The Enterprise GIS unit provides GIS data hosting services to Virginia Tech academic and administrative departments, using ESRI ArcSDE on Oracle and PostgreSQL, as well as PostGIS. Our geospatial database environments dramatically improve the ease with which departments can store and share data by allowing users to access the most current, authoritative datasets as uploaded by the data owners.
Data owners' control over their own data is fully preserved in the Enterprise GIS geodatabase tier, enabling sensitive data to be protected and shared with research collaborators or with administrative project participants on a "need to know" basis. When a department uploads a dataset to our infrastructure, by default it's only visible to its owner. Explicit grants of read access must be made at the level of every individual dataset to each department or group of users that are authorized to view the data.
ArcSDE also makes possible the system-wide dissemination of public or non-sensitive datasets through the same access control mechanisms. Again, the level of access granted to university departments is solely at the discretion of the data owner.
It is not intended that the Enterprise GIS geodatabase systems be the sole storage location for all GIS data on campus. Spatially enabled databases like ESRI ArcSDE and PostGIS are particularly well suited to the use cases of
- Multiuser editing
- Visibility to web applications
- Rapidly changing datasets