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ESRI Press Publishes a Practical, Comprehensive Guide to Designing a Geodatabase for Transportation

Redlands, California-Constructing a geodatabase to manage a highway, railway, mass transit, or navigable waterway system can be highly technical and painstaking. J. Allison Butler's book Designing Geodatabases for Transportation, new from ESRI Press, provides the practical, step-by-step direction that will make the process easier.

The book, released this month, shows how to meet transportation data requirements within a unifying multimodal framework that promotes efficiency. Larger transportation agencies-consisting of highly independent sections, each with its own database structure and no cross connections-have traditionally focused on highway construction and maintenance. But, with rising fuel costs, agencies are turning to enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) to better manage their transport systems and coordinate different modes of travel such as providing bus feeder routes to commuter rail stations.

"GIS has long included spatial databases for transportation, but this book is the first published about how to design one," says Butler, a spatial geodatabase design expert who has spent 30 years working for local, regional, and state transportation agencies.

Butler says larger transportation organizations have often designed homegrown solutions to meet information needs, but these often turn out to be poorly documented and hard to change. "Designing Geodatabases for Transportation shows how to solve the many problems existing today as a result of haphazard database design over many years," Butler says.

The database design in this book shows how the agencies can coordinate internal and external connections without making drastic organizational changes. The ideas are presented in a "cafeteria" style that allows the users to pick solutions that meet their needs.

Designing Geodatabases for Transportation describes how to design a GIS to manage data about transportation facilities and services, from railroads to traffic-monitoring systems. Early chapters cover basic geodatabase design concepts and include best practices sections on data business rules and geometric abstractions. Later chapters go into data editing, linear referencing, and classic transportation data models. Through targeted sidebars, the book presents ArcGIS fundamentals and geodatabase design guidance geared to novices while also providing advanced information aimed at experienced GIS developers.

The book's last section delves into enterprise solutions and modal data models, with chapters dedicated to the Unified Network for Transportation (UNETRANS) data model, state Department of Transportation (DOT) highway inventory editing and publishing, navigable waterways, and railroads.

Butler has authored more than 75 papers and other published works and has been an innovator in such fields as spatial database design, construction management, planning policy, and economic development. He was a key participant in developing the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) and currently serves as its president.

Designing Geodatabases for Transportation (ISBN: 978-1-58948-164-0, 450 pages, $64.95), is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options or contact your local ESRI distributor. For a current distributor list, visit Interested retailers can contact ESRI Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

The complete selection of GIS titles from ESRI Press can be found on the Web at

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