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Post Info TOPIC: GIS Record Retention Policies & Questions

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GIS Record Retention Policies & Questions

Hello SoCalGIS!


Has anyone here implemented a GIS record retention policy at their agency?  Is anyone else working on one?  We have had a difficult time finding standards on retaining GIS records such as maps & datasets, and we were hoping the GIS pros on this forum would be willing to share their thoughts.  Here are a few questions that we are considering:

  • What kind of retention schedule is acceptable for GIS records?  Are there any standards out there?
  • What sort of GIS records should never be deleted?
  • Have you identified certain datasets as historically valuable?  What datasets can just be deleted when an update arrives?
  • Should retention schedules differ for datasets created in-house versus those acquired from an external source?
  • What do you do with the products of your day-to-day map requests?  How long do you keep the project files and the deliverables?
  • Do you keep or delete draft maps?
  • If a map is updated with new data, how long do you keep or do you just delete the old map outright?  Are maps kept or deleted in tandem with associated datasets?
  • If a map update involves only a template modification or a background data change (i.e. no change to the map's focus data), can the old map simply be replaced/overwritten?
  • Are the map project files such as ArcGIS .mxd's or Autocad .dwg's retained for the same amount of time as the maps and datasets?
  • What sort of conventions are used to retain the GIS records?  Are the files compressed, saved in an archive folder, saved on different media, etc.?

Any input you can provide is greatly appreciated.  We are hoping this question will help others on this forum as well.  Thanks very much for your time.




Marc Zuber
City of Palmdale

Marc Zuber | Assistant GIS Specialist | City of Palmdale | Public Works - Traffic - GIS | 38250 Sierra Hwy Palmdale, CA 93550 | 661 267 5354 |
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