Mansoor Al Malki
Head of GIS Unit
The Planning Council, State of Qatar
R C S Taragi
The Planning Council, State of Qatar
This paper highlights in brief how nationwide GIS has helped agencies improve their functioning and perform more efficiently and cost effectively. The examples are cited mainly from the statistical operation tasks performed by the Statistical Department in The Planning Council, State of Qatar
Qatar nationwide GIS is well known among the GIS community world over. Its successful implementation has resulted into notable improvements in the functioning of all concerned agencies, now reaping the fruits of enterprise GIS. The return of Investment (ROI) is clearly experienced by all the 21 government and semi- government agencies included in this system. Not only have the users been benefited in terms of saving money and time, the quality of output has improved manifold.
The benefits of enterprise GIS are well-established facts. This is further proved by Qatar nationwide GIS implementation. The agencies having progressed and benefited through this process may vary from one agency to other, but all have been at the receiving end, the magnitude may vary. The focus in the discussion here is to highlight in brief how the process has helped agencies improve their functioning and perform more efficiently and cost effectively. The examples are cited mainly from the statistical operation tasks performed by the Statistical Department in The Planning Council. It further highlights the future scope of development in this direction and the role Qatar enterprise GIS has to play throughout.
PRESENT STATE OF QATAR GIS
The founding stone which was laid as back as 1990 by high authorities in Qatar towards developing an enterprise GIS has now matured and grown enough to yield the results. Today there are 21 agencies involved in this process. They are connected to each other through a high-speed fibre optic network and share valuable GIS information 24×7 online. They all work on the concept of shared GIS database and follow same standard and specifications of database, hardware and software.
The development of Qatar GIS has been through phases:
Phase I – In the first phase agencies executed a pilot study following the recommendations of GIS User Needs Study conducted for the country as a whole in 1989. The data model was created and business functions of the agencies were identified.
Phase II – GIS User Needs Study was conducted by each agency conducting interviews with numerous staff, and evaluations of where and how GIS could make valuable contributions. Subsequently, a Data Dictionary is prepared by each agency to clearly define the kind of data that is included in its database, what each data item is called, how the data is assembled and structured, how accurate it is, and so on. Under the supervision of the Centre for GIS, the process ensured that every data item used by each agency is identified and that only one agency is made responsible for collecting, maintaining and sharing with others, a specific data item. It minimized the data redundancy and improved quality assurance.
Phase III – Data automation is carried out in this phase after setting the agency database standards and specifications. This has been a very significant phase, as according to estimates spatial data capturing and updating techniques that are used to make data digitally available constitutes about 80 per cent of the total resources required for GIS implementation. The status of work varies from one agency to other as the automation depended upon the availability of resources and manpower available with the agency.
Phase IV – GIS implementation at the agency level started in this phase. The main emphasis laid was to eliminate duplication, making right information made available at right time for decision-making, fostering teamwork among the agencies so that they all work towards common goals.
Fig 1: Qatar Enterprise GIS
Fig 2: Qatar census Geographic and Administrative Hierachy
Fig 3: Geographic Information for Census and Surveys
Page 1 of 3