GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 177-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


ARPIN, Sarah M.1, TOBIN, Benjamin W.1 and SZUKALSKI, Bernard2, (1)Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 504 Rose St, Lexington, KY 40506, (2)Esri, 380 New York St, Redlands, CA 92373

The lack of a simple system for integrating varying types of existing data while also incorporating newly collected data is a universal problem in digital data management. A geographic information system, relational database system, and content management system are required when managing related spatial, tabular, and archival data. Alternatives to the present multi-platform system was examined in an effort to integrate a large quantity of legacy data in a system that also supports future data input. Using the Grand Canyon Cave Database as test case, we assessed the applicability of these alternatives.

Grand Canyon National Park contains around 350 known caves, many of which have incredibly significant mineralogical, biological, archaeological, and paleontological resources. The National Park Service is mandated to manage and protect these resources; however, a good data management system is necessary to do so effectively. The location, frequency, and accessibility of a resource provide insight about vulnerability and allow managers to make informed, data-based decisions for protection. A new system of data management for large cave datasets, related resources, and all auxiliary information is needed.

To simplify and improve upon existing data management systems, we tested a number of alternatives. We designed multiple prototypes in ArcGIS Online in an effort to consolidate the functions of the current multi-platform management system. Documents and photos can be stored in ArcGIS Online itself, using an organizational account, or externally through another cloud-based system and linked in ArcGIS Online. Access restrictions can be set up using permissions, and searchability can be enabled using “categories.”

In assessing alternative systems of data management, we found that there are several viable options that improve upon the current system. An online map service can eliminate the need for a multi-platform management system. In the case of the Grand Canyon Cave Database, development of an external search program and document catalog was the best option given the network constraints. Our solution enhances data integration through searchability, discoverability, and accessibility so that park managers can leverage the data to make informed, holistic decisions with all information at hand.