The National Academies

NCHRP 08-55 [Completed]

Integrating Geo-Spatial Technologies into the Right-of-Way Data-Management Process

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Principal Investigator: Kathleen Hancock
Effective Date: 5/13/2005
Completion Date: 10/31/2006

Right-of-way (ROW) issues commonly cause project delay and increased costs. While many state DOTs use technology such as Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) to draft right-of-way plans, the final, approved plans are often manually recorded and filed on paper or mylar. Posting and storing such data by hand is obsolete, inefficient, and unresponsive to the demands of modern project management, encumbering multiple users from conveniently accessing real-time ROW information and resulting in undue delay and cost overruns. Moreover, paper and mylar records are more vulnerable to damage or destruction in the event of fire, flooding, or other catastrophic event.

Manually recorded ROW information includes agency ownership, appraisal information, acquisition status, and property-management functions that are important for addressing real estate issues, utilities, environmental permitting and mitigation, access management, maintenance, and programming. Electronic management of this information improves coordination and consistency of data, leading to reduced project delivery delays caused by ROW acquisition. In addition, the ability to retrieve these data electronically provides fast, convenient, and consistent access to all users, reducing the time and expense needed to ship documents; eliminating repetitive entries; minimizing data-entry errors caused by multiple formats; and ultimately saving money for the DOTs. Electronic management of real estate information could improve coordination with local jurisdictions and provide appropriate data to the public on agency ownership of property.

The automation of ROW functions and development of data-integration models using existing technology, including geo-spatial applications, are needed to enable multiple users to access the ROW information quickly and easily.

Identifying the data elements needed to support the automation of ROW functions is the first step in the development of fully operational systems that integrate geo-spatial technologies into the ROW process.

The objectives of this research were to (1) identify the data elements that need to be included in a data model for a ROW information system that includes a geo-spatial component and (2) provide examples of return on investment when geo-spatial capabilities are added to such systems.

The project final report is available as Research Results Digest 310: Integrating Geospatial Technologies Into the Right-of-Way Data-Management Process, and Web-Only Document 95.

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