Home Articles Decision support for the naive GIS users

Decision support for the naive GIS users

N Baby, P Lennox
Bass Coast Shire Council, Victoria, Australia
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

The website of Phillip Island Natural Park (PINP), Victoria, is designed to solve the problem that besets regional environmental managers who wish to increase return on investment in GIS by including the naïve users, without further significant investment. In blog mode, it represents a repository for information and links to spatial data and information visualisation, video, free GIS software, environment modelling tools, web application and the link.

Objectives of PINP research website:

The website helps PINP activity by being a new and central tool to

  • Organise people’s information and knowledge.
  • Make informed decisions.
  • Improve communication.
  • Increase efficiency and build relationships.
  • Share GIS knowledge with others and distribute information.
  • Without cost and travel, learn GIS at leisure.
  • Access to environment management tools and online tutorials.

The website provides tools to question, interpret and visualise data. PINP benefits from this website which becomes a transforming technology by allowing businesses to view and analyse data from the geographic perspective. This website integrates business strategy and organises necessary information for the business needs of decision makers. In addition, it can be adopted as a tool to streamline workflow processes.

Figure 1: The PINP research web is a strong platform for naive GIS user

This research is designed to develop several examples of how such platforms can be used to quickly build rich browse and index tools for display of imagery. By providing coverage and information for multiple instruments, the user is given the ability to directly browse another GIS database website and video for animal habitat mapping and conservation, and in its geospatial context, to find or offer quick links to both the raw and processed source data. These, examples show how web site interfaces can dramatically simplify much of the environmental work involved in selecting and obtaining data for GIS analysis

Figure 2: The PINP GIS website: conceptual representation

This research also provides access to free satellite and aerial photography imagery and maps, Google Earth & Maps, mash-ups, resources and tools; topographic maps, and GPS applications, data and software. Some of the main categories and recent additions are listed below. Users will be invited to explore the spatial element of data that is becoming more freely available.

Figure 3: PINP system viewers

Figure 4: Example of PINP Research website: display from query (https://www.pinpresearch.webs.com/)

PINP research website feedback potential:
This research website in designed to present an analysis of feasible options and to make recommendations for future directions for the PINP GIS data management. In reflecting on the opportunities, GIS systems could provide, the PINP GIS team identified an opportunity for the management decision makes to adopt a proactive approach and show leadership through the establishment of an appropriate GIS system.

The research recommended that the PINP adopt a staged approach towards the full implementation of an online open source learning and deployment of the GIS data system, database management, monitoring and analysis. This would demonstrate the potential and benefits of further investment in GIS services while also undertaking preliminary steps toward the development of a comprehensive information privacy, security and quality policy. Many models, reports, measurements, video, article, web link, complement the databases and photos that are readily accessible to the potential users of the knowledge.

Neogeographic Tools to Create Open-Access Data: Using only Google Earth to Map Vacant Land Parcels in PINP area This research website demonstrates the use of neogeography tools to overcome a lack of free, public and detailed data on vacant land parcels in PINP and simplified method that uses freely available Google Earth satellite imagery and digitising tools to manually identify vacant lands. This method results in a quantitative description of the total area of vacant land in two neighborhoods in PINP. This research emphasizes the possibility of this technique to enable citizen-based development of geospatial data for a variety of activist and planning purposes

3D visualisation:
In addition to map view visualisation of the LiDAR DSM, Global Mapper also offers good 3D visualisation (figure 5-7). With data loaded in Global Mapper, choose the “Show 3D View” button:

Launching the 3D view will bring up a new widow which shows the same data in an interactive 3D perspective. You can spin, drag, and the view to change the perspective. Buttons across the top of the view allow you to modify the vertical exaggeration quickly. The models are ready for export Google Earth KML format.

Figure 5: A quick 3D view for exemplification

Figure 6: Summerland area Path Profile/Line of sight

Figure 7: Seagrove Area 2002 0.35cm aerial photo 2D and LiDAR 2010 3D visualisation

Open source GIS and Google Earth
GIS is an excellent tool in providing spatially referenced information. Google Earth has made it possible for naïve users to get the very basic information about a location, how to reach it, and how to find the shortest path to another location.

Introduction of GIS at a grass roots level is still a far goal. Delivering the knowledge and understanding of GIS to a critical mass of PINP users of relative value of licence, open source and other stakeholder staff will use GIS to get maximum benefit by the use of this technology.

For the management, the open source GIS provides efficient, interactive and user-friendly interfaces to the general public, Stakeholders, will experience:

  • Ease of use (visualisation)
  • User-friendly Interface (interactivity)
  • Platform independence (any operating system)
  • Good response time (client’s perspective)
  • Maximum throughput (system’s perspective)

PINP research website supports exploration of the relationships between information visualisation and complex systems in ways that are designed to engage the interest of the naïve GIS users, and thus to increase the tendency for the GIS to be referred to more often. This website provides critical tools for increasing success and efficiency. Accordingly, an executive is presented with a high volume of complex data in analysed form, as well as free environment modelling tools and tutorials. Environmental modelling (EM) is a platform designed to facilitate rigorous spatial analysis and modelling, create web based GIS, video streaming for natural conservation and some free tools for data management, thus may emerge as a total GIS solution for PINP managers. The result can be used at consensus building meetings among stakeholders.