3.03 Methodology

Tue, 11/13/2007 - 19:42

3.03.01 The Flow from Data to Information to CLUP Application
3.03.02 What are (KEY) Indicators?
3.03.03 An Example on How to Apply the Methodology to Increase the Information Value
3.03.04 Information Product Description – What do you want to get out of the GIS?
3.03.05 Objectives of Information Products Preparation
3.03.06 Basic Steps for the Preparation of Information Products
3.03.07 Information Products for CLUP
3.03.08 Land Cover Mapping Using Remote Sensing Data

3.03.01 The Flow from Data to Information to CLUP Application


Knowledge which is the basis of competence is by itself not sufficient. There must be an understanding of the meaning of what is known, but again, this is not enough either to complete competence. Wisdom must be applied as well in order to achieve the desired outcome. Knowledge and understanding can often be taught, but wisdom is usually acquired through experience.
Information is qualified data. It is “processed data.” Data is only useful if it is interpreted and transformed into information. This transformation from data to information requires knowledge and understanding. One needs wisdom to be able to grasp the information and apply it usefully.
Data and information need to be structured and stored in a way that makes them readily accessible to those who are to use them. Some applications of information are often repetitive and can therefore be automated. These automated processes are themselves often called applications.
An information management system such as GIS must be combined with the competence levels within the organization. These levels of competence should also be developed to improve the quality of the applications of information at a higher rate to improve overall productivity.

3.03.02 What are (KEY) Indicators?

Indicators are intended to be part of an enabling process, measuring sector-wide progress of all activities (and actors) towards achieving goals. The indicators of municipal activity emphasize sustainability and efficiency goals rather than simple production goals.
The major emphasis is in developing capacity for establishing indicators that will help in policy review and implementation, and which can be monitored regularly. The aim is to engender commitment, develop the expertise, and to set the routine for collecting data for all sectors included in the CLUP.
Important characteristics of indicators are that they should be:
  1. easily understood by all stakeholders;
  2. related to the interests of one or more groups of stakeholders;
  3. measurable using immediately available data at the municipal level;
  4. clearly related to municipal policy goals and capable of being changed by the use of policy instruments;
  5. linked where possible to the three themes of economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Sectoral data when overlaid together will be used to determine the overall status of the provision of the basic utilities/facilities/services for the municipality.
Indicators should be based on two levels of priority:
First priority or 'key' indicators require only immediately available data and present the facts that are of interest to a broader audience rather than only to specialists in the field.
Second priority or ‘extensive’ indicators contain indicators of lower policy relevance but of much interest for the sector specialist or which are more difficult to collect or define.
The indicators should be readily available, easily collected or estimated, and should not require special surveys or studies. Indicators are not data; they are ‘models’ simplifying a complex subject to a few numbers, which can be easily grasped and understood by policy makers and the general public.
Indicators are statistics directed specifically towards policy concerns and which point towards successful outcomes and conclusions for policy. They should be user driven, and are generally highly aggregated and have easily recognizable purposes. Classic examples of indicators include unemployment rates or GDP growth rates, which are statistics that are authoritative and recognizable indicators of the performance of the economy.
Example on Key Indicators for Basic Needs/Life Quality Targets
The following list exemplifies the most basic needs, and linked to the need specification is an indicator which makes it possible to measure increased (or decreased) need fulfillment over time:

Basic Needs / Targets
Key Indicator
Provide a Job Percentage of Unemployment per Barangay
Provide Adequate Housing Percentage of Households per Barangay who live in an Informal Settlements
Provide Access to Safe Water Percentage of Households per Barangay with Access to Drinking Water within ----meters.
Provide Access to Decent Sanitation Percentage of Households per Barangay with a sanitary toilet.
Provide Connection to Electricity Services Percentage of Households per Barangay with Electricity Connection
Provide Primary Education Percentage of Households per Barangay with a Primary School with Sufficient Classrooms and Teachers within ------ meters.
Provide Primary Health Care Percentage of Households per Barangay with a Health Clinic with Sufficient Staff and Medicine within ------ meters.

