3.0 The Cornerstones of a Functioning GIS


3.01 Introduction

3.01.01 Think Big, Start Small
3.01.02 The Cornerstones of a Functioning GIS



3.01.01 Think Big, Start Small


The most significant limitations and obstacles to the operational use of GIS are not of a technical nature. They are rather institutional, organizational, procedural, and information quality issues. To improve the situation, there is a need for a GIS management policy dealing with institutional mandates and linkages, technology strategies, human skills development and financial management. An organization’s GIS capacity can be built up step-by-step while responding to the pressing needs for information on the environment. The first step is to define the information needs and priorities, and relate this to the state of existing information and capabilities of data producers and users.

3.01.02 The Cornerstones of a Functioning GIS



A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing things that exist and events that happen in a given municipality / city. GIS technology integrates common database operations such as query and statistical analysis with the unique visualisation and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps. These abilities distinguish GIS from other information systems and make it valuable to a wide range of public and private enterprises for explaining events, predicting outcomes, and planning strategies.

The cornerstones of a functioning GIS are the following:

  1. People who are skilled and have been trained
  2. Spatial and attribute or descriptive data
  3. Analytical methods
  4. Computer Software
  5. Computer Hardware

A functioning GIS is the combination of all these which are all organized to automate, manage, and deliver information through geographic information.

It is a common mistake among GIS clients that after having seen GIS being presented by a salesperson and becoming impressed by the technique, they buy the GIS software and then think that the matter is solved.
Applying a strategy in which all five components are dealt with will result in a successful introduction to GIS. In the following chapters are the recommendations made for all the cornerstones of a functioning GIS in connection with the CLUP.


3.02 People (GIS Advocacy and Skills Development)

3.02.01 Advocacy for a Municipal GIS with Elected Officials and LGU Management
3.02.02 Management, Institutional and Organizational Issues in the Development of a Municipal GIS (Action) Plan for the Introduction of an LGU GIS
3.02.03 Preparation of a (CLUP) GIS Training Program for LGU Staff
3.02.04 Recommendations for Training
3.02.05 Training for Using GIS as a Tool in CLUP Preparation
3.02.06 GIS Training Opportunities
3.02.07 Some Recommendations for External Technical Assistance in CLUP Preparation


When a municipality is getting started in GIS, the initiative should come from within the organization. The LGU management should know its own organization well enough to be able to make it more efficient in delivering the services that the local constituents expect of it. And in order to maintain its organizational efficiency, the LGU’s GIS staff should initially consist of people who are already in the organization. If a new employee can be hired, he/she should bring technical knowledge and experience. Otherwise, those existing employees, such as a draftsman for example, can be trained. The LGU management can encourage them into the shift by giving a supportive and positive attitude. In a municipality, the GIS staff may have primary job responsibilities in other areas of concern. Since GIS is an add-on to the employees’ existing duties, the LGU management must be sure there is enough time to give each activity its due.

To give proper attention to the GIS, some other work responsibilities of the staff must be lessened or altogether cleared, especially if the employee managing the GIS operation has other responsibilities. Some of the current employees may apply for GIS positions and they should be considered based on their existing knowledge and ability to be trained for the position. The key is to have a team of people who have knowledge of both the organization and GIS.

Training for existing staff that will be part of the GIS Team can focus on technical matters while training for newly-hired staff should also include, aside from the technical matters, training on how the organization operates. It is important for the GIS staff to understand the existing operation of the organization in order to enhance the use of the GIS to its fullest.

3.02.01 Advocacy for a Municipal GIS with Elected Officials and LGU Management

Phases
To ensure success of the GIS, the commitment of the LGU management must be total. It should be demonstrated by putting this commitment into concrete actions that will have to be sustained throughout the operation of the GIS.

To get GIS as a tool for everybody within the organization is a process that can take place in a span of at least five to ten years. The whole process can be viewed as a project with four phases.

Phase One can be called ‘the convincing phase,’ whose purpose is to the get politicians and the top management convinced about the benefits of implementing a GIS for the municipal (spatial) planning activities such as the revision of the CLUP.

Phase Two is ‘the inventory phase,’ with the objective of finding out the capacity of the LGU (or the internal ‘state of the art’), what’s going on in the surrounding world, where to utilize lessons learned, and who are the prospective members in the project team.

Phase Three is ‘the design phase,’ where the project team is established, the important initial data sets (both available within the LGU organization and outside it) have been identified and acquired, and a viewer GIS is being installed within the organization. In this phase a requirement specification for ‘corporate’ GIS (how the data can be shared by the stakeholders) and for a metadata base are completed.

Phase Four is ‘the implementation phase,’ wherein the development of the corporate GIS is made and the GIS applications implemented. The provision of data to users is on-going, the knowledge enhancement plan is implemented and the GIS network is up and running. In this phase additional data sets for installation on the GIS server are decided and new requirements on GIS functionality are recorded for a future development project.

In order to succeed with the fourth phase of implementing GIS it is absolutely necessary to get through, and achieve good results from, the first three phases.

Below are some issues that have to be considered during the process:

Analyze and Discuss the Benefits of GIS
The core questions in discussing the benefits of GIS are:

  1. How can the use of GIS contribute to the LGU management?
  2. What are the prerequisites for increasing the internal efficiency within the organization?
  3. How can decision-making be supported by GIS?

Chapter 2 includes plenty of justifications which can feed these discussions.

Incorporate GIS into the IT strategy
The introduction of GIS requires a clear commitment and the active involvement of the entire LGU organization in order to succeed. The initial step is to establish the GIS strategy and incorporate it in the Information System Strategic Plan of the LGU.

Training Needs Assessment and Skills Enhancement
An important component of the action plan is to find out the needs for education and training. Based on the training needs assessment, a GIS Knowledge Enhancement Plan (KEP) should be formulated. It is important to determine the training needs of the staff that will comprise the GIS core team. The HLURB Regional Offices will assist in the building of the basic capacity of LGUs, and the intention is to develop a training facility at HLURB that will provide applied GIS CLUP training.

Create a GIS Network
The team leader – a ‘Geographic Information Officer’ (GIO) needs to be appointed, who will network with other colleagues in the different offices within the LGU organization. It would be advantageous if these colleagues have the same skill as the GIO in order to have a strong internal GIS organization.

A separate training program is normally necessary for the members of the GIS network. A low-income municipality with low computer proficiency may not be able to appoint a GIO, in which case the MPDC, or a knowledgeable person from the LGU organization may be assigned the task of GIO.

Accomplish Activity and Information Need Analysis Processes
Another initial activity in the GIS implementation is the analysis of the processes concerning the needs for and current uses of geographic data, and the requirement for GIS software. This should enable the LGU management to make the right decision for data management, the procurement of a suitable GIS software, and efficient access to needed data.

Information within the Organization
At the outset, it is important to establish what internal information is available, the quality of such information, and to analyze the information needs of identified target groups within the organization.

Ensure Immediate Access to Software and Data
GIS software and local basic data sets must be available for use prior to training of staff. It is also important to give the trainees the opportunity to start working with GIS directly after training.

