Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Transportation engineering, Geographic information systems, Transportation -- United States -- Planning, Intelligent transportation systems


This paper develops a framework and principles for sharing of transportation data. The framework is intended to clarify roles among participants, data producers, data integrators, and data users. The principles are intended to provide guidance for the participants. Both the framework and the principles are based on an enterprise GIS-T data model that defines relations among transportation data elements. The data model guards against ambiguities and provides a basis for the development of the framework and principles for sharing of transportation data. There are two central principles. First is the uncoupling of graphics, topology, position, and characteristics. Second is the establishment of a schema for transportation features and their identifiers. An underlying principle is the need for a common data model that holds transportation features—not their graphical representations—as the objects of interest. Attributes of transportation features are represented as linear and point events that are located along the feature using linear referencing. Sharing of transportation data involves exchange of relevant transportation features and events, not links and nodes of application-specific databases. Strategies for the sharing of transportation features follow from this approach. The key strategy is to identify features in the database to facilitate a transactional update system, one that does not require rebuilding the entire database anew. This feature-oriented enterprise GIS-T database becomes the basis for building separate application-specific network databases.


Catalog Number DP99-4.

Published by the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

Submitted to Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.

Persistent Identifier