The CLUP should reflect the basic needs of the less privileged people

3.03.03 An Example on How to Apply the Methodology to Increase the Information Value

A Table with no GIS Implication
Let’s look at one example of a table which has no GIS implication. The table below presents the secondary school enrolment by males and females in government and private secondary schools and is taken from a CLUP. This is an extract from the old Education Sector Guidelines of HLURB. (A revision is under way and will be included in Volume 2) An improved table version is likewise presented to show the increased information value.

Information Product ChecklistObservation Made
Is the table defined as a CLUP data requirement in the (old) Guidelines?No. Then why is it here? There is no clarification in the text as to why the table is included in the report.
Does the table have an index number?Yes
Does the table have a title that corresponds to the table content?Yes. However, is providing the proportion between Government and Private schools the most important indicator? If the gender disrowibution is more important, then the table should have been titled accordingly.
Is there a date of data in the table?Yes. This makes it easy to access if the data is of immediate interest or obsolete
Is there a comprehensive ‘Source’ for the table?Yes. However, the acronym should be known to everybody. There should be a list of acronyms included in the report.
Is the table referred to in the text?No. However, the text is adjacent to the table.
Is the wording consistent?There is no explanation distinguishing the difference between ‘secondary’ and ‘high school.” It also does not clarify the difference between a ‘public’ and a ‘government’ school.
In order to avoid confusion, there should be consistency in the use of terms. Use only one term instead of two terms that mean the same.
It would also be useful to add explanatory graphs to the text to increase the availability and understanding of definitions and standards, as shown below.
Does the table add something to the narrative text?Not really, since it simply duplicates what is explained in the text. The only difference is that the text provides the percentage indicators.
Does the table data qualify as ‘information’?No. The data in the table does not contain anything to compare with. The table presents a disrowibution of enrolment between private and public, and nothing more. It also presents a gender disrowibution, which again is not exrowaordinary.
In other words, the table does not present comparative information that can be noted, showing for example some compliance to or deviation from standards, or some deficit in targets. The table does not warrant action on the part of the decision maker or user.
Is the table easy to work with?No. It is done in MS Word and not in Excel, hence it cannot be manipulated easily.
Does the table have a rational layout?Yes. However, there should be a row at the bottom showing the totals.
Does the table have a good design that facilitates reading?It is possible to enhance the table design as shown in the example below.

This is the result of the analysis, which can be used in the CLUP narrative part.

For assistance, a template is found in the tool box that can be copied into CLUP.

A Table with GIS Implication
As pointed out previously, most of the services and utilities that a municipality provides have a geographic reference – a location on a map. Using mapped information in a GIS will increase the information value and make it easier for the stakeholders particularly LGU officials, planners and the general public to analyze the situation and make informed decisions. Information ‘hidden’ in a table will become transparent and more visual in the process of deciding what actions are needed to improve the situation.

For example the status of the road system in the municipality is presented in the following way in a CLUP:

Based on this table it is possible to calculate for a total road improvement. However, it is not easy for a decision maker/planner to prioritize, given limited funds available which is normally the case in a low-income LGU. By translating the results of the survey done to get the data compiled in above the table above into a map layer in a GIS, and combining the attribute information from the survey, it will be much easier to prioritize projects so as to optimize funds. The example shows an extract of such a road layer on top of a simple CLUP Base Map.

By combining the road layer information with population data (how many people are using the road?) and traffic counts (what types of vehicles and how many are using the road?) it is possible to assess how important the road is, in the context of the overall road network in the municipality/city.

By using unit cost for repair/upgrading of a road in “critical” condition, the GIS can provide the costs that can be incurred for the repair/upgrade of the said road, which can be compared with the available budget for infrastructure improvements.

The map is also useful in determining the existing road system vis-à-vis current land-uses and other socio-economic activities. The map presents a bird’s eye view of accessibility from one destination point to another.

3.03.04 Information Product Description – What do you want to get out of the GIS?

The key to preparing a GIS is knowing what you want to get out of it. If you know what information you want to produce, then you can determine what data you have to put in. One should also know what functions have to be performed on that data in order to get the required information results you want to produce. If you do not know what you want to produce, you can have no real idea of what to put in or what functionality you want in your system.

Information Product Descriptions are the building blocks for the information needed in the CLUP planning process.