3.02.02 Management, Institutional and Organizational Issues in the Development of a Municipal GIS (Action) Plan for the Introduction of an LGU GIS

Implementation of GIS should be the result of a strategic decision by the LGU management, and emanating from the IT or GIS Strategy (if such is available). Development of the GIS system should proceed on the basis of the organization’s information needs and the availability of geographic data. A step by step process should be followed, beginning with the use of simple applications which are needed by the various users in their daily work, and progressing to more advanced and complex user applications. Using GIS for CLUP preparation is one application that starts from simple tasks and can grow into a more sophisticated use of the tool.

The Geographic Information Officer Has a Key Role
The GIO must be a good project manager and negotiator; he must be diplomatic; and, he must be very familiar with the business. It is not enough that he is highly proficient with GIS. And the GIS team that supports the GIO should operate as a cohesive GIS human network, with skills corresponding to that of the GIO. This is the way of establishing a robust GIS organization.

Plan Carefully for the GIS Implementation
The first task is the formulation of an implementation plan based on the results of a survey of information needs for the different business activities. Chapter 4.02.01 in the Toolbox presents an example of an implementation strategy for using GIS in CLUP preparation.

Availability of Data – A True Success Factor
An important factor in GIS implementation is the availability of relevant data. It is therefore necessary to evaluate existing data sources prior to formulating the implementation plan. Chapter 6.02 includes a form that outlines the steps in finding out the current status of available attribute and spatial data needed for the CLUP preparation. Likewise, Chapter 5 of the Toolbox gives more details on the attribute tables that need to be compiled.

The implementation of GIS is facilitated if the staff already has knowledge about how non-spatial databases are designed and how to work with the attribute datasets in Excel. Implementing GIS and training the staff (including the end users) must be done in parallel to ensure success.
It is important to have the trained end users work with GIS soon after the training in order to keep the momentum of work and the knowledge fresh, and the enthusiasm to work with the new tools is still high.

Common Functionality and Activity-Specific Applications
“Common GIS functionality” refers to a centrally implemented GIS that is simultaneously available and or accessible to all users.
“Activity-specific applications” however, are developed for a specific branch or service or group of users. Development of such applications should be the responsibility of the specific office concerned. These applications have to be compliant with standards and structures that are applicable for the entire organization.

The CLUP GIS can perform these operations of common GIS functionality and activity-specific applications, and this versatility will enable users within the organization to freely use and exchange data for use in other applications. Chapter 4.18 gives examples on the multi usage quality of a versatile geographic information system.

3.02.03 Preparation of a (CLUP) GIS Training Program for LGU Staff

One of the causes of poor and unproductive use of GIS is the lack of training for the people who are supposed to operate the tools related to the system. If users don't know how to address spatial problems and use the computer to find the geographical answers, they won't be able to know how to apply GIS. It is important, therefore, to assess training needs and options.

One of the most important factors for successful GIS implementation is the availability of trained staff. Efficient staffing and appropriate training must be part of the GIS implementation strategy. Some of the conditions that can help retain staff are:

  1. interesting and challenging tasks
  2. supportive management environment
  3. continuing opportunities for staff development (attendance to GIS-related seminars, contact with other GIS professionals, etc.)

There are two main staff groups who are expected to work directly with the GIS system:

  1. GIS primary users consisting of the planners and / or the planning team involved in the CLUP preparation
  2. GIS end users consisting of staff that will use the results of the CLUP preparation process such as the sector data, land-use plan, ZO; etc. in their daily work

Geographic Information Officer
The ‘Geographic Information Officer’ (GIO) who will manage the CLUP GIS application will have to be appointed at the outset and be given sufficient training. He should be competent in general management as well as GIS. The GIO’s proficiency in managing people, information, priorities, and time will contribute to the success of GIS implementation. Management seminars provide opportunities for enhancing such proficiency, by listening to experts and by interacting with others in similar positions. Courses designed to help in specific subjects such as general management skills, project management, strategic management, and total quality management, will all be helpful to the GIO.

For low-income municipalities, the MPDC will most likely fit the role of GIO. However, if there are opportunities or other projects for strengthening the LGU’s IT capacity, and there is an available full time competent staff person with knowledge in implementation of computerization strategies, then that person can be designated as GIO.

For a low-income municipality where the CLUP GIS is one of the first computerized applications, there is a training program included in the Toolbox, Chapter 7.01.
Introductory trainings for advocacy purposes should also be conducted for the LGU officials and the LGU top and middle level management.

GIS Primary Users
The primary users comprise the staff that is responsible for creating, maintaining, and operating both the data and the system infrastructure. Defining the common ground for information, such as agreeing on a uniform metadata base and entry of data into databases plus capacity building and training, are important matters that need to be dealt with at the start. The primary users will require regular refresher courses to keep them updated on current and new techniques and methods.

In addition to the GIS staff, training for system administration staff (network administrator, database administrator, and hardware technicians) must be considered by those larger cities / municipalities that can afford to mobilize these positions.

In the CLUP GIS preparation it is recommended that the respective sectoral offices are made responsible for sector data capture and maintenance. These sectoral offices will need custodians who will monitor the maintenance of the sector database and give support to the end users regarding CLUP project studies, data maintenance, and map production.

GIS End UsersThe prospective user of a GIS must be confident with analyzing and manipulating attribute data in order to be receptive to learning about GIS. GIS end users need training in the software and applications with which they will be working. GIS is inherently a multi-disciplinary science and attention should also be given to training in other areas where the technology will complement the work that users do every day.

Introductory trainings for advocacy purposes should also be conducted for the LGU officials and the LGU top and middle level management.


Organizational Chart for Laurel


Example of an Organizational Chart for a City


3.02.04 Recommendations for Training



Database management in LGUs varies from the traditional analogue (paper based) system to secured digital operations. Generally, a minority of the workforce involved in database management has achieved a computer awareness level where only MS Office Word and Excel software are being mastered. One objective in general training for the LGU should be the elimination of disparities among the various LGU offices and reach a level where everyone ‘speaks the same language.’ The training program should consist of a step-by-step process allowing all the prospective trainees to be given a general introductory training in GIS, while providing opportunities for specific trainings to produce local expertise in attribute and spatial database management. During the learning process it is very important that the trainees have data from their own offices to practice with.

In the preparation of the GIS Cookbook, two training modules (Basic GIS training and Applied GIS training) have been prepared to give support to ‘non-computer literate’ staff that will be involved in the CLUP preparation using GIS.

GIS Staff Computer Literacy and GIS Training Needs Assessment
When the GIS team has been organized and mobilized, a training needs assessment should be conducted which will be presented in a KEP (Knowledge Enhancement Program).

The number of GIS users that will browse geographic information on a daily basis should be determined. The number of GIS primary users who will give support to the respective offices regarding GIS project studies, data maintenance, and map production should also be determined.

After the training needs assessment has been conducted, the number of staff that need GIS training can be established. However, at least two persons in each office must have sufficient skills to manage the sector (attribute) databases. During the implementation phase, more work staff will be needed to populate the datasets.

3.02.05 Training for Using GIS as a Tool in CLUP Preparation

HLURB has prepared a training package for municipal planners who are literate in MS Office but have no previous experience of GIS software:

Module 1, (one week) Basic Computer Training and Introduction to Digital Database Management
The new application is presented and the rationales for a digital database are given. There is also a beginner or review component for word-processing and data entry into spreadsheet and prepared forms. The participants will bring information about their job activities and there will be practical exercises on how to fill the forms, etc. It will also give an introduction to GIS, which will give the participants an understanding of what a GIS is, what it is intended for and how it is structured. The module also includes basic knowledge about hardware and trouble-shooting.

