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Database Dynamics
Information storage and retrieval for landscape architects.
By James L. Sipes, ASLA

It is often said that a good landscape architect needs to be part horticulturist, ecologist, architect, engineer, hydrologist, planner, construction manager, economist, artist, sociologist, and several other "ists" thrown in for good measure. As landscape architects, we have to understand what to do with all of the different types of data these disciplines work with, and we have to understand how to synthesize them all to design places and spaces. It makes sense, then, to learn how to use database management systems in order to handle this vast array of information.

Copyright Nicolas Vial/ Images.Com, Inc

A database management system (DBMS) allows you to store, modify, cross-reference, and access virtually any type of information stored in digital format. Basically any information that can be put into a tabular format can be developed into a database. That includes text files, contract information, specifications, material and labor costs, product details, site inventories, salary information, project proposal data, graphic images, client contact information, and any other information, whether it be oriented to general office use or geared toward a specific project, client, or type of work.

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