The establishment of Information Product Descriptions (IPD) entails specifying and describing what one expects the GIS to create. The IPD contains the requirements to come up with the final product. When the IPD is made, specification on what the GIS must be able to master is prepared for the first time. Once done, the rest of the planning activities follow what are outlined in the descriptions. Defining each product that the GIS must create will help provide adequate justification for obtaining GIS hardware and software.

At this stage in the preparation process it is important for the planner to consult with the representatives of the concerned office or sector together with other concerned stakeholders to:

  1. clarify the information products that need to be produced by the system;
  2. establish what data is needed to create the information products;
  3. identify the system functions that will be used to create the information products.

While it may require some hard work, once solid information product descriptions have been generated, the rest of the GIS planning is ‘easy’.

The following list will serve as a useful guide for the planning team in preparing the IPD for the first time, or if there are additional information product requirements for the CLUP as a result of the consultation. A useful information product description includes a title, the name of the department and person who needs the information product, and the following components:

Summary of the information product – a narrative text providing an overview of the information product, who requested it, and what it is used for. When writing the IPD, before getting into the details of it, there should be a summary of the information product needed and its purpose.

Map requirements — details of maps needed for an information product, including a sketch of sample maps. The first step in creating an IPD is to describe each map that has to be an output. It is important to include a sketch of the map with the IPD. The sketch can be simple, but should show at least one of every feature type that the final product is expected to display.

List and report requirements — details of the information that will be in any reports, lists, or tables for an information product, including headings and typical data entries. An information product is not always a map. It could be a list of figures, a table, or a report. Or, there may be a map product that needs a list, table, or report as a supplement. The information product description should identify each of these lists, tables, or reports. Each list, table, or report should have a title, appropriate column headings, typical entries, and details of the data file that contains the source information.

Document and image requirements — details of documents and images that have to be retrieved to create an information product. An information product may be a document or image or include a document or image as a supplement. In the IPD, each image or document that the user needs to retrieve from the GIS should be identified.

Steps to make the product — details of the data and GIS functions needed to create the information product. The second, third, and fourth components of the information product description (map, list, and document requirements) clarify details of the information product that is required. Once something is known about the information product, the steps needed to create it can be outlined.

Logical linkages — details of any linkages that need to be established between data elements in the database to create the product. The next step in describing an information product is to determine the relationships that are required between data elements. These relationships are called "logical linkages," and they must be in place in order to be able to build the database later on. In the IPD, one needs to establish how data from the same or different datasets must be combined to create the information product.

There are three types of logical linkages:

  1. Relationships between tables and graphic entities — these are relationships between characteristics (attributes) of features and the features themselves (points, lines, polygons);
  2. Relationships between maps — these are relationships between different maps (or data layers);
  3. Relationships between attributes — these are relationships between characteristics.

3.03.05 Objectives of Information Products Preparation

With GIS support it is possible to create better source material for
analysis and decision-maiking.
Tailored GIS applications, and integration with other IT support, can
make it easier to search for data, data processing and presentation.
The weak components in the system are data reliability, data quality,
data completeness and data relevance together with the skills of the staff
to interpret the results correctly.

Production of Source Material for Decision with GIS Support
Information produced by using GIS often is presented as maps together with tabular data and/or additional text. The presentation may also include images, diagrams or video sequences. The GIS software will be tailored or expanded in accordance with the tasks which are to be performed, and the skills of the staff. Therefore it must not be difficult to get a requested decision source material by using a well-designed GIS. The decisive factor is to define the needs based on relevant business activities before creating this tailored GIS

To Select Relevant Data
It can be difficult to decide which data is to be used and how to analyze the data in order to create a source material for decisions by using a GIS application. The needs for data are a result of the way of performing the business activities and the shape of the specific issue.

To Interpret the Source Material for a Decision
The second major challenge might be to interpret the information produced with GIS support. What conclusions can be drawn from the results of an analysis operation? What are the uncertainties? In which parts of the interpretation are there uncertainties?

There are a number of critical issues affecting the possibility of giving good answers to these rather difficult questions. Such issues are:

  1. What does the geographic information that I used, stand for? And what does it not stand for?
  2. How complete are the business activities described therein, prior to the development of the GIS application? Was there a proper activity modeling process as a bottom line for the application development?
  3. Is it possible, and realistic, to use this specific GIS application for the analysis operations or data processing operations necessary for the specific issue?

