Home Articles JAIPUR-GIS: A cyber tool for decentralized planning & landownership management

JAIPUR-GIS: A cyber tool for decentralized planning & landownership management

Rohit K Singh
IAS Director
Department of Information Technology,
Ist Floor, Yojana Bhawan, Tilak Marg, ‘C’-Scheme Jaipur
Tel: 91-141-383011, 383890
[email protected]

Akhilesh Tiwari
Programmer, GIS Division
Department of Information Technology,
Ist Floor, Yojana Bhawan, Tilak Marg, ‘C’-Scheme Jaipur
Tel: 91-141-381040, 383890, Fax : 380955
[email protected]

Introduction :
Not long ago, using computers involved specialized knowledge and skills, but today even the technologically challenged can get the information and utility they need from a personal computer with little or no assistance. Similarly, land use & infrastructural development analysis once involved pouring over statistics and interpreting reams of tabular data. Today there is a better way. Using a geographical information system (GIS) anyone who can point and click can analyze sophisticated demographic information and prepare a reasoned analysis in an easy-to-read, graphically interesting format.

Vision
The administration and Community will be able to access and use spatial data needed to achieve its environmental, socio-economic and infrastructural development monitoring expectations.

Mission
To establish, maintain and disseminate integrated, reliable and relevant spatial data for whole of government and community use.

Objectives

  • Promote community awareness of the availability, use and benefits of spatial data.
  • Provide equitable local access to spatial data through appropriate means.
  • Achieve economies through the integration and sharing of data.
  • Ensure consistent, accurate, reliable and current data services to meet community needs.
  • Stimulate growth in the spatial data industry.
  • Lead the State in spatial data industry.
  • Support State Government administration in decesion making.

The Theme:
Land is a natural resource with a fixed location and a limited size. It forms a base for most of the human activities. With the continued migration of people from villages to the cities the pressure on land has increased. Therefore the management of land has acquired added importance for more production, intensive and scientific cultivation and profitable land use. Land and its ownership is a matter of concern to all landowners large or small. With growth of population and rapid industrialization, pressure on land is on the increase resulting into increasing encroachment on land belonging to and those set apart for public purpose. Hence, both the state and individual owners of land need to know with certainty and accuracy the boundaries and extent of their property.

Land information is vital for a larger number and groups of user. The information has value and therefore, is marketable. Moreover, the availability of the information to public is in keeping with the transparency that the government is looking for at present. Key features, which are required to be addressed in making Land Information available to all users across the spectrum and provide near real-time updating facilities together with data security, are the key features. In addition, keeping in mind the Indian rural environment, the state of communications today and the likely scenario in the near future, the solution must have adaptability to upgrade.

What is JAIPUR-GIS ?
JAIPUR-GIS, Interactive Distributed Spatial Land Record Information System is a client-server tool designed for Intranet/Internet sites. The system provides a user friendly GIS front-end to enable multiple local and remote clients to perform routine Land related queries for its ownership, holding, lease and ceiling details including full details of Zamabandi. The software has the capabilities of viewing, query and spatial analysis functions, on distributed geographic data. The combination of Web technologies coupled with a commercially viable GIS software will help enable land use and natural resource managers to analyze GIS data that resides across the Internet.

Objective of JAIPUR-GIS:
Objectives of the proposed system is as under:

  • To enable the government to create, update and maintain important land information in an efficient, cost effective and secure manner.
  • To make the information available to selective user(s) for a price.
  • To enable the system to use the presently available technology optimally and resources available in terms of communications, hardware and software yet enable easy upgradation with enhanced facilities available in future.
  • To keep track on land resources
  • To generate land use database for further planning
  • To resolve the land ownership issues.
  • To stop the encroachment of govt. land.
  • To enhance the power of Resource planners.
  • To increase the govt. revenue through proper tax planning.

The Methodology

Web Publishing of Spatial Data:

CGI and Data Publishing
Before the development of the World Wide Web (the Web, WWW), the Internet was used only as a tool to transfer data. Since the inception of the Web, GIS professionals realize that GIS can be expanded onto the Web, and it can evolve into a new GIS technology. Different GIS techniques have been developed on the Internet. There are three types of such techniques: common Gateway Interface (CGI), plug-ins, and Internet Programming Language (IPL). The plug-ins are the GIS helpers in a browser, and it is client-side implementation of Internet GIS. It is commonly considered as fat-client. The IPL includes Java, ActiveX, etc. It is the future direction for the Internet GIS, but it is currently not mature.