Module 2, (one week) Applied CLUP Database Management Training
This module is intended for GIS primary users who will be managing a sector database. It should enable the trainees to be competent with database building and management. The participants will use real data from their own sector and the outcome of the training will be a set of databases included in the CLUP sector database. It also includes an introduction to GIS, which will give the participants an understanding of what a GIS is, how it can be used and how it is structured. At the end of the course participants will have a working knowledge of the concepts, terminology and tools used to create and manage integrated mapping data in a local government environment with special reference to the CLUP.

The CLUP GIS training modules and programs are found in the Toolbox, Chapter 7.01.

Specialist Training
For special trainings that may be required by the more specialized GIS staff such as the GIS Software Expert and GIS Database Analyst, as well as the system administrators such as the Computer System Manager, Network Administrator, Database Administrator and Hardware Technicians, the best option is to find suitable advanced training opportunities in the private market. Such special trainings however will not be applicable to the GIS Cookbook’s target group of municipalities.

Advocacy and Applied Training
This module is intended for Municipal/City Councilors, LGU top and middle management officers, who will not directly work with the GIS system, but need to know how GIS can assist in decision-making, and the requirements for a sustained GIS. The GIS Cookbook provides guidelines (see for example Chapter 2) for advocacy which can be used for raising awareness among the local officials and LGU senior management, about the advantages of a GIS

3.02.06 GIS Training Opportunities

Current training opportunities for learning GIS in the country may be available at the following:

  1. University of Philippines which offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Geodesy. These courses are primarily intended for students who want to specialize in GIS and Remote Sensing.
  2. Geodata which is the country’s authorized distributor of ESRI software (such as ArcView, ArcGIS, etc.) offers basic and advanced short-term trainings on how to manage the software. However, their exercises are based on refined and very accurate data from the USA, which is not reflective of the situation in the Philippines.
  3. NAMRIA has a computer laboratory and offers short-term trainings customized to the Philippine environment. The agency has conducted on-demand courses targeted for national agencies and LGUs
  4. HLURB, as mentioned above, will provide on-demand training on how to use GIS as a tool in CLUP preparation. It will be conducted for municipalities that are in the pipeline to update their CLUPs.

For more information, please refer to Toolbox, Chapter 7.

3.02.07 Some Recommendations for External Technical Assistance in CLUP Preparation

The HLURB Regional Offices extend technical assistance in the preparation of the CLUP. Nowadays however, LGUs also engage the services of consultants in the preparation of their CLUPs. The HLURB CLUP Guidelines are meant to encourage LGUs to take the lead in the planning activities, with technical assistance from technical experts as needed. The GIS Cookbook provides guidelines for preparing the Terms of Reference for the hiring of technical experts in CLUP preparation using GIS.

General Recommendations
The following recommendations are given for the procurement of technical expertise to assist in the GIS development activities of the LGU. They can be included in the Terms of Reference for the technical expert’s activities, and incorporated in the MoA between the LGU and HLURB or in the contract between the LGU and the private consultant for the CLUP preparation:

  1. The technical expert shall use the same software environment as the LGU (in HLURB’s case, it is Arc View 9). All end products of the technical expert’s work should be delivered in shape files in a digital format;
  2. Upon completion of the technical expert’s work, all attribute and spatial data, micros, applications, etc., are turned over to, and become property of the LGU, and can be freely manipulated by the LGU. All outputs of the consultancy work such as, but not limited to, digital data, survey data, statistical data, etc. shall be turned over to the LGU;
  3. The LGU shall be the primary distributor of all data produced under the consultancy;
  4. The end products, such as data, micros, applications, etc., cannot be sold by the technical expert to a third party without the consent of the LGU;
  5. On the job training should always be provided, with the objective that the assigned LGU staff will acquire or enhance their capability to manage, make revisions and updates of the CLUP after completion of the technical expert’s contract.

Please refer to Chapter 4.04 in the Toolbox for more details regarding what should be considered in a ToR and included in a MoA for CLUP preparation using GIS.


3.03 Methodology

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


Definition

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?


Definition
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.

Introduction
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.

Methods
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.


3.04 Data

3.04.01 Types of Data Used in a GIS
3.04.02 Data Preparation
3.04.03 Data Management
3.04.04 Legal Implications on Data Capturing and Storing


3.04.01 Types of Data Used in a GIS

Although the two terms, data and information, are often used interchangeably, they mean two different things. Data can be described as different observations which are collected and stored. Information is processed data which is useful in answering queries or solving a problem.

“Analogue data,” “paper version” or “hard copy” are terms often used to denote any document or dataset produced on paper while “digital data” or “soft copy” refer to files processed by GIS software in the computer. The result of the computer manipulated data can be transformed into a paper format such as the printout of a map.

Geographic data are inherently a form of spatial data organized in a geographic database. This database can be considered as a collection of spatially referenced data that acts as a model of reality. There are two important components of this geographic database: its geographic position and its attributes or properties. In other words, spatial data (where is it?) and attribute data (what is it?)

Spatial Data
Spatial data pertains to the location and spatial dimensions of geographical entities, and data that can be linked to locations in geographic space, usually via features on a map.

Attribute Data
Attribute data refer to the properties of a specific, precisely defined location. The data are often statistical but may be in text, images or multi-media. These are linked in the GIS to spatial data that define the location. They are often referred to as non-spatial data since they do not in themselves represent location information.

Spatial data can be represented into two fundamental approaches:

  1. Vector data wherein objects or conditions in the real world are represented by points and lines and polygons that define their boundaries, much as if they were being drawn on a map. The position of each object is defined by its placement in a map space that is organized by a coordinate reference system, as shown below.
  2. Raster data wherein the space is regularly subdivided into cells (usually square in shape), as shown in the figure below. The location of geographic objects or conditions is defined by the row and column positions of the cells they occupy. The area that each cell represents defines the spatial resolution available. The value stored for each cell indicates the type of object or condition that is found at that location in the raster model, and the homogeneous units are the cells.


[size=14]Comparison of the Raster and Vector Models. The landscape in 1 is shown in a raster representation (2) and in a vector representation (3). The pine forest stand (P) and spruce forest stand (S) are features. The river is a line feature, and the house (H) is a point feature.

Some basic properties of raster and vector data are as follows:

  1. Each entity in a vector file appears as an individual data object. It is easy to record information about an object or to compute characteristics such as its exact length or surface area. It is difficult to derive this kind of information from a raster file because raster files contain little (and sometimes no) geometric information.
  2. Some applications can be handled much more easily with raster techniques than with vector techniques. Raster works best for applications where individual features are not important.
Comparison of Raster and Vector Data

Raster
Vector
Advantages Good for complex analysis
Efficient for overlays
Data structure common for imagery
Compact data structure
Efficient for encoding topology
True representation of shape
Disadvantages Large datasets
Topology hard to represent
Maps less "realistic"
Complex structure
Overlay operations difficult
Might imply false sense of accuracy

3.04.02 Data Preparation

Search for Data
Possibly the most important component of a GIS is the data. Geographic data and related attribute data can be collected in-house or acquired from a public agency or a commercial data provider. For the database building, standards for data acquisition and data entry, data maintenance and storage, data analysis and processing, data display and reporting have to be defined. By formulating and agreeing on a metadata base, specifications can be developed that facilitate the system integration.

