Confronting Standards and Nomenclature in Spatial Data Infrastructures: A Case Study of Urban Los Angeles County Geospatial Water Management Data

Miriam A Cope, Stephanie Pincetl


This paper examines the problem of insufficient and often inaccurate water management boundary data in California. Due to fragmented water management in California, no central government agency is responsible for coordinating water data collection, authorship, and dissemination and maintenance. Despite statewide and county scale efforts to build spatial data infrastructures that include water data, the independent and isolated development of geospatial data sustains competing nomenclatures of water management features and poor boundary data in publically available data sets. This paper examines these nomenclature and spatial inconsistencies and calls for assigning standardized numeric identifiers for California’s public and private water management entities. We contend that resolving the development of a universal ID system not only helps reconcile nomenclature differences propagated across data sets but also serves as a vehicle for forwarding an institutionally integrated water management spatial data infrastructure.


urban water management, spatial data infrastructure, Los Angeles

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