GEOG 328/9 Lab X: TLC Covenants Lab (2008)

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GEOG 328/9 Lab X: TLC Covenants Lab

Introduction: In this lab you will explore a geodatabase and add data to it. The context of the lab is to import point and vector data into a conservation covenant database for a local Conservation Non-Governmental Organization.

Skills: The skills you learn in this lab will be useful in the following application areas: 1. Conservation 2. Sustainable Forest Planning 3. Rural Development & Planning 4. Urban Planning

Learning Outcomes: 1. Understand and perform changes to an ESRI geodatabase 2. Import CAD (.dxf) data 3. On-screen digitization of new lines and points 4. Check/ensure consistency using topology tools

Background: A covenant is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization where you as the landowner promise to protect the land in specific ways. The promises the landowner makes will be attached on title to the land forever, regardless of who owns the land. In return, the conservation organization agrees to monitor the covenant and ensure that the intentions and objectives of the covenant are being maintained.

Readings: Read the information about covenants in the following link from the The Land Conservancy: Each landowner’s situation is unique and their conservation needs will vary depending on many different factors. The restrictions a land owner includes in a conservation covenant will be binding themselves and all future landowners of the property. In July 1994, British Columbia enacted Bill 28, the Land Title Amendment Act, 1994. This legislation allows landowners to grant a conservation covenant to any organization designated by the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks. A Conservation Covenant is a voluntary written agreement between a landowner and a designated conservation organization, in which the owner of the land promises to protect the land in specified ways. The covenant is filed in the British Columbia Land Titles Office. The conservation organization holds the covenant and can enforce it if necessary, against the owner. The conservation covenant is intended to last forever, and bind future owners of the land, not just the current landowner. The covenant can cover all or just part of the landowner's property. Land trusts were given the legal ability to hold conservation covenants in 1995 because previously, when only government bodies held covenants, they were seldom monitored or enforced if the terms of the covenant were violated. Today, land trusts monitor covenants annually, set funds aside to protect and defend them, have processes to transfer easements to other organizations if the original grantee ceases to exist, and they have the willingness to defend them in Court. 

Evaluation Write a standard lab report. 


  1. Start by creating a new geodatabase for your project using schema from an XML template: new_geodatabase.htm
  2. Next extract some data from Global Geodatabase into your Project Geodatabase: loading_initial_data.htm
  3. There are a few ways that new or updated data comes into the database. The next three steps let you experience all of them. First, add data from a PDF map of the area.
  4. The second way to add data is by importing non-georefeerenced vector data. In this step you will georeference and then grab polylines from a computer aided design (CAD) file.
  5. The third way is to add points directly to the geodatabase. In this case, you will add photo point locations. Photo points are places on the property that will be visited by the covenant holder (TLC) yearly to ensure the terms of the covenant are being upheld. Here is the procedure:
  6. Once polylines are added, we will want to add some basic data. First let's check how we control the values possible for each variable using domains: modify_attribute_domains.htm
  7. Next we will add some values to some attributes: adding_information_to_parcels.htm
  8. Lastly, we should check topological consistancy: maintaining_topological_consistance.htm

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