The process of putting data into a GIS takes time. The process can be slow and laborious; and time equals money. Every year someone promises that next year there is going to be a faster, more intelligent scanning system that is going to get data into the system much easier. Things are indeed getting better and more and more data is becoming available in digital form, but the process of building a database still typically represents 80% of the first five-year costs of establishing a GIS. This is real money expenditure and that is where much of GIS time is going to be spent.

In this context one has to remember that the LGU is primarily an institution for data users, not data producers. Consequently, if customized GIS data is available on the market, it is better to purchase the data, instead of starting an in-house ‘production line’ to transfer data to a GIS format. The GIS Cookbook presents a collection of CLUP Data custodians to facilitate the data searching by LGUs in their CLUP preparation. There is an inventory of available or accessible attribute and spatial data that are needed in preparing the CLUP. (Chapter 4.17.01 in the Toolbox.)

Data Capture
In the data capturing process the data are taken from the real-world [/b](primary source), or from a secondary source such as a paper map, and entered into GIS software.

The Preparation of Primary (Attribute) CLUP Data
When the ‘Search-for-Data’ process starts, in some cases attribute data will not be stored in a digital format. In ArcGIS and most other GIS software have a tool to manipulate attribute data. However, for beginners in GIS it is recommended to use MS Excel for two reasons:

  1. The custodian of the attribute data will (hopefully) be a representative from the specific sector (education, engineering, etc.) and the staff will most probably be familiar with the Microsoft Software package, which includes Excel.
  2. The custodian of the spatial data will be the MPDO, and since the software is an expensive part of the GIS start package, it should be the unit that holds the GIS software license. As a consequence, it will be the MPDO who will assist the attribute data custodians in including the attribute datasets into the GIS. Furthermore, the MPDO will have to extend services by providing GIS browsers and producing print outs for the other GIS stakeholders so that they will be able to use the information in their tasks.

Eventually, the stakeholders will have the confidence to work with the attribute data in the GIS software and the methodology recommended during the ‘introductory phase’ mentioned above will cease to be a problem.

Aside from using Excel, it is also recommended that files to be used in the GIS should be stored in dBase file formats DBF4 (dBase IV). This is because in many instances, the dBase format can be used in the older version of the GIS software, for example ArcView 3.x. However, since the dBase IV format saves only the text and values as they are displayed in cells of the active worksheet, special attention is needed, as described in Chapter 4.20.01. How this is practiced is shown in Chapter 7.03.03.

The Preparation of Spatial CLUP Data
In the ‘Search-for-Data’ process, there will be instances wherein primary data gathering of spatial features will be done. It is recommended that a GPS be used in this activity. Chapter 4.19 in the Toolbox will show what to do in this case. There will also be analogue spatial data (paper drawn maps) that must be transformed into digital format. The process of capturing, processing and converting analogue spatial data into digital format is the same whether it is for basemap purposes or other maps for the CLUP. Chapter 4.21 will discuss these matters.

Map Accuracy and Level of Acceptance

GIS technology has broadened our view of a map. Instead of a static entity, a map is now a dynamic presentation of geographic data. The advantages are outstanding but there are also risks involved. In this case study, the importance of observing positional accuracy between the input data and the end product in the form of a CLUP map is shown.

Six accuracy issues can be identified in a GIS:

  1. Positional accuracy by which the location has been determined;
  2. Attribute accuracy for the information describing a geometric element;
  3. Logical consistency which means that lines are connected, polygons closed, etc.;
  4. Completeness, which describes if the data is valid for the whole area or for parts of it;
  5. Currentness that describes the time for data collection;
  6. Lineage that describes all operations and manipulations that were used to produce the data (air photo interpretation, digitizing, etc.)
In the preparation of the CLUPs using GI Technology, secondary source data will be used. The LGU planner must rely on data captured by a national agency (e.g. geologic map, soil map, erosion map, flooding map, etc.). The source data will most likely be in a paper format, the data has been produced using manual methods, scales may vary, and little is known about the accuracy (few metadata is attached).

Chapter 4 in the Toolbox provides some metadata specifications for some of the data, but a lot more needs to be done to assist the planner. The source maps, in order to be useful in a CLUP GIS database, must be transformed into a digital layer. However, data from paper format will only be converted into digital format.
Scanning and georeferencing are discussed in Chapter 4.21 where acceptance and accuracy should be observed in these processes. It is likely that errors inherent in the paper source will be also be transferred to the digital form including any errors that might have been incurred during scanning and georeferencing processes. The accuracy of the digital data will depend on the accuracy of the secondary source, and comparison would only be between secondary data sources. The way how to treat errors between primary and secondary sources will be discussed in the Toolbox.

How much error (errors from source and from scanning and georeferencing) is acceptable? The answer depends on how much accuracy the secondary source can provide. If the accuracy of a secondary source is not known, the data could be compared with other secondary sources which have similar features that are comparable.

However, one must be cautious in comparing data. Most secondary source data done manually would contain a lot of errors. It is also possible that there are secondary sources which were produced digitally like orthophotos and GPS surveys. These sources would have greater accuracy than all other secondary sources, and these secondary source data will have to be evaluated differently.

Lessons Learned The spatial data, especially the data for the Base Map:

  1. must be captured with agreed and acceptable (positional) accuracy;
  2. must be properly georeferenced;
  3. must be defined in the right projection;
  4. must have enough information about how it was prepared (metadata)

It should not be expected of a planner to be able to assess whether ‘technicalities regarding the cartography’ are properly set from the beginning. There should be enough guaranties for the planner that the data has a workable standard so he can focus on his professional task, which is the actual planning and the preparation of the CLUP.

Metadata

Metadata is the term used to describe the summary information or characteristics of a set of data or "data about data".

Metadata can be defined as geospatial data describing its characteristics in terms of content, quality, processing history, format etc, into a common set of terms and definitions. In simple words, metadata is “data about data”. A map legend on a paper map is a type of metadata that describes the different map elements, publishing date, projection and coordinate system, etc.

A common perception of GIS data is that it consists of two parts: spatial data (coordinates and topology), and attribute data (descriptive information). However, without proper documentation, GIS data will remain incomplete. It is thus equally important that GIS data also includes a metadata component. Metadata creation is typically considered to be an obligation of the data producer. The data user needs metadata to determine whether or not a particular data set exists, and to decide whether or not the data is appropriate for use. Proper metadata should describe the who, what, when, where, why and how regarding all aspects of a GIS data set.

The use or creation of Metadata is often ignored or avoided. However, with the rise in use of digital data, the advantage of including metadata for datasets is increasingly recognized. Whereas cartographers rigidly provided metadata within a paper map’s legend, the evolution of computers and GIS has seen a decline in this practice. As organizations start to recognize the value of this ancillary information, they often begin to look at incorporating metadata collection within the data management process.

Metadata helps people who use geo spatial data find the data they need and determine the best way to use it. Metadata benefits the data-producing organization as well. As personnel change in an organization, undocumented data may lose their value. Incoming and newcomer staff may have little understanding of the contents and uses for a digital database and may find they can't trust results generated from these data. Lack of knowledge about other organizations' data can lead to duplication of effort. It may seem burdensome to add the cost of generating metadata to the cost of data collection, but in the long run the value of the data depends on its documentation.

In the GIS Cookbook there are Metadata Specifications and Standards for the attributes as well as the spatial datasets.

What Are Standards and Why Use Them?

