Theme 6: Geographical Information Systems and Sustainable Information Society
  Number of abstracts currently posted to this Theme: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
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. (Last updated: September 29th, 2005)
 

 
 
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  New Cartographic Technologies and their Potential to Map Indigenous Knowledge and Land Use  
  Claudio Aporta, Assistant Professor  
  Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada  
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  Despite all the social and economic changes that Inuit peoples of the Canadian North have undergone during the last 50 years, traveling is still a very important part of people’s lives. Some characteristics of well-established Inuit ways of orienting and traveling are still actively used. Inuit geographic knowledge is mostly oral, and has been transmitted from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Inuktitut (the Inuit language) place names play a fundamental role in oral narratives. Names, furthermore, constitute a very important part of the Inuit heritage.  
     
  Since the arrival of the first European explorers in the Arctic, a way of proclaiming ownership over the “discovered” lands was to give them representative names. These names (mostly in English) were incorporated into the official maps of Canada, where only a few Inuktitut names were included. Thousands of Inuit names are still remembered in oral tradition but recent changes have made their transmission more difficult.  
     
  Mapping place names has become a major priority in the Canadian North, especially among Inuit organizations and the newly formed territory of Nunavut. Dozens of mapping projects are being undertaken across Nunavut, and making these original names official is seeing as a way of re-appropriating the land. This paper will describe current mapping projects in Nunavut, and will especially stress the potential of new cartographic technologies (GIS and GPS). It will also argue that maps can become important political tools, and that these methods could be used by indigenous groups in other geographies with similar results.  
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  Painting the Future of Africa: GIS "Development" Potential  
  Tagelsir Mohamed Gasmelseid, Assistant Professor  
  College of Computer Science & Information Technology, King Faisal University  
  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  
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  The issues of poverty mitigation, political instability, environmental degradation (deforestation, soil erosion, potential water tress, decline of biodiversity, and sedimentation of lakes), gender mainstreaming, and accountability, among others, are moving to the front line agenda of planners in Africa. The spatial and temporal indicators associated with these problems are stimulating the focus on “information integration”, “decentralization” and “involvement of stakeholders”. GIS technologies have the potential to contribute the analysis of physical settings, ecosystem dynamics, local community environment and environmental systems. However, the “development” potential of GISs is contingent upon:
1. The availability of sophisticated technological platforms that support, not only mapping and database interface, but also enhance comprehensive model-calibration, multitasking, and information communication.
2. The possibility of situational modeling to support spatial analysis.
3. Stand-by control mechanisms to maintain security, priority handling, equilibrium-assurance, privacy and integrity particularly in “distributed environments”.
4. Reliable system management capabilities to ensure reliable planning and monitoring the cost of data acquisition and processing. This calls for organizations capable of managing technology-intensive acquisitions.
 
     
  This paper investigates the “development’ potential of GIS in Africa based on the above “requirements” and attempts to draw “road maps”.  
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  Environmental Information Managment and Reporting in the Czech Republic  
  Jaroslav Racek, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Informatics, Massaryk University in Brno;  
  Jiri Hrebicek, Committee Member, Information Systems in Waste Management, Ministry of Environment;  
  Tomas Pitner, Vice Dean, Faculty of Informatics, Massaryk University in Brno;  
     
  Czech Republic  
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  Within the framework of the Czech Environmental Information System, the Czech Ministry of the Environment (ME) systematically collects primary environmental data through monitoring, statistical research and recording. After consolidation, primary environmental data are stored as validated data in the ME’s information systems and chosen indicators are reported to the European Commission (the EC). Reporting is defined as preparation of reports on the implementation of certain directives and a regular submission of these reports to the EC, or to the European Environmental Agency (EEA) using the European Environmental Information and Observation Network.  
     
