Social Georeferenced Information System – SIGSE

Social Georeferenced Information System – SIGSE


The Ministry of Social Development, (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social – SEDESOL), has created a geographical development web tool that combine both, statistical and geographical information, that allows to understand and analyze the socioeconomic and demographic conditions of: the population; the distribution of poverty; the potential demand and the coverage of social programs by SEDESOL, in order to effectively target and address the strategic action plans and the best way of decision-making.

The Social Georeferenced Information System (SISGE) was born from the need to consolidate a great amount of statistical and geographical information in the field of social development, generated in the Federal Public Administration (FPA).

The beginning

Among the functions enumerated in the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), the General Direction of Geostatistics and Registries of Beneficiaries (Dirección General de Geoestadística y Padrones de Beneficiarios DGGPB), is designated to design and develop a platform to analyze the statistical and geographical information for the planning, design and assessment of social policy. Thus, when integrating the first statistical and geographical information, it was stated that there was a lack of a cartographic base that could facilitate the work of planning, focusing and addressing of the federal social programs.

Therefore, SEDESOL through DGGPB, INEGI and agencies of the FPA created the Specialized Technical Committee on Geographical and Statistical Information of Social Development (Comité Técnico Especializado en Información Estadística y Geográfica de Desarrollo Social), which its main objective is standardized and exchange geographical and statistical information for Social Development.

This is how a new cartographic acquis in SEDESOL was born and gave the guideline for the development of geographic systems that allow the visualization and geostatistical analysis.

The DGGPB, developed the first geographic information system with a social approach in order to fulfill the needs of the Milk Supply Social Program (Programa de Abasto Social de Leche, LICONSA), seeks to improve the location of the selling points in areas where the concentration of poverty is higher.

In 2006, Information Week Mexico made recognition to DGGPB and LICONSA for their efforts in the creation of this System as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the country.

Due to the impact and functionality in SEDESOL of this first geographic system, in the field of social development, it became the Social Information System, which, currently, is the Georeferenced Social Information System (Sistema de Informacion Social Georeferenciada, SIGSE). This system is a stronger version with higher possibilities of geoestatistical analysis.

Description of SIGSE

SISGE is a public System, available at It is developed on a web platform with ArcGis Server, using the programming language Visual Basic .Net Java Script, Asp .Net and Silverlight; as well, as Oracle as the database manager.

The main screen of the system consists of a menu bar which allows the user to download relevant information from the system; a viewing area of the main map where layers of georeferenced information are shown; a tool bar that allows to navigate within the main map, the database and seek for attributes of the geographic objects. Finally, it contains a section of modules that allows the users to analyze and do research about the statistical and geographical information. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1.- Main Screen of the Georeferenced Information System (SISGE).

The core of SISGE consist on the statistical and cartographic information of the Population Census and Housing 2010, INEGI (Fig. 2), with block-level aggregation for each of the 4,525 urban locations over 2,500 residents or municipal centers[1].

For the rural locations it offers the information for each of the 187,720 locations with less than 2,500 residents that are not municipal centers.

Fig. 2.- Main Map

On the other hand, it offers a statistical acquis of about 220 variables associated with each of the urban-blocks (Fig.3). On the other hand, for localities and municipalities it offers more than 240 variables that describe the population in different demographic components such as: major age groups structures, sex, education, literacy, occupation, marital status, religion, head of household, building materials for the house, assets in the house, housing services, conditions and poverty rating, shortcomings and incomes, and social program coverage from SEDESOL, among others

Fig. 3.- Street block variables

SISGE includes more than 40 georeferenced layers from different sources. The ones that stand out the most are educational infraestructure, highways, services, social development and different levels of disaggregation of territorial boundaries.

This information allows the user to do geostatistical computerize research and analysis trough a set of modules that are part of SISGE. The most important are:

1. Social Program Module

This module (Fig. 4), allows the user to query and display geographical coverage of social programs from SEDESOL at municipal or local levels. It identifies the lack of coverage of the social programs, the complementarity of them and the duplicity among them (Fig. 5). It also allows knowing the nominal roll addressed by the social programs for each locality. