Transportation Data Webinar: A Brief Introduction to Relational Databases & SQL

2021 June Transportation Data Webinar Banner - TREC.png
Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:30pm PDT
Kristin Tufte, Portland State University
PDH: 1.5 | AICP: 1.5



The world is awash in data, and the data available to transportation analysts and planners is growing by the minute. With this rapid growth, traditional data analysis tools may no longer be effective. Relational databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL and Oracle are one tool that can be used to manage and query large data sets. In this webinar, we give a brief introduction to relational databases and SQL — the language that is used to communicate with relational databases. Participants will learn the key structures of relational databases (relations, keys and types), and will learn how to write simple SQL queries. We will practice writing SQL queries during the training. Additional resources will be provided for participants who wish to continue practicing their new SQL skills after the training. Join us to learn a bit more about how to manage those large data sets!


  • Understand relational database schema: relations, keys and types
  • Write single and multiple table SQL queries (e.g. SELECT, JOIN, WHERE)
  • Write SQL aggregate queries (e.g. COUNT, SUM)
  • Understand the range of queries possible to write with SQL


Kristin Tufte, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science, Portland State University

Dr. Kristin Tufte has over 25 years experience in data architecture and data management system design and performance and 15 years experience in transportation data management. Dr. Tufte directs PORTAL — a 17TB archive of freeway, transit and traffic signal data which provides visualizations of performance measures for transportation professionals. Dr. Tufte was on teams that implemented two groundbreaking data management systems — a parallel geo-spatial data management system sold to NCR corporation and a data stream management system — technologies from both systems are now commonplace in the data management industry. In addition to her research work, Dr. Tufte teaches data management courses at Portland State University, including an Introduction to Databases course on which this training is based.


This 90-minute seminar is eligible for 1.5 hours of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


In Summer 2021 we launched a new quarterly webinar series focused on the issues and topics important to multimodal transportation data, led by the the TREC Transportation Data Manager Tammy Lee with support from our PORTAL partners. This series is integrated with the PORTAL User Group monthly meetings.

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Photo Courtesy of Oregon Metro

The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.