3.03.06 Basic Steps for the Preparation of Information Products

In a typical GIS analysis activity like the CLUP preparation, the objectives of the activity are identified, the database containing the data needed to solve the problem is created, and the results of the analysis are presented. Below are the steps that should be considered when the information product for a subject is prepared:

1. Background and Objective of the GIS Analysis

The first step is to give a short overview of the particular information product and the objective of the GIS analysis. The following questions should be considered in identifying the objectives:

  1. What is the problem to solve? How is it solved now? Are there alternative ways to solve it using a GlS?
  2. What step of the planning process are we in?
  3. Who is the intended audience of these products i.e., the public, LGU staff, LGU officials?
  4. What are included in the final products of the activity – reports, working maps, presentation-quality maps?
  5. Will the Information Product be one of the baseline studies? Will it be needed for ‘Needs Analysis” or for ”Suitability Analysis”? Will the data be used for other purposes? What are the requirements for these?
  6. In this step it is important to determine the answers to the questions above, determine the scope of the activity as well as how to proceed.

2. Identify the Indicators to Evaluate Objective Achievement/to Evaluate Performance/Evaluate Suitability
Define the planning standards and common practices that are applicable for the sector. (For example, for the education sector there are planning standards for accessibility, student/teacher ratios, student/classroom ratios, student/school yard ratios, student/schoolbook ratios; physical condition of buildings and plots, etc.). Regarding information about what planning methods that can be used, please refer to guidelines on sector studies. In the absence of a national standard, the local planner may opt for an acceptable/reasonable value based on the specific municipal objective for the planning issue at hand.

The Information Products are grouped into the following:

  1. Base Line Studies- When sector studies are prepared, most of the data can be translated into spatial data which will be further used in Needs Assessment.
  2. For Needs Assessment, indicators are important for measuring the quality of service being provided or for determining the physical condition of a facility for a particular service.
  3. For Suitability Analysis, this refers to identifying what areas in the municipality are considered suitable for future urban expansion. However, there has to be criteria for determining those areas which are considered as suitable (suitability criteria).
  4. Scenario-building. This visualizes three different options that show alternative courses of action based on identified needs and existing constraints.
  5. CLUP/ZONING -The comprehensive results of the discussions over scenarios and spatial strategies will result in the draft CLUP. Zoning further subdivides the community into zones or districts.
  6. Projects – this establishes a basic GIS application about the status of various projects resulting in a Basic Project Monitoring GIS in coordination with other offices within the LGU.

3. Create a Database
The third step is to create a database, which consists of the following: designing the database, automating data for the database, and managing the database.

Designing the database includes identifying the attribute and spatial data requirements for analysis, determining the required feature attributes, setting the study area boundary, and choosing the coordinate system to use. The GIS Cookbook provides the digital templates for tables ready to be used for encoding the data. The Metadata table has also been prepared containing the list of tables that have to be accomplished, showing both the optional and key tables.

Automating of the data involves digitizing or converting data from other systems and formats into a useable format, as well as verifying the data, and correcting errors. Attribute data, however, should be encoded using the tables that have been prepared.

Managing the database involves verifying coordinate systems and joining adjacent layers.

Creating the database is a critical and time-consuming part of the activity. The completeness and accuracy of the data for use in the analyses determines the accuracy of the results.

4. Analyze the Data
The fourth step is to analyze the data, which consists of a range of tasks from simple mapping to creating complex spatial models. A model is a representation of reality used to simulate a process, predict an outcome, or analyze a problem.

A spatial model involves applying one to three categories of GlS functionality to some spatial data. These functions are:

  1. Geometric modeling functions – calculating distances, generating buffers, and calculating areas and perimeters;
  2. Coincidence modeling functions – overlaying data sets to find places where values coincide;
  3. Adjacency modeling functions – allocating, path finding, and restricting.

The result of this step may be a simple process to evaluate for example, the service that is being provided for a barangay, which will be an input for assessing the needs of the said barangay. Or it may be to determine the actual physical conditions in terms of the environment, and the hazards within the municipality.

The GIS can quickly perform such analysis that would be impossible or very time-consuming if done manually. Alternative scenarios can be created by changing the methods or parameters and running the analysis again.