  As it is currently not possible to make the reporting from ME’s information systems into Reportnet easily due to different attributing, technology and methodology, the ME needs an exchangeable central output data model (CDM). The CDM would also reflect the needs of strategic planning, supra-field information support for public administration, providing information to the general public, cooperation with the business sphere and international reporting. Current requirements of integrated reporting are the main driving force and the team of authors has been solved them in a research project since 2003.  
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  Effective Implementation of Sewerage System in New Paradigm: Some Issues  
  Ijaz Ahmad & Nasim-UL-Haq Farooqi, Assistant Professors  
  Department of City and Regional Planning, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan  
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  The design of any urban system is governed by the consideration of the least capital expenditure for the most effective service. To this end the designer must carefully estimate the present and future demands upon the system. Urban development is depended upon the population growth. It is essential to study that an accurate reckoning of existing population projection be established and that a population projection be made which is reasonable in the light of all predictable influences upon the area. Such influences are; growth trends of the national population, Internal migration, population densities, opportunities for self improvement, social environment and alike. People are flocking to the metropolis. The attractions are job opportunity, education and research and cultural and political activity. The immigrants stay with friends and relatives or build rough homes in the squatter clusters. At the same time more affluent citizens are moving out of the metropolitan core to suburban developments. Area is rapidly gaining population; the districts within the area have their own varying patterns of growth. This heavy population increase exerted a heavy pressure on the existing available services of an area.  
     
  For example, in the provision of an efficient and effective sewerage system, these demands depend upon the number of residences and commercial and industrial customers which it must serve throughout its life. Therefore, a compilation was made of the area and location of existing residential, commercial, industrial, and public land uses. This compilation was the basis for projecting land use throughout the design period. Various conditions influenced the estimation of wastewater flows including water supply, pattern of water use, plumbing and sewerage facilities, and other criteria. However, the actual coverage of land by residences, factories and shops was the basis upon which the other criteria were applied.  
     
  This paper attempt to highlight the effects of population growth on the existing services specially sewerage system. This also provides guidelines to line agencies as how to cope with the arising problems of such kind. At end recommendation gave direction to line agencies to formulate a uniform policy to achieve sustainable development of an area.  
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  Geographical Information System (GIS): A Tool to Solve Urban Sewerage Problems  
  Ijaz Ahmad, Assistant Professor  
  Department of City and Regional Planning, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan  
     
  Nasim-UL-Haqfarooqi, Associate Professor  
  Department of City and Regional Planning, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan  
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  Computers have been applied in urban planning almost since their inception, but only recently with the development of graphics, distributed processing, and network communications has software emerged which can now be used routinely and effectively. At the basis of these developments are geographic information systems (GIS) but gradually, these are being adapted to the kind of decision and management functions that lie at the heart of the planning process.  
     
  Computing devices have been used in public planning for 100 years. Hermann Hollerith invented the punched card machine at the turn of the century for the US Population Census, and this eventually led to the formation of the world's largest computer company, IBM. Once the digital computer was developed half century later, applications in public planning and management became widespread. By the mid 1950s, population and transportation data were being processed by computers and these were quickly followed by various simulation modeling efforts. By the late 1960s, urban data management systems were being widely implemented by public agencies for a variety of routine and less routine management and strategic planning functions. This experience has been well documented but in the last 10 years, applications of computers in planning have changed dramatically.  
     
  Conservation and management of resources is vital for sustainable economic growth and human development in a country. Instead, poor planning and governance, coupled with population pressure, poverty, and limited understanding of the environment have led to fast deterioration of these valuable assets. In recent years, a belated but concerted effort is underway to control the usage of natural as well as man made features. Increasing attention is focused on the roles, functions, characteristics, and performance of individuals, communities and public/private sector institutions for natural-resource management in promoting sustainable development, poverty reduction and equitable access to resources at all levels.  
     
  Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing are emerging powerful techniques widely applicable in natural as well as existing resource management and development. These techniques, not only enable a manageable storage and prompt access to large volumes of data, but also provide efficient tools to extract information/knowledge for logical decision making. Recent developments in Remote Sensing, Aerial Photography and GIS techniques are highly useful in sustainable land-use, forest and natural resources planning and management, bio-diversity conservation, infrastructure development, and monitoring at regional and local level.  
     
