Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Steven Reader, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jayajit Chakraborty, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Hyun Kim, Ph.D.


GIS, Asset management, Metadata, Return on investment, Spatial data infrastructure


Geographic data is a hallowed element within the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) discipline. As geographic data faces increased usage in distributed and mobile environments, the ability to access and maintain that data can become challenging. Traditional methods of data management through the use of file storage, databases, and data catalog software are valuable in their ability to organize data, but provide little information about how the data was collected, how often the data is updated, and what value the data holds for an organization. By defining geographic data as an asset it becomes a valuable resource that requires acquisition, maintenance and sometimes retirement during its lifetime. To further understand why geographic data is different than other types of data, we must look at the many components of geographic data and specifically how that data is gathered and organized.

To best align geographic data to the asset management discipline, this thesis will focus on six key dimensions, established through the work of Vanier (2000, 2001), which seek to evaluate asset management systems. Using a conceptual narrative linked to an environmental analysis case study, this research seeks to inform as to the strategies for efficiently managing geospatial data resources. These resources gain value through the context applied by the inclusion of a standard structure and methodologies from the asset management field. The result of this thesis is the determination of the extent to which geographic data can be considered an asset, what asset management strategies are applicable to geographic data, and what are the requirements for geographic data asset management systems.