The benefits of using GIS will be truly achieved once data is shared and exchanged between and among producers and users of geographic data. A prerequisite for such cooperation should be the capability of reading and interpreting the data among the exchanging entities. One basic condition is to standardize data, technically and conceptually

Paper Maps Means Conceptual Standards As Well The printed map, in itself, represents a standardized way of describing geographic information. With our knowledge, experience and intuition we understand a meaning, an image and properties of that road which is described with a certain symbol. It works pretty well as long as we deal with a certain map category. The problem is that the important aspects can easily draw in all information on the maps when performing analysis procedures by using a number of different thematic maps.

Computer Assistance Will Increase the Demands for Systematic Management of Data When changing to the digital world, there is a need to describe the tasks in a logical manner to get the computer to do what we want.

A Corporate Language GIS, as well as our own language, is created to transfer and disseminate information. A corporate language consists of a corporate vocabulary and a corporate grammar. In the computer world we talk about corporate feature names, feature definitions, attribute lists and uniformly defined data format and data base design. This is standardization.

Use of Geographic Data Many organizations use many types of geographic data from numerous data vendors or producers. These data should be used together. Standardization concerning geographic data such as using the same projection is an absolute prerequisite.

As we use many data types from different producers it is also necessary with information about who is producing what, about data quality, about data capture methods etc. This is metadata. A uniform metadata structure also requires standardization, in order to easily understand the meaning of metadata.

Use of Geographic Data A standard is agreed upon by a group of users who have cooperated in order to standardize a certain thing. The work is approved by the standardization organization and appointed official standard. In addition to the official standards for geographic data, a certain group can decide to apply a standardized data description for a certain purpose. In this case the result will occur as a de facto- standard. This needs no approval by a standardization organization since it is just for the use of the internal organization that agreed on this standard. Today there are a number of official standards concerning geographic data. Those are developed within the International Standard Organization (ISO), for example ISO TC 211 (Global level).

There are also a lot of other unofficial standards. One example is the product de facto- standard established by Microsoft as this company is dominating the software market for computers. Another strong player is Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), the world leading vendor of GIS software.

In the Philippines, the Inter Agency Task Force on Geographic Information (IATFGI) has made serious effort to come up with technical standards for geodata.

The preparation of the GIS Cookbook has been coordinated with their recommendation and applicable metadata specifications have been adopted. However, the metadata specifications have been improved focusing not only on national government institutions but the local government data environment as well.

3.04.03 Data Management

In a GIS it is very important that data is named and stored in a logical way otherwise it will be difficult to find, which version that should be used, and to maintain the information property.

If there are no previous file and folder management standards in the municipality, the following guidelines should be followed. In case there is a recognized file and folder system in the municipality then that system’s standards should be used. The guidelines are meant for a stand alone computer environment, with the files stored locally in one computer. In the case of networks, standards for data sharing should be applied.

Guidelines for File and Folder Management

The goal is to minimize duplication of datasets and to have the data well organized and easily accessible. This will help avoid confusion during the CLUP preparation, and in future revisions of the CLUP.

To facilitate an overview of the folders, the subfolders should be organized in a specific order. They are automatically placed first in numerical and then alphabetical order. If you start with digits you can decide the appropriate order. It might not be necessary to use figures for all folders, but this is preferable for the most used or important folders. It is important to name the folders and files in a coherent way, so that will be easier to view the content of the drive. Using meaningful names and abbreviations can help see at a glance what each dataset is.

The folder structure described below is a proposed setup that can be used in the preparation of the CLUP. It is recommended for better organization and management of files in case no previous standard has been used by the municipality.

All the files such as written reports and other documents, graphs and photos used in the narrative part of the CLUP and the geodata needed to build up the CLUP GIS, are organized into 4 folders, which then are divided into subfolders and sub-sub folders accordingly: 01_CLUPGIS; 02_CLUPdoc; 03_CLUPpic; 04_CLUPmix.

01_CLUPGIS – contains the data, mostly tables/spreadsheets that is needed for the GIS. The building stones of the GIS consist basically of spatial data (which configures the features on the map), and attribute data (which describes the specific map feature). For example, a school is represented as a point on the map (spatial data) and when you click on it one will find information on how many teachers, classrooms, etc. (attribute data) the school holds.

Aside from the geodata there are also (Excel) table data that have no GIS representation, and can be used in the narrative part of the CLUP report as tables or graphs originating from the spreadsheets.
The components of the CLUP GIS data are divided into sector folders which follow IATFGl recommendations on metadata as shown below.

Code Name of folder Content of sector folder
BM Basic Information Fundamental data sets that can be used to make the sector data described above more meaningful. Displaying or analyzing the base data with the sector data assists the user in making more effective and well-informed decisions.
SE Socio-economic The ‘software issues’ which in a GIS context are combined due to international GIS standards and technical rationales. Data related to public services and economic development.
EN Environment The ‘valid to’ tag, which identifies data that can be used to protect and develop environmental sustainability, conditions in the municipality.
IS Infrastructure Infrastructure is the ‘man made features’ ‘with layers, which depict the location, distribution, volume, standards and type of infrastructure utilities within the municipality.
LM Land (use) Management Land-use Management’ symbolizes the ‘price tag’ with layers which provide basis for zoning, land ownership, taxation and assessment of land values, which can be inputted to fiscal resources of the municipality.
PR Project Management Monitoring development activities in projects that have been initiated by the CLUP or have impact on the land use.

Each of the sector folders is divided by planning component subjects (Housing, Education, etc.) in order to differentiate between table files being used for preparatory activities (both for the GIS and to be inserted in the CLUP narrative text), and files that are being used in the GIS. Each planning component subject folder is further subdivided into two subfolders, namely ‘Tables’ and ‘GIS.’

A ‘Quick-look’ file placed together with the sector subfolders in the CLUPGIS folder describes important information about the data, which could be of good use and facilitate understanding by a new user/custodian. Refer to Chapter 5.01.01 for more information about the ‘Quick-look’ file.

The GIS Cookbook does not give any recommendation how the data used in the CLUP Report should be organized. However, below are some general suggestions:

02_CLUPdoc – contains drafts of the CLUP document eventually divided into subfolders for drafts and final version. Each subfolder is recommended to have numbered subfolders corresponding to the division of chapter in the document, such as, 01_Introduction; 02_Baseline Studies; etc.

03_CLUPpic – contains all types of imagery, such as photos, satellite imagery, aerial photos, graphic illustrations, etc. For easy reference it is recommended that all imagery used in the final version should be placed in a separate subfolder and if there are several images, these may be subdivided into chapters such as 02_CLUPdoc.

04_CLUPmix – contains miscellaneous files, preferably organized into subfolders according to the steps in Volume 1 prepared, such as minutes from meetings and consultations; correspondence, etc.

A preset directory that can be copied and inserted in the computer is also found in the Toolbox.

Guidelines for Naming of Files It is important to name the folders and files in a coherent way, so that it will be easier to view the content of the drive. Using meaningful names and abbreviations can help see at a glance what each dataset is.

The following guidelines are recommended, where the name of the folder or file should be:

  1. Clear and comprehensive;
  2. Not too long, not more than 40 characters (including space between words);
  3. Written following the sentence rule (start with capital letter);
  4. Acronyms with capital letters;
  5. No dots, slashes and backslashes. Only underscore can be used.

