Efficient data management is becoming increasingly important in managing site environmental projects. Key decisions in designing a data management system include where the data will reside, how data will be moved between interested parties, and how connections will be built between applications for managing, interpreting, and displaying the data. Options for database locations include stand-alone, client-server, and increasingly, Web-based. Formats and protocols for data transfer or data access can be a challenge, and the advantages of direct connections (as opposed to export-import) must be weighed against the effort required to implement the connections. The benefits to be gained by overcoming data management and communication obstacles can, in many cases, greatly exceed the effort expended. If the end justifies the means, the displays that can be generated using GIS and other technologies can provide a much greater understanding of site technical and administrative issues.
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