Data Construction

The Transportation dataset has a complex mixture of geometric features, and attributes for these features, from different sources such as the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), Montana Structures and Addresses MSDI data, federal agencies (BLM, USFS), and as many individual counties as possible. Individual county and federal datasets that are made available to the Theme Steward provide much of the missing geometry.

Integration of these disparate datasets is quite challenging. The quality of road data varies as well as the road attributes depending upon the source of the data. Currently, there is one Theme Lead staff member working about 70% time on the dataset.

Note: The MDT roads dataset is a valuable dataset. It is almost “network enabled,” it is updated regularly, and it provides many useful attributes that are not evident on some county datasets. The MDT dataset is primarily an inventory of road features that generate federal and state gas tax dollars. Missing from the MDT roads dataset (for MSDI purposes) is road geometry of access roads, roads on federal land, and roads on some Montana state land, and the address data from the Structures MSDI framework.