The following table sets out the characters that may NOT be used in file or folder names, as they are generally reserved by the operating system and will cause file retrieval problems if used:

Character Description
/ Or \ Slashes (“/” or “\”) – these are used
by the operating systems to denote directories.
: Or; Colons (“:”) or semi-colons (“;”)
* Asterisks – used in search criteria as wildcards
% Percent symbol
() or [] or{} Brackets
. Period – used to denote the file extension
? Questions marks – bad form
= Equals sign
“ or ‘ Quotation marks
< or > Greater than or less than signs
$ Dollar sign – this has a special usage for security permissions.
~ Tilde – used by the operating system to truncate files names
that are too long.
! Exclamation marks – bad form.
It is recommended that the geodata files be named as follows:

  1. Product/ feature name + year (2 digits) + eventual more detailed description about the feature + property, version or other property information. file extension
  2. For example: Admin96b_pline.shp. where:

    1. ‘Admin’ is the code for an administrative feature;[/li]
    2. ‘96’ indicates the year the data was captured/revised (for example when the CLUP was prepared);[/li]
    3. ‘b’ defines the type of administrative feature, namely a barangay (b is the coding for a barangay);[/li]
    4. ‘_pline’ is the polyline version (as there is also a polygon version of the same feature needed for the base map)

The shape file format defines the geometry and attributes of geographically referenced features in as many as five files with specific file extensions that should be stored in the same project workspace. They are:
. shp - the file that stores the feature geometry. Geographic features in a shapefile can be represented by points, (poly) lines, or polygons (areas).
.shx - the file that stores the index of the feature geometry.
.dbf - the dBASE file that stores the attribute information of features. When a shapefile is added as a theme to a view, this file is displayed as a feature table.
.sbn and .sbx - the files that store the spatial index of the features. These two files may not exist until you perform theme on theme selection, spatial join, or create an index on a theme's Shape field. If you have write access to the source data directory, the index files will be persistent and remain after your ArcGIS session is complete. If you do not have write access to the source data directory, they will be removed when you close the project or exit ArcGIS.
.ain and .aih - the files that store the attribute index of the active fields in a table or a theme's attribute table. These two files may not exist until you perform link or join on the tables. If you have write access to the source data directory, the index files will be persistent and remain after your ArcGIS session is complete. If you do not have write access to the source data directory, they will be removed when you close the project or exit ArcGIS
.apr is a project file in ArcView3
.mxd is a map document in ArcGIS.

Data Sharing GIS and supporting technologies will lead to the development of decision support systems that facilitate the municipal planning process. By using indicators and alternative development scenarios it is possible to measure the performance of the LGU and future land-use.

Planning support systems like the CLUP GIS can measure and compare performances of different planning scenarios according to planner- or citizen-defined indicators for land use, transportation, education, natural resources, and employment, to name a few.

However, the ultimate goal is to bring together all potential players to work collaboratively on a common vision for their community. GIS-based planning support systems allow planners to quickly and efficiently create and test alternative development scenarios and determine their likely impacts on future land use patterns and associated population and employment trends, thus allowing public officials to make informed planning decisions. With a basic understanding and implementation of data sharing one can provide more information to local residents and the municipality without increasing capital or personnel costs. Employing these techniques will actually reduce the amount of time spent updating municipal management and planning data and increase accuracy and timeliness.

The idea that is advocated for in the GIS Cookbook is that much of the data presented in the CLUP tables (see Chapter 5 in the Toolbox) can be designed/formatted so they can be used both in the CLUP preparation and in the day-to-day work of the respective sector office (health, education, social welfare, building and business permits, etc.) that is responsible for providing the specific municipal service.

Once municipal offices (and other government agencies interacting with the LGUs) agree to share or replicate the data, they face the challenge of maintaining up-to-date datasets. Both attribute and spatial data are changing continuously as new social services, infrastructure, etc. are provided, or more accurate data is collected. To maintain up-to-date databases the various data “owners” (custodians) must exchange their most current datasets with those they share their data with.

This can be done in two ways:

  1. Complete data load. This is the most straightforward approach. The current dataset is removed and completely replaced with the new dataset. However, this approach is sometimes impractical due to the volume of data, which may be difficult to distribute and take a prohibitively long time to reload, resulting in the database being inaccessible to the users for extended periods of time;
  2. Change only updates. This approach requires smaller data volumes to be distributed as only the records that have changed (modifiications, deletions and additions) are exchanged. Change only updates also reduce the time for the data load because of the smaller data volume. The update process is more complex than the complete data load approach.

Corporate datasets and working databases may also have different data models (or schemas). Posting scripts are used to control the transfer of the data between the different databases, and these scripts must be capable of handling these different configuration issues and formats, as shown in the figure below.

Unique Feature Identifiers: To simplify the update process, unique ID’s are used to keep track of joining tables, which features have changed, etc. Consequently all CLUP GIS tables, (see Chapter 5) have been given a field for a unique ID. For example, a school unit will always be identified with a unique alphanumeric ID which is referred to by all users and used when joining tables in a GIS. A good example on unique ID is to start from the coding of municipalities (and barangays) that is used by NSO (see Chapter 5.09.01 for more detailed information).

Data Ownership: It is important to clarify data ownership to eliminate potential conflicts.

For example, who ‘owns’ the table data for education? Which department is responsible for maintaining the school unit locations and attribute data about enrolment? Data ownership may also have to be shared. For example in a low-income municipality it might be the best solution that the planning unit takes responsibility for the data management of the spatial data, and see to it that the locations of schools are properly identified, while the school unit keeps records on the attributes such as number of classrooms and teachers, etc.

However, aside from agreeing about unique IDs and Data Custodianship, for municipal offices that share data with external users (those outside their administrative sphere of influence), “change only updates” result in a number of potential challenges that may include versioning, data transactions, data validation, coordinate systems and accuracy. Sometimes the CLUP/corporate datasets (shape files, Excel) are a different format to the external databases (ESRI Geodatabase, Oracle Spatial, MapInfo TAB, GeoMedia, AutoCAD, etc.). To cope with these issues there is a need for special GIS and IT knowledge.

In the Toolbox (Chapter 4.18), some examples illustrate the benefit of data sharing.

Data Security
Whatever the current value of the database, if it is properly maintained, this will increase considerably over the years. A successful GIS will be an integral part of daily operations. Over time, the value of information derived from the GIS database grows beyond a monetary cost to one measured by the functionality it provides to the work. Consequently, considerations for the protection of the GIS from damage will be necessary at some stage.

The possibility of the system and data being destroyed or severely damaged is real and deserves attention. The system is vulnerable to both deliberate and accidental damages. A disgruntled employee might purposely corrupt data, hackers may steal information, or a computer virus could find its way into the server. Natural disasters also pose a threat. Earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning are all examples of natural hazards that could disrupt a GIS.

While deviant behavior and natural disasters are intriguing subjects, threats more common are found in day-to-day operations. Examples include coffee being spilt in the wrong place, a well-intentioned employee who accidentally deletes or corrupts a database, or a power disruption with no automatic battery backup.

When conducting a security review, the physical, logical, and archival security of the databases are examined.

Physical security measures protect and control access to the computer equipment containing the databases. Protection of database storage includes guarding against human intrusions (such as unauthorized personnel) and environmental factors (such as fire, flood, or earthquake).

