your regions (school districts, voting districts, redevelopment regions, etc.). - Create new map objects from polygon intersections, merges, or splits, and perform data calculations on the new areas. In addition, improve presentations by "dragging and dropping" a map into other applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and Corel Draw, or export maps directly into PhotoShop.
Developer Tools: No other mapping software offers developers the flexibility of MapInfo Professional. It can be embedded into pre-existing applications or can be fully integrated into business systems. CREATE CUSTOM SOLUTIONS Integrated Mapping using OLE Automation lets developers integrate MapInfo Professional into applications written in common programming languages such as Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, and C++. MapBasic, the robust mapping programming language, lets developers create application-specific interfaces, add menus, options, features and functions, automate procedures, and integrate with other applications. Animate Layer lets MapBasic programmers display real-time data almost instantly, such as the instantaneous display of data relayed by a GPS unit.
Continuous Thematic Shading: This new thematic type, based on grid technology, enables analysis unconstrained by pre-existing geographic boundaries. Using an inverse distance-weighted interpolator, it populates the surface values from MapInfo point tables. Surface themes provide continuous color visualization for point data sets that were previously examined as a point thematic or graduated symbol. Continuous Thematic Shading creates maps with themes that are easy to understand, like maps used to display weather conditions (temperatures, rain falls, USA Today-like maps).
Enhanced Cartographic Legends: Style information for map layers and themes can be represented in frames in a new legend window. This new functionality provides users with enhanced annotation capabilities that can be readily added to a map. The result: fast production of more intuitive, understandable maps.
Live ODBC Access to Data Sources: In the past, ODBC support allowed software to connect to corporate sources and to download a snapshot copy of selected data. The result of this process was that there were multiple copies of data on local machines, with the risk of redundancy and low integrity, due to changing values on the main database. With MapInfo's Live Remote Access, changes in a database are now updated directly and continually. Live database access gives users the capability to connect to data sources through ODBC but to then cache and update the source directly with no intermediate copies stored locally. The key advantages of this feature are improved multi-user access to central databases with reduced local data redundancy and enhanced data integrity.
Access to dBase, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, ASCII; Oracle, Informix, Sybase, Ingres, SQL Server, and other ODBC compliant databases.
Seagate Crystal Reports: This powerful reporting tool gives MapInfo Professional users full report writing functionality. Even higher-quality reports of tabular data, processed with MapInfo, can now be produced using Crystal Reports, a de facto industry standard report writer. Crystal Reports is a highly intuitive environment for developing professional reports. Reports can be formatted based on data conditions and saved for reference.
Updated Universal Translator: In keeping with MapInfo's vision of openness and adherence to industry standards, MapInfo Professional includes a bi-directional data translator to allow MapInfo users access to corporate GIS data sources. The Universal Translator provides built-in data transformation capabilities for several formats including AutoCAD DWG/DXF and ESRI Shape files. New for MapInfo Professional v 5.0 is support for DWG and DXF release 14 and AutoCAD attributes. In addition, there is support for DGN MSLinks.
Other New Features and Enhancements:
Rotate Map Window Utility: Rotates the map window a specific number of degrees.
MapX GeoSet Utility: Read/Write access to MapX GeoSets.
Easy Loader: Uploads MapInfo TAB files into a SpatialWare database.
Informix-Universal Server (IUS) with SpatialWare Datablade
DB2 Universal Server with SpatialWare Extender
MapInfo MapBasic Version 5.01, is a complete, BASIC-like programming language used by MapInfo Professional developers to create customized mapping applications or to integrate mapping functionality into existing applications. MapBasic applications are based on an open architecture and are portable across any platform supported by MapInfo Professional. The MapBasic Development Environment includes a text editor, compiler, "linker" to combine separately written program modules, and an on-line reference for MapBasic programming statements and functions. It is a true object-oriented development environment.
- ESRI’s ArcView Version 3.1 (http://www.esri.com)
ArcView is ESRI’s mapping and GIS software for both single- and multi-user desktop environments. The software is constructed with true 32-bit architecture for operation under Microsoft’s Windows95/98 or Windows-NT operating systems, as well as a wide range of UNIX platforms. archive’s project-based environment allows for work with many "document" types, including views, tables, charts and layouts. Customized application development is attainable through use of Avenue, ArcView’s object-oriented scripting language.
ArcView reads map data directly from ARC/INFO, PC ARC/INFO, ArcCAD, AutoCad (DXF and DWG) and Micro Station (DGN), and will import directly from MapInfo, Atlas GIS and ASCII. Eighteen image data formats are currently readable by ArcView. Tables usable by the software include INFO, dBase, Access, ASCII and any other ODBC/SQL-compliant database file type.
ArcView functionality includes spatial feature and attribute creation and editing, address matching and geocoding, newly enhanced cartographic features including expanded data classification options, and a wide range of spatial analysis techniques, including buffers, dissolves, aggregation and intersection/proximity. This functionality is enhanced by two optional ArcView software extensions - Network Analyst for route modeling, and Spatial Analyst for cell-based modeling and analysis. Three-dimensional virtual reality modeling is supported by the optional 3D Analyst extension. Version 3.1 also incorporates tools for time-series analysis.
