Historic resources are in some way managed by every transportation agency in the nation. Transportation agencies manage historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, buildings, structures, objects, routes, landscapes, and districts to prevent damage to such resources and to mitigate damage when it is unavoidable. In order to track known resources, transportation agencies often keep local files in a variety of forms, rely upon external sources of information (e.g., historic preservation agencies at the state level), and depend upon staff expertise gained by years of local work. Starting in 1997, Caltrans started a series of surveys of rural rights of way in its district offices. This work, which is still on-going, created fairly similar sets of digital data within approximately half of the agency´s district offices. The GIS datasets and relational database management systems are roughly similar between offices, but not identical. The present study focuses on defining how the district office information systems for historic resources can (and cannot) be used to create an enterprise information management model specific to historic resources within Caltrans. Results of this study range from findings specific to Caltrans and its district offices to general findings that should apply to any transportation agency contemplating an enterprise-wide system for managing cultural resources.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Miscellaneous Transportation Topics

MTI Project



Geographic information systems; History; Historic preservation; Native Americans