Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GIS Project Management
GIS Broadly Defined
- GIS satisfies the geographic information needs of an organization through the application of:
- information technology
- data management principles
- organization theory
- Huxhold & Levinsohn, 1995, Managing Geographic Information System Projects
GIS in an Organizational Context
- Four Crucial Elements
- the GIS paradigm
- data management principles
- organizational setting
The GIS Paradigm
- A conceptual foundation for using geographic information that provides a common base of reference or focus for the other three elements.
Data Management Principles
- The logical structuring and management of large databases that contain map and other data that can be related to the geography of interest to the organization.
- The effective combination of various hardware and software components that enables the automation of numerous geographic data handling functions.
- A management environment that provides resources and enables changes to be made for incorporating GIS utilization throughout the organization.
Elements of the GIS Implementation Framework
So what’s a paradigm?
- paradigm = a broad model or framework for understanding reality
- how is GIS a paradigm?
- GIS uses fundamental geography or spatial relationships to organize and use information, thus modeling reality and helping us understand it
Defining Concepts and Principles
- Three fundamental geographic concepts define the GIS paradigm
- What do each of these include?
- The process of locating features within a model of the surface of the earth
- latitude / longitude
- UTM coordinates
- the process of attaching a geographic reference to nongeographic data
- address matching
- tabular joins
- the branch of mathematics that defines the relationships between features
GIS Data Management
- The key to implementing the GIS paradigm
- Translates our perceptions of the world into a computer model that can be manipulated
- This implementation involves several separate steps
- Perceptual Structure: What features or events are significant?
- Logical Data Model: Consists of spatial entities and their attribute data.
- Data Base Structure: Relational, Network, or Hierarchical?
Conceiving a Geographic Data Model
- shared geopositioning
- standard data definitions
- explicit entity relationships
- planned data distribution
- standards for data communication
- data maintenance processes
- the world is dynamic, constantly changing
- for a GIS project to be a useful tool, its data must reflect these changes
- projects must thus have a means of updating data and keeping it current
- this is accomplished through the use of a data management strategy
Data Management Strategy
- Provides a set of guidelines for structuring:
- the collection of data
- the management of data
- the storage of data
- Grows from the reality that there are 2 components to building a GIS database
- initial input and maintenance
Notes on Data
- data are obviously a necessary component of all GIS projects
- data will rarely come in the same format from the same source
- there may even be multiple sources and formats of the same data
- data-related activities are the main source of cost in a GIS project
- obtaining, "handling," and maintaining data
- inadvertent redundancy
- one goal of GIS is to increase the efficiency of data handling
Reducing Data Costs
- sharing data within an organization
- requires a common data model
- obtain existing data rather than generate it
- utilize existing digital records
- use alternative technology for data capture
- derive new data from old data through GIS
- use transaction processing for new data
- More costly than data collection because:
- data must be current to be useful
- maintenance is ongoing, not a one-time event
- maintenance is handled by multiple agents
- think about a typical land record
- redundancy is often convenient in practice
A Useful Caveat
- No data should ever be captured or converted without an associated plan for maintaining those data!
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