Pros and Cons of CGI-based Internet GIS
CGI-based Internet GIS focuses solely on the server-side operation. The GIS server does all the work, and the Web browser is a user-friendly front-end interface. The CGI scripts act as the translator between the browser client and the GIS server.

The processing workload on the client side is minimal. Since all processing is conducted by the GIS server, the CGI-based Internet GIS can take advantage of the functionality of existing GIS server software such as ArcInfo.

The CGI-based Internet GIS, however, is restricted by the limitations inherent in the Web browser and the static HTML. Server-side Internet GIS is based on stateless HTTP and CGI scripts. The user cannot directly work with spatial objects as with stand alone GIS software. In addition, an HTTP Web server doesn’t remember calls between requests. The whole routine from browser to Web server, invoking the CGI script and initializing the GIS server must be repeated if a user wants to pan in the map delivered by the Web server. End result? Increase in traffic on the Internet.

In addition, every operation must be conducted by the GIS server creating a bottleneck during high usage periods. This results in the slowdown of information transmission between the CGI script and GIS server and the browser user. Since the CGI script single-handedly handles all requests from the Web browser and then interprets all output from the GIS server, it becomes very difficult for the CGI script to handle large amounts of requests from users, especially concurrent requests. A considerable load is placed on the server of a frequently accessed site. The CGI script can also be a vulnerable point. When the CGI script or the GIS server fails to work properly, the whole system will fail.

Finally, the product of all the GIS server’s work is more static images. The Web browser passively displays these static map images. The only interaction with HTML documents is by selecting hyperlinks. The limitations inherent to the Web prohibit the direct manipulation of maps on the browser. For example, the user cannot select a feature by dragging a rectangular, circular or irregular polygon on a map image. Likewise, the user cannot select a linear or a point feature on the map.

There are many reasons why it is worthwhile to integrate a governmental Land Records System or GIS with the WWW environment using CGI:

  • An economical solution
  • Provides a single venue for sharing data and applications
  • GIS computing power performed on the server side can be brought to the user without requiring the user to purchase expensive GIS software and hardware
  • A platform and device independent standard user interface environment already exists (e.g. the Netscape browser is free and works on UNIX, Windows and Mac platforms)
  • The WWW is a hypermedia, multimedia environment, allowing easy integration of many types of information
  • Can be a source of revenue generation
  • A GIS project integrated with the WWW has unlimited potential

Performance of Internet GIS
Although instructions required to initiate GIS processing can be transmitted across the Internet in a relatively compact manner, a major drawback of current Internet GIS technology is its slow performance. It takes a long time to transfer vector and image data. This will become more evident as additional analysis functions are added. A significant amount of time is spent waiting for data. Slow response times usually cause the user to lose interest.

Slow performance can be addressed in two ways: increasing the speed of Internet connection and developing more efficient Internet GIS programs. The speed of the Internet connection can be improved by using faster modems and faster communication connections. Conversely, the efficient design of the Internet GIS program will make it feasible to run even at a slower speed. The modularized design of GIS analysis tools and data, and the just-in-time delivery mechanism can allow the Internet GIS user to initially download the minimum GIS functions and data. Additional data and analysis tools can be delivered to the user as needed.

Security
“Domain-level” control is where the web server rejects or accepts a connection based on the IP address of the requesting browser. This level of access control is ideal for an internal company web server by limiting access to a whole class C network or even higher. The second level of control is “user authentication”, in which the client must enter a user id and password to validate the right to access the requested document. This technique can be used to implement subscriptions in your html directory. The downside of user authentication is that not all browsers support it. The best solution is to use a combination of domain-level and user authentication access controls. All access controls work with your html directory tree, not with individual html documents. If you need to control access to one individual document, that document must be put into a separate directory.

The access control you set in your web server affects what documents it will send to a browser, NOT what an already-logged-in user can do. Because someone has access to web document directories does not mean that they have to have an actual account on your server. Security becomes less an issue for server-side applications, because there is no program codes that are executed in the user’s local machine.

Security issues are not unique to Internet GIS but all Internet applications. Internet GIS can take advantage of the fail-safe measures as they are developed for the Internet as a whole. Regardless, by implementing access control you can devise many entrepreneurial opportunities for your web site.