5. Present the Results
The fifth step is to present the results of the analysis. The final products should effectively communicate the findings to the target audience (stakeholders). In most cases, the results of the GIS analysis can best be shown on a map, or they may also be presented in charts and reports of selected data. These charts and reports can be printed separately, or be embedded in documents created by other applications, or placed in the maps.

In the following, examples on CLUP Information Products from the various planning sectors are compiled and presented. A complete representation of the Information Products for the planning sector subject is found in the Toolbox, Chapter 4.05 – 4.12.

3.03.07 Information Products for CLUP

Below are some examples of the Information Products that may be needed for CLUP Preparation.

Information Products for CLUP NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Information Products for Identifying Suitable Areas for Urban Expansion

3.03.08 Land Cover Mapping Using Remote Sensing Data

Remote Sensing (RS) is a means of acquiring information about an object without contacting it physically using airborne equipment and techniques to determine the characteristics of an area. Aerial photographs and satellite images are the most common forms of remote sensing data.

Land cover mapping is one of the most important and typical applications of RS data. Land cover corresponds to the physical condition of the ground surface, for example, forest, grassland, concrete pavement etc., while land use reflects human activities such as the use of the land, for example, industrial zones, residential zones, agricultural fields etc. Generally land cover does not coincide with land use. A land use class is composed of several land covers. RS data can provide land cover information rather than land use information. Initially the land cover classification system should be established, which is usually defined as levels and classes. The level and class should be designed in consideration of the purpose of use (national, regional or local), the spatial and spectral resolution of the RS data, user's request and so on.

For beginners in GIS, most probably it will take some time to start with digital RS techniques. Instead, most of the time will be used for setting up the GIS, getting the data organized and preparing the information for the CLUP, using GIS as a support.

RS will require that learning more about a new ‘data environment’, involving how to extract information from pixel/raster data which is different from the vector data analyses in the GIS. Likewise, an RS software or RS module addition to the GIS software will be needed, and these might be costly additions for a low-income municipality to set up.

Digital Classification
When RS data is available in digital format, digital processing and analysis may be performed using a computer. Digital image classification is performed to automatically identify targets and extract information. Techniques such as unsupervised classification are largely automated while others such as supervised classification require considerable human input in the classification process. However, rarely is digital processing and analysis carried out as a complete replacement for manual interpretation.

For the users of RS, it is not sufficient to display only the results obtained from image processing. For example, detecting land cover change in an area is not enough, because the final goal should be to analyze the causes of change or to evaluate the impacts of these changes. Therefore the result should be overlaid on maps of land use zoning. In addition, the classification of RS imagery will become more accurate if the auxiliary data contained in maps are combined with the image data.

Manual visual interpretation of paper or on-the- screen data of aerial photo/and satellite imagery is still today a good way for extracting features, especially line features.

Change Detection
Change detection via satellite data is probably the most promising application from remote sensing. It can be done often without too high data costs and can deliver reliable results. Often it is not possible to get data with very high resolution covering the same area because of the costs, instead, satellite data can be used. The best way of using remote sensing for change detection is to point out areas where changes occurred. One of the most important advantages is that you get a date for the change. Not the exact date, but a time interval when the changes appeared. For changes in vegetation most often a spatial resolution of 15-30 meter is enough, but for detailed change detection one might need a 5- 10 meter spatial resolution. For more detailed urban mapping a 10-meter spatial resolution data such as SPOT Pan will be most suitable.

Aerial photos can be used for land use change mapping, but it should be noted that changes shown in a very high resolution photo often is caused by other things such as the movement of vehicles, or the different shadows of vegetation, etc. There will be lots of changes that are of no interest. One should also be aware of shadow effects in the flight direction. Aerial photos are not taken during the same solar conditions.

What’s in the Toolbox of Remote Sensing?
The following case studies will give some ideas on what issues could emerge when remote sensing is being applied in the field of spatial planning.

  1. Study on remote sensing and change detection in Bangladesh, see Chapter 4.18.04.
  2. Overview of Satellite Data currently on the market, see Chapter 5.10.03.
  3. A Remote Sensing tool, Enforma, that can be downloaded, including a tutorial with some exercises from the Philippines, see Chapter 8.03.

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