Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - signage/information, organisation - management, technology - geographic information systems


Systems design, System design, State departments of transportation, North Carolina, Linear referencing systems, GIS, Geographic information systems, Geocoding, Database management systems, Data storage, Data sharing, Data reduction


Linear referencing system (LRS) structures have been utilized by transportation agencies for many years to locate and graphically display data collected along linear features such as roads, railroads, and transit lines. Strategies for implementing a real-world LRS have always been dependent on technical, organizational, and cost factors. Large transportation agencies such as state departments of transportation are developing more sophisticated tools to support analysis of LRS-related information. Among these are Geographic Information System (GIS)-related display and analysis methods and database storage and manipulation systems. An increasingly common desire is for such agencies to link data in an enterprise system that can support efficient, effective management and retrieval and analysis using GIS technology. A continuing project at the North Carolina Department of Transportation involves design and implementation of a unified enterprise LRS solution to promote data sharing, reduction of redundant data, enhanced GIS capabilities, and development of state-of-the-art data management structures and tools. The project includes several units in the Statewide Planning Branch that have not traditionally been able to share LRS data effectively. The LRS model being implemented incorporates ARC/INFO GIS software and Oracle database management software to provide a solution to this problem. Sufficient flexibility in system design is also being included to promote data sharing with external agencies such as metropolitan planning organizations, counties, and municipalities. The experience of the authors during the design and implementation process of this project at North Carolina Department of Transportation is reviewed.