Institutional Issues
In addition to the issues already discussed, there are other issues impacting development of Internet GIS, including institutional and legal concerns and cost-recovery for development of a Web based solution. Policies and procedures must be adopted that determine the information that can be published on the Internet and accessible by the general public. Liability consequences of false or inaccurate information, especially GIS information published by government, must be minimized at all costs.

Since Jaipur-GIS can be accessed by anyone who has Internet access, who should pay for cost-recovery or profit? Should taxpayers or for profit companies be charged to access Internet GIS data? How about analysis tools? If so, what is the fee schedule and how should they be charged?

Data Publishing
The system has various data layers and Oracle/SQL tables. In order for end users to access the data database internally and externally, two different types of data publishing are anticipated. One is to deploy Vector data layers and Oracle tables and dbf files. A Customized Net based user interface shall be developed to provide an internal streamlined interface for accessing the land records database with full security. A Internet based GIS server shall be used for this specific purpose. For the general public, Zamabandi data (land ownership) and basic statistic information including vector images will be published onto the Web. An query interface will be written to generate spatial web pages for different data types. A full security system will be developed. If user demands for the downloading the spatial data, he may charged electronically.

Systems Functions
JAIPUR-GIS would provide the separate module for the GIS user group and Net-user group. It would consist a user-friendly front-end for natural resource managers and public users to perform routine GIS functions on geographic data that are distributed across the Internet. The JAIPUR-GIS server will create a unique directory for each remote client according to its machine IP address. Requests from a remote client might generate maps, documents, and new coverages that will be stored in the unique directory.

GIS Server – Functional Specifications:

The system will aid the planner by mapping the desired information in the following different forms:

Views
In this the desired information will be represented on geographical maps, which will be of great help in viewing distribution of desired item.

Tables
In this the desired information will be represented in the form of figures which will help in making comparison of tabular data of different years.

Graphs
In this the desired information will be represented on the graphs of either area, bar, column, line, or pie etc.

Inquiries:
Inquiries can be made by selecting the Inquire button from the toolbar on Software desktop.Response to inquiries will depend on the current active theme.

Queries:

Queries can be made by selecting the Query button from the toolbar on software desktop. Response to queries will depend on the current active theme.

Tables
System should also provide the facility of browsing the attribute values in any flexible manner.

  • When the user selects the Tables option form the Software pull-down on the menu bar, a dialog box [Table Picker] pops up asking the user to select the Year, of which to use the tables, and tables. Here, the Year is a multi-selection list box, meaning that it will allow the user to choose more than one year of information which will be very useful while comparing the figures of different years.
  • Another dialog box, [Field Picker] pops up asking the user to select the fields out of the tables selected.
  • After pressing OK button, the results are shown in the tabular form with the facility of getting hard copy.

Graphs
Software should also provide the facility of building graphs out of the selected tables and fields. It should provide the facility of plotting these different graphs:

  •  
    • Area chart,
    • Bar chart,
    • Column chart,
    • Line chart,
    • Pie Chart
  • When the user selects the Graph option form the Software pull-down on the menu bar, a dialog box [Table Picker] pops up asking the user to select the Year, of which to use the tables, and tables. Refer section “Tables” above for the view of dialog box.
  • After the user selectes OK button, another dialog box [Graph Builder] pops up asking the user to input requisite values.

After pressing OK button, the result is shown in the selected graph type.

Net/Web Server – Functional Specifications
Map: Allows user to create and display maps based on the user’s selected distributed geographic data.

New Map: Enables users to create a new map from the available coverages or coverages generated from a spatial analysis function.

Add Themes
Allows users to add more themes (coverages and georeferenced images) to an existing map.

Update List
Updates the list of available themes for the user to display and analyze.

Distance
This tool measures the distance and area of user defined regions. The JAIPUR-GIS client automatically keeps track of the corresponding geographic location in response to the mouse location, while in this mode.

Query
This function displays the attributes of themes selected by the user. The result is displayed as table(s) in a HTML document on a new browser window. The spatial query is currently handled by GIS server. Spatial Analysis JAIPUR-GIS would supports the following spatial analysis functions: buffer, intersection, union and erase. The GIS server handles these functions. The resulting new coverage is stored in the unique directory created for the remote client. Currently, the user has to update the theme list in order to view the results of a spatial analysis function.

Security:
This server would fully secured for unauthorized entry. Most of data and maps would be available for the general user. Th e restricted data can only usable after entering proper User-Id and Password. The downloading of spatial as well as non-spatial data would be available after the payment of desired amount through e-transaction method.