Logical security measures protect and control access to the data itself. For example, users may be restricted to certain types of terminals, particular datasets, and particular functions. One common security measure is to ensure that only database management staff have editing and update rights to particular datasets.

Archival security is essential for many applications. Metadata, information about past coding and updating practices, the location of data, and the type of media on which data is stored, must be kept track of to allow for data recovery.

The table below illustrates the sections and subsections that might be included in a document that describes the security recommendations of systems and databases for a municipality. Recommendations are made that affect the current and future operations. This document will also help set priorities for actions and costs involved. Further, the security recommendations should be approved and a budget allocated to put the measures into effect.

Physical Security
Logical Security
Archival Security
Prevent access to main data storage from unauthorized entrances. Develop a policy for terminal access Establish an audit trail for copies of data
Review the construction plans for the office buildings to ensure appropriate
errand climate control
Create an access matrix by document types Establish an offsite backup facility
Upgrade fire protection Review protection of storage media Create and organize metadata
Initiate document sign out and follow up procedures Implement virus protection standards Purchase storage media

Backup Basics There are many ways one can unintentionally lose information on a computer; a power surge, lightning, floods, for instance. Sometimes the equipment just fails. Backup copies of files kept in a separate place is a good practice to ensure that the information is still there when something happens to the original files in the computer.

Before making backup copies, a checklist of files for backup should be made. This will help determine what files to back up, and also provide a reference list which will be useful in retrieving backed-up files.

Backup copies should be stored in external storage media, such as an external hard disk drive or flash drive, CDs, DVDs, or some other storage formats.

The size of the files needed for the CLUP database will be relatively modest providing not so much raster data is included. Consequently, the recommendation is that the CLUP folder should be written to a DVD/CD on a regular interval (like once a month) and the backup be kept in a safe environment outside the office.

3.04.04 Legal Implications on Data Capturing and Storing

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
IPR is currently governed by Republic Act No. 8293, known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (IPC), which was enacted and signed into law in 1997, and took effect on January 1, 1998.

It consists of Copyright and Related Rights, Trademarks and Service Marks, Geographical Indications, Industrial Designs, Patents, Lay-out Designs (Topographies) integrated circuits and Protection of undisclosed information.

Copyright and Related Rights
Copyright – is the protection extended to expressions and not to ideas, procedures, and methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such. These expressions may be in the forms of literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works.

Related Rights – is the protection extended to derivative works, to include among others, dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgements, arrangements, and other alterations of literary or artistic works.

Programs / Software
Computer programs are protected by the IPC. The Code expressly protects computer programs as literary works. It also protects copyright in the manuals and packaging, which accompany the software.
Some notable points about the IPC law are:

  1. It protects databases and tables;
  2. It grants an exclusive rental right to the copyright owner;
  3. It recognizes and expands the protection of an author’s moral rights, i.e., the right of an author to preserve the integrity of his work and name;
  4. It penalizes the possession of infringing software for the purpose of sale.

IPC allows reproduction of backup copies or adaptation of a computer programs without authorization of the author / copyright owner provided that the copy is necessary for:

  1. the use of the computer program in conjunction with
    a computer for the purpose, and to the extent, for which the computer program
    has been obtained;
  2. archival purposes, and, for the replacement of the lawfully
    owned copy of the program in the event that the lawfully obtained copy of
    the computer program is lost, destroyed or rendered unusable.

Such copy must be destroyed in the event that continued possession of the copy of the computer program ceases to be lawful.

Enforcement
The Intellectual Property Rights Code protects the owner’s copyright, giving him the exclusive right to do certain things with the work, which in this case consists of the computer program, the manuals, and the packaging. These “exclusive rights” include:

  1. The right to copy the whole program or a substantial part of it.
  2. The right to adapt or translate the program.
  3. The right to rent the program to another person.

This means that one may only copy, adapt or rent a computer program if the copyright owner gives the permission to do this. This permission is given in the form of license. Every purchase of a legitimate copy of a computer program entitles one to receive a license agreement.


3.05 Software

3.05.01 Overview
3.05.02 Open Source GIS
3.05.03 Recommendations on GIS Software Setup for CLUP Preparation (Based on Best Practices)
3.05.04 Maintenance and Licensing


GIS and image processing software are still not very user-friendly and are not up to par with other software, such as MS Office. Software vendors are beginning to address this, largely due to market and user demands, but there is still a long way to go.
Although GIS software is becoming less expensive, it still constitutes a major share of the initial costs in setting up a GIS for CLUP preparation.

3.05.01 Overview

In most organizations GIS can be used for a number of different staff tasks with various requirements on analysis operations and presentations. Instead of focusing on selection of software, the basic questions are:

  1. In which staff work is GIS supposed to be used in order to get good enough support?
  2. How is GIS planned to store data and make data available?
  3. How is the data planned for use in different applications and staff tasks?

Thus, selection of software should be a result of considerations and decisions about which business activities should be supported by use of GIS and the kind of data that should be used.

In the case of the formulation of the CLUP, there is a number of GIS software available on the market that can be used for land-use preparation. Some of them can be described as common GIS software that includes all basic functionality for data capture, data production, data storing, data processing, analysis operations and presentations. Some of them are commercial software, but there are also freeware and shareware programs available. A few are using open source.

As an alternative, applications can be developed within the organization. However, this is not recommended, as the life cycle costs of such applications tend to be high. Instead it is recommended to purchase commercial software and then make necessary modifications /updates.

The planned use for the software, and the categories of users are very decisive factors for the selection of GIS software. The range of GIS use is very wide – from browsing pre-drawn maps to advanced analysis operations. This means that it might be necessary to select different software solutions with due consideration of the types of users. However, as a start for a low-income municipality, it would be enough to procure one software license to be used by the planner(s) and use a freeware GIS browser for the CLUP stakeholders.

3.05.02 Open Source GIS

Open Source programs are applications in which you can access the source code. In recent years, the GIS industry has witnessed a dramatic growth in the development and adoption of open source technologies and there is a number of Open Source GIS Software available on the market for free or at a low price. The technical GIS community has adopted open source technology and it now mainstreams GIS. Broader IT industries have come on board as open source products have matured. The availability of GIS open source software provides researchers and solution developers access to a wider range of tools than what is currently offered by the commercial companies. However, for the target group of the GIS Cookbook, the low-income municipalities with limited experience of computer technology, it is not recommended to use Open Source GIS as it is still complicated for the beginner to work with. It might be an alternative later when the staff is more confident with the computer environment.

3.05.03 Recommendations on GIS Software Setup for CLUP Preparation (Based on Best Practices)

The graph below shows the brands of GIS software that are commonly used by the LGUs in the Philippines some years ago. The findings originate from the NAMRIA nation-wide survey and if the trend is the same as with the rest of the world, the situation today will give an even bigger dominant position to ESRI which is the provider of ArcView, ArcGIS, ArcInfo, etc. As Microsoft Word drove Word Perfect out of the market some ten years ago it is also likely that ESRI will outmaneuver most of its competitors in the long run, simply because much resources are needed to keep software apace with users’ preferences and needs.

