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CHAPTER I Introduction This guide provides a strategy for state transportation agencies to implement or expand a system to manage the large amount of information and documents involved in the information-intense business of acquiring and managing property and relocating the affected people and businesses, specifically incorporating geospatial capabilities. Because every transportation agency is unique in how it performs the activities necessary to acquire real property as well as how it implements technology, this document does not provide a detailed implementation plan but rather establishes a generalized process, with specific guidance where appropriate, on how agencies could proceed using the logical model for a geospatially enabled, right-of-way (ROW) information management system that was developed under NCHRP 8-55A. The remainder of this chapter provides the background about how this document and the corresponding logical model came about and some underlying concepts that will assist with the implementation process. The Importance of a Right-of-Way Information Management System The acquisition and management of real property is a significant component of the costs and scheduling associated with transportation projects. Because of the depth and breadth of these activities and their corresponding requirements, electronic management of the information is critical to effectively performing the business of offices that are responsible for the purchase of real property (referred to as right-of-way offices through the remainder of this guide) and allocating the necessary resources to meet agency and project objectives. Electronic management of this information can improve the following: · Coordination and consistency of data, leading to reduced project delivery delays resulting during right-of-way acquisition · Access by appropriate users, reducing the time and expense needed to ship documents; elimi- nating repetitive data entry; minimizing data-entry errors caused by multiple formats; improv- ing resource allocation and ultimately saving money and time for transportation agencies · Coordination with local jurisdictions · Availability of appropriate data to those affected by the process and the general public While many state transportation agencies use technology such as computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) for preparing right-of-way plans, the final, approved, and as-built plans are often manually recorded and filed on paper or Mylar. Records of information and copies of documents associated with acquiring and managing property are kept in physical storage, which requires substantial space and time to retrieve. Posting and storing such data by hand is obsolete, inefficient, and unresponsive to the demands of modern project management, hindering multiple users from effectively accessing real-time right-of-way information and resulting in undue delay and 4