  This paper highlights the usefulness of GIS in urban services provision with particular focus on Sewerage System. The applicability of GIS will show how the sewerage problems in an area can be solved.  
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  Spatial Portals: Adding Value to Spatial Data Infrastructure  
  Winnie Tang, Chief Executive Officer  
  ESRI China Limited, Hong Kong  
     
  Jan Selwood, Project Manager  
  ESRI China Limited, Hong Kong  
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This paper examines how well-designed spatial portals bring value and return on investment to Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI).  Spatial portals are often the visible front-end to SDI, they are the gateways (or brokers) through which users access the geographic services made available through SDI.  Until recently the geographic information (GI) community has tended to focus its effort on the practicalities of building infrastructure.  This includes: the development and implementation of the data, metadata, policies, standards, interpretations, networks, skills, database and application resources, and so on.  SDI would not exist without this essential work.  However, this focus has perhaps distracted attention from the spatial portal - the ‘vehicle of final delivery’ to the user - which, it is argued is of vital importance for the success and continued viability of SDI. 

 
     
 

Access and distribution of geographic information is at the heart of every single SDI project. The United States National Research Council’s Mapping Sciences Committee (MSC) who first coined the term “spatial data infrastructure” in 1993, defined SDI as “the means to assemble geographic information that describes the arrangement and attributes of features and phenomena on the earth. The infrastructure includes the materials, technology, and people necessary to acquire, process, and distribute such information to meet a wide variety of needs” (Masser, 2005:7) (authors italics).  The first sentence of the GSDI’s more recent and considerably longer definition (GSDI, no date) is even more explicit, stating the aim of SDIs is to “support ready access to geographic information.”  SDI cannot exist without datasets, metadata, policies, standards and so on, but in the end they are judged by the ease with which users can find and use spatial resources.  Well-designed spatial portals play a critical role in securing tangible benefits from the (considerable) effort and investment involved in building SDI.  Equally, poorly functioning or unstable portals will not be accepted or used by the user community, and will disengage service providers. They undermine the infrastructures on which they are based regardless of how good or comprehensive these are or the effort involved in building them. 

 
     
 

Spatial portals have developed significantly in the last four to five years and are beginning to attract considerably more attention from the GI industry as a whole.  This is evidenced by interest in conferences and academic journals as well as the appearance of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology designed to facilitate portal construction now offered by a number of GIS software vendors.  There have also been a number of high profile portal projects that have attracted international attention such as the Transport Direct site (www.transportdirect.com) sponsored by the United Kingdom government and the United States federal government’s Geospatial OneStop (GOS) program and the recently released GOS2 portal (www.geodata.gov). Recent work focuses heavily on delivery of service and ways to improve usability and user experience of the portal.  This includes improving the speed, flexibility and effectiveness of searches; and work on portlets and technology that enables users to integrate portal functionality with their general work practices by customizing their own dedicated portal interfaces or imbedding portal tools within desktop applications.  It includes ways to promote direct linkage to, viewing and use of remote services, as well as ways to use the portal to encourage participation and debate in the process of building and maintaining the SDI.  It is suggested that these developments, play a fundamental role in securing and extending the success of SDI, and will have a significant impact on the shape of GI industry in coming years.

 
     
 

The paper is divided into five sections.  The first establishes definitions and the framework for general the argument.  We then go on to discuss the evolution of portal technology from the late 1990s and identify distinct phases. In the third section we look at a number of design considerations that are making a significant difference to contemporary spatial portals. We illustrate these with reference to portal projects drawn from around the world that are based on SDIs of varying size and nature.  All highlight elements of good portal design.  In the final section we summarize the arguments presented and look forward to future developments and the challenges that still remain.

 
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