Data Management

Data management involves the theories and techniques for managing the entire data lifecycle, from data collection to data format conversion, from data storage to data sharing and retrieval, to data provenance, data quality control and data curation for long-term data archival and preservation.

Topics in this Knowledge Area are listed thematically below. Existing topics are linked directly to either their original (2006) or revised entries; forthcoming, future topics are italicized. 


Database Management Systems Events and Processes Plane Coordinate Systems
Data Retrieval Strategies Fields in Space & Time Tessellated Referencing Systems
Relational DBMS Integrated Models Linear Referencing
Extensions of the Relational Model Mereology: Structural Relationships Linear Referencing Systems
Object-oriented Spatial Databases Geneaological Relationships: Lineage, Inheritance Vertical Datums
Spatio-temporal GIS Topological Relationships Horizontal Datums
Database Change Modeling Tools Map Projection Properties
Modeling Database Change Conceptual Data Models Map Projection Classes
Managing Versioned Geospatial Databases Logical Data Models Map Projection Parameters
Reconciling Database Change Physical Data Models  
Data Warehouses Fuzzy Logic Georegistration
Ongoing GIS Revision Grid Compression Methods Systematic Georefencing Systems
Database Administration   Unsystematic Georeferencing Systems
Spatial Data Models   Spatial Data Infrastructure
Basic Data Structures Spatial Data Quality Spatial Data Infrastructures
Grid Representations Spatial Data Uncertainty Content Standards
The Raster Model Error-based Uncertainty Metadata
The Hexagonal Model Modeling Uncertainty Adoption of Standards
The Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) Model Vagueness  
Hierarchical Data Models Mathemematical Models of Vaguness: Fuzzy Sets and Rough Sets  
Classical Vector Data Models    
The Topological Model Georeferencing Systems  
The Spaghetti Model History of Understanding Earth's Shape  
The Network Model Approximating the Geoid with Spheres & Ellipsoids  
Discrete Entities Approximating the Earth's Shape with Geoids  
Modeling 3D Entities The Geographic Coordinate System  


DM-62 - Database administration
  • Describe how using standards can affect implementation of a GIS
  • Explain how validation and verification processes can be used to maintain database integrity
  • Summarize how data access processes can be a factor in development of an enterprise GIS implementation
  • Describe effective methods to get stakeholders to create, adopt, or develop and maintain metadata for shared datasets
DM-37 - Database change
  • Demonstrate the importance of a clean, relatively error-free database (together with an appropriate geodetic framework) with the use of GIS software
  • Exemplify scenarios in which one would need to perform a number of periodic changes in a real GIS database
  • Explain how one would establish the criteria for monitoring the periodic changes in a real GIS database
  • Discuss the implication of “long transactions” on database integrity
  • Modify spatial and attribute data while ensuring consistency within the database
DM-20 - Discrete entities
  • Discuss the human predilection to conceptualize geographic phenomena in terms of discrete entities
  • Compare and contrast differing epistemological and metaphysical viewpoints on the “reality” of geographic entities
  • Identify the types of features that need to be modeled in a particular GIS application or procedure
  • Identify phenomena that are difficult or impossible to conceptualize in terms of entities
  • Describe the difficulties in modeling entities with ill-defined edges
  • Describe the difficulties inherent in extending the “tabletop” metaphor of objects to the geographic environment
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of GIS data models for representing the identity, existence, and lifespan of entities
  • Justify or refute the conception of fields (e.g., temperature, density) as spatially-intensive attributes of (sometimes amorphous and anonymous) entities
  • Model “gray area” phenomena, such as categorical coverages (a.k.a. discrete fields), in terms of objects
  • Evaluate the influence of scale on the conceptualization of entities
  • Describe the perceptual processes (e.g., edge detection) that aid cognitive objectification
  • Describe particular entities in terms of space, time, and properties
DM-32 - Error-based uncertainty
  • Define uncertainty-related terms, such as error, accuracy, uncertainty, precision, stochastic, probabilistic, deterministic, and random
  • Recognize expressions of uncertainty in language
  • Evaluate the causes of uncertainty in geospatial data
  • Describe a stochastic error model for a natural phenomenon
  • Explain how the familiar concepts of geographic objects and fields affect the conceptualization of uncertainty
  • Recognize the degree to which the importance of uncertainty depends on scale and application
  • Differentiate uncertainty in geospatial situations from vagueness
DM-22 - Events and processes
  • Compare and contrast the concepts of continuants (entities) and occurrents (events)
  • Describe the “actor” role that entities and fields play in events and processes
  • Discuss the difficulty of integrating process models into GIS software based on the entity and field views, and methods used to do so
  • Apply or develop formal systems for describing continuous spatio-temporal processes
  • Evaluate the assertion that “events and processes are the same thing, but viewed at different temporal scales”
  • Describe particular events or processes in terms of identity, categories, attributes, and locations
  • Compare and contrast the concepts of event and process
DM-05 - Extensions of the relational model
  • Explain why early attempts to store geographic data in standard relational tables failed
  • Evaluate the adequacy of contemporary proprietary database schemes to manage geospatial data
  • Describe standards efforts relating to relational extensions, such as SQL:1999 and SQL-MM
  • Evaluate the degree to which an available object-relational database management system approximates a true object-oriented paradigm
  • Describe extensions of the relational model designed to represent geospatial and other semistructured data, such as stored procedures, Binary Large Objects (BLOBs), nested tables, abstract data types, and spatial data types
DM-23 - Fields in space and time
  • Define a field in terms of properties, space, and time
  • Formalize the notion of field using mathematical functions and calculus
  • Recognize the influences of scale on the perception and meaning of fields
  • Evaluate the field view’s description of “objects” as conceptual discretizations of continuous patterns
  • Identify applications and phenomena that are not adequately modeled by the field view
  • Identify examples of discrete and continuous change found in spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal fields
  • Relate the notion of field in GIS to the mathematical notions of scalar and vector fields
  • Differentiate various sources of fields, such as substance properties (e.g., temperature), artificial constructs (e.g., population density), and fields of potential or influence (e.g., gravity)
DM-41 - Fuzzy logic
  • Describe how linear functions are used to fuzzify input data (i.e., mapping domain values to linguistic variables)
  • Support or refute the statement by Lotfi Zadeh, that “As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision,” as it relates to GIS&T
  • Explain why fuzzy logic, rather then Boolean algebra models, can be useful for representing real world boundaries between different tree species
DM-27 - Genealogical relationships: lineage, inheritance
  • Describe ways in which a geographic entity can be created from one or more others
  • Discuss the effects of temporal scale on the modeling of genealogical structures
  • Describe the genealogy (as identity-based change or temporal relationships) of particular geographic phenomena
  • Determine whether it is important to represent the genealogy of entities for a particular application
DM-47 - Geographic coordinate system
  • Distinguish between various latitude definitions (e.g., geocentric, geodetic, astronomic latitudes)
  • Explain the angular measurements represented by latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Calculate the latitude and longitude coordinates of a given location on the map using the coordinate grid ticks in the collar of a topographic map and the appropriate interpolation formula
  • Mathematically express the relationship between Cartesian coordinates and polar coordinates
  • Calculate the uncertainty of a ground position defined by latitude and longitude coordinates specified in decimal degrees to a given number of decimal places
  • Use GIS software and base data encoded as geographic coordinates to geocode a list of address-referenced locations
  • Locate on a globe the positions represented by latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Write an algorithm that converts geographic coordinates from decimal degrees (DD) to degrees, minutes, seconds (DMS) format