A geographic model is an abstraction of the real world that employs a set of data objects that supports map display, query, editing and analysis. To date there have been three generations of software in use, separately or integrated together and different GIS software make it possible to a greater or lesser extent to represent natural behaviors and relationships of features. These models are as follows:

  1. The CAD Data Model is the very first computerized mapping system that draws vector layers. However the representation of the attribute data is very limited. In this era, maps were created with CAD software;
  2. The Coverage Data Model introduced better options to combine spatial data with attribute data. The major advantage of the coverage data model is the user’s ability to customize feature tables. Not only could fields be added, but the database relationship could be set up to external database tables. The Coverage Data Model is still the dominant model in GIS. An example of the software that handles this data model is ArcView 3 using shapefiles.
  3. ArcGIS/ArcView 8 introduces a new object-oriented data model called the Geodatabase Data Model, which makes the features in the GIS datasets more proficient by endowing them with more natural features.

The GIS Cookbook recommends that data be prepared in a Coverage Data Model (Shape files, Excel/dBase attributes). However, as ESRI has terminated the development of the ArcView 3 environment, it is recommended that GIS software that also can manage Geodatabase Data Model such as ArcGIS be procured by a low-income municipality.

The reasons are briefly as follows:

  1. More flexibility for future improvements and upgrading of the GIS is possible;
  2. The amount of data required for the CLUP is not voluminous so it requires a Geodatabase Data Model;
  3. The queries and analysis used for the CLUP are relatively simple and do not require a Geodatabase Data Model;
  4. The amount of data sharing does not initially need a network solution.

However, it is more advantageous to use a Geodatabase GIS Software when it comes to displaying and visualizing the information products of the CLUP

A checklist with items and costs is enclosed in the Toolbox, Chapter 4.03.01.

3.05.04 Maintenance and Licensing

Most commercial software manufacturers are offering (often quite expensively) annual maintenance agreements that provide general support and troubleshooting. For the CLUP GIS however, it is not recommended for a low-income municipality to sign up for such an agreement as the problems that will occur will mostly not be related to the actual software but to inconsistencies among the other GIS elements, namely: training, data, hardware and the actual application - the CLUP GIS. In this case, the main provider of useful advice will be HLURB.

Licensed software comes normally with a password and a dongle which only allows the software to be used in one computer at a time. In the Philippines like the rest of the world, there are cracked versions that enable the use of the software without any restrictions. Although the price of the software is a hefty investment for a low-income municipality, it is not advisable to use pirated software, which is illegal.


3.06 Hardware (and Network Set Up)

3.06.01 Computer
3.06.02 Peripherals
3.06.03 Network


Developments in the PC market have led to faster and cheaper machines that support multiple operating systems. Peripherals remain costly and difficult to repair. Maintenance and technical support continue to be problems, although the development of local markets has begun to help. PC-technology is most often the appropriate choice for municipal-scale projects in developing countries. As with any project, it is important to evaluate the user needs, and pick hardware appropriate to the project, the long-term goals of the installation, and which can be realistically supported.

3.06.01 Computer

Today, GIS software runs on a wide range of hardware types, from centralized computer servers to desktop computers used in stand-alone or networked configurations.

Consequently, all new PC hardware will function well with GIS software today. As the GIS processes files that might be quite voluminous in size, it is recommended that special attention is given to boost internal memory (RAM) to 1024 MB.

A laptop is more expensive than a PC with the same performance but might be more practical to use for surveys and consultations (connected with a projector).

3.06.02 Peripherals

Aside from a functioning computer the following peripherals are useful:

An A3 (ink cartridge) color printer. The A3 format (or the somewhat smaller portfolio size) has been proven to be a most suitable format to present maps on a municipal ‘scale’ to be included in reports, etc., and can also be used for other graphs aiming to visualize the work of the Planning Office (posters, brochures, banners, etc.) in an attractive way.

There should be extra sets of ink cartridges in stock and must be always replenished. They are however ‘perishables’ and have an expiration date, and the ink eventually runs dry.

In most cases, for quality prints, the ‘fast-print/economy-print’ mode will save a lot of ink and money as many prints might contain maps and illustrations.

Laser printers, which have become much cheaper lately, are a cost saving alternative for large quantity printing of monochromatic documents compared to using an ink cartridge printer.

Although prices have come down from the previous years, a low-income municipality will not frequently need a plotter that can print in larger formats than A3. Instead, try to make friends with a nearby private or public institution with such plotter that can help with the reproduction during the few times it is needed.

Digital cameras have become very cost-effective and easy-to-use instruments for monitoring and maintenance activities. It is recommended that the Municipal Planning Office procure one for its use. A camera with 3 MB picture resolution is more than enough for photo documentation in a CLUP.

A handheld GPS is affordable nowadays and is most useful in capturing spatial locations of objects in the CLUP. It is advantageous (but not extremely necessary) to bring a laptop and data cable to transfer positions. A car lighter plug for the GPS is also necessary because the battery is often at risk of running low in the middle of a field work. Nowadays, GPS is already being integrated into PDAs and cellphones. Software installed in these PDA GPS allows user-made datasets like their base map which allows them to view the positions being observed in real time without the need of a laptop. Other units also have Bluetooth or WLAN which allows wireless connection to a laptop or PDA with a GIS software via Bluetooth or WLAN, and allows real time readings.

An A4 scanner has an affordable price tag and is extremely useful once one has got the right touch. In combination with Optical Character Reading (OCR) software it will save a lot of time when large amounts of paper data need to be put into digital format.





External USB hard disks are becoming inexpensive, and are very useful as a back up for a small planning office.

The flash disk memory (USB flash drive) has replaced the floppy disk and is very handy in data sharing. A USB flash drive is like a small hard drive, about 2-3 inches long, that plugs into the computer through a USB port. Data can be downloaded into it for storage. It is portable and files can be saved, modified, or deleted as often as needed. However, because of their size, USB flash drives are easy to misplace. The flash disk is normally a sufficient solution for data sharing (but not data storing) in a low-income municipality. (But might need a driver if you are using old computers)

A computer projector is slowly going down in price and can be useful at large meetings. Lumen (ANSI) and resolution (dpi) are the quality indicators and keep in mind that the lamp is very expensive to replace.

Access to a reliable power supply is still a major problem in many developing countries, though this is improving in some urban areas. The use of voltage regulators and Universal Power Supply (UPS) units is critical to safeguarding hardware and mitigating work loss and stoppages. In environments where adequate office space may be scarce and heating and cooling systems may be less than adequate, working conditions can be troublesome.

3.06.03 Network

In the CLUP GIS Guidelines, not much attention will be paid to networked GIS solutions as such models miss the mark in the situation when a low-income LGU is starting up a GIS for CLUP preparation.

However, for information purposes there are four kinds of networks, namely:

Local Area Network (LAN), which connects computers in limited numbers in, for example, an office, using a server,

Wide Area Network (WAN) is a more complex system in which a number of LANs are linked together. It is suitable for a large LGU with a corporate GIS with several office buildings spread over an area.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a network designed to attach computer storage devices such as disk array controllers and tape libraries to servers.

Storage Area Network (SAN) is a network designed to attach computer storage devices such as disk array controllers and tape libraries to servers.

The relatively small amount of data that is needed to prepare a CLUP and the frequency of sharing the data kept within reasonable bounds do not justify a network solution. Instead, data sharing using flash disks or read and writable CD-ROMs is a cheaper and sufficient solution. And in due time when the amount of data becomes unmanageable in a stand alone computer environment, and the pace of data sharing requires a more sophisticated solution, the municipality/city will be motivated to step up connectivity by introducing a network. It is then recommended to install a wireless solution, which in a few years time will be both cheaper and more reliable than a line network.