Spatial Data Transfer Formats
The standardization of spatial data transfer formats is intended to provide efficient interchange of data between users. In reality, the methods selected for such interchange is often dependent on limitations imposed by hardware and software resident at both the source and target sites.
At this time, the ITCC and WGIAC have not endorsed a specific format for transfer of spatial data. Currently a number of efforts are ongoing to refine existing standards or develop alternatives, including the Open GIS Consortium's Open Geodata Interoperability Specification (OGIS). Until a standard is established, the ITCC and WGIAC is recommending FIPS 173-1, the Spatial Data Transfer Standard(SDTS), as the mechanism for the transfer of spatial data between dissimilar computer systems.
Spatial Data Transfer Standard components include a conceptual model, specifications for a quality report, transfer module specifications, and definitions of spatial features and attributes. Most major GIS software vendors now support conversion utilities to and from the SDTS format. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey has developed a set of public-domain software tools designed to support, among other tasks, the encoding and decoding of logically compliant SDTS data into and out of the SDTS's ISO 8211-FIPS 123 general information interchange format.
Additional information on data transfer standards may be obtained by accessing the following sites on the World Wide Web:
Documentation provides information to users about the development, content and format of digital spatial data. Known as metadata, this information serves to describe the content, quality, condition, and other characteristics of various data sets. The GIS standard for documentation for digital spatial data shall be the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, developed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. The standard specifies the information content of metadata for a set of digital spatial data, including a common set of terminology and definitions for documentation related to these metadata. The standard does not specify how this information is to be organized or transferred within and between computer systems, or how the information is to be transmitted or communicated to users. Standards for such organization, transfer, and presentation will be addressed in the Wyoming Geographic Information Advisory Council (WGIAC) GIS Standards Plan.
Additional information on the FGDC metadata content standard may be obtained by accessing the following site on the World Wide Web:
Additional GIS Standard Categories
It should be noted that this standard deals only with "traditional" GIS hardware and software, and does not attempt to address CADD or image processing applications, though many of these products do incorporate some GIS functionality in their capabilities. Beyond the scope of computing architecture, data transfer, and metadata, a number of additional GIS standard categories and subcategories have been identified. These include data layer classifications, source media and digitizing standards, datums, projections, coordinate systems, cartographic elements, and output scales. Standards and guidelines for these aspects of GIS are scheduled for development within WGIAC's GIS Standards Plan document.
Maintenance of the Standard
Development and maintenance of this standard is the responsibility of the Wyoming Geographic Information Advisory Council (WGIAC). In recognition of the dynamic nature of all aspects of GIS technology, the WGIAC Standards Committee will annually summarize and report to the WGIAC, ITRC, ITCC, and ITOP, any significant technological advances in GIS technology.
Address Geocoding - Process of assigning alphanumeric locational identifiers (such as the municipal address or physical location) to spatially related information.
AM/FM - Automated Mapping / Facilities Management; the use of geographic information systems (GIS) or computer-aided mapping for the processing of information about utilities and infrastructures such as power lines, water/sewer, and telecommunications networks.
Attribute Data - A set or collection of data that describe the characteristics of real world entities or conditions; commonly a column in a database table.
CADD - An application of computer graphics technology that automates both manual drafting techniques and design processes, typically related to engineering activities.
CADD generally lacks database management and analysis capabilities of a geographic information system.
Digitizer - A device for converting the spatial coordinates of features from an analog map or document into a digital format.
Geographic Information System - A geographic information system, or GIS, is an information technology capable of collecting, storing, analyzing and displaying both spatial (geographically-referenced) and non-spatial data. Components of a GIS include both computer hardware and software, spatial data features (raster grid cells, or points, lines and polygons) and associated tabular data.
GIS - See Geographic Information System.
GIS-T - A geographic information system designed specifically for transportation information management applications.
Global Positioning Systems - A satellite-based navigational system deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense; permits ground-based receivers to automatically derive highly accurate surface position coordinates for a wide range of mapping and surveying data collection applications.
GPS - See Global Positioning Systems.
Graphical User Interface - A graphical tool, incorporating such objects as icons, menus, pointers and scroll bars, through which a user may interact with a computer to perform various tasks via a pointing device.
Grid Cell - An element of a raster data structure (see raster).
GUI - See Graphical User Interface.
Land Information System - A geographic information system having, as its main focus, data containing land records, which may be broadly defined to include resource land use, environmental impact and fiscal data.
LIS - See Land Information System.
Metadata - Data which provides information to users about the development, content, quality, condition, and format of digital spatial data.
Raster - A data structure composed of a matrix of grid cells organized by row and column.
Spatial Data Features - In a vector data model, typically points, lines or areas (polygons); in a raster data model, a contiguous collection of grid cells with like values.
TIGER - Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System. A digital spatial vector data structure compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Census.
TIN - Triangulated Irregular Network; a spatial data structure generated by the organization of space into a sheet of continuous, connected, irregular triangle facets.
Topology - Relationship between connecting or adjacent spatial features which remains constant through any one-to-one continuous transformation.
Vector - A data structure for representing point, line and area boundary data by means of 2- and 3-dimensional geometric (Cartesian x, y or x, y, z) coordinates.
- While the State GIS standards are becoming woefully out of date, no action on the State’s part has been made to revise them. Therefore, they continue to be cited and included in WYDOT’s GIS standards. Appendix A is how they have been written.