Implementing a geodatabase for water distribution and wastewater collection systems: strategies and benefits
Implementing a geodatabase involves a significant investment of resources in software, training, and time. This investment can yield substantial benefits when the reasons for adopting the geodatabase are clearly defined, and the design process is carefully planned. These benefits include improved data quality and integrity, enhanced feature editing, better performance, the ability to use “smart” features, and the use of industry-standard relational databases. This paper will discuss the trade-offs involved in implementing a geodatabase—a database that stores both geometry and attributes—for water distribution and wastewater collection systems, arguing that most systems should consider the geodatabase as an excellent option, since it provides managers with improved data storage, retrieval, and security. It will then discuss implementation strategies and give specific examples of how to make a successful transition from shapefiles, coverages and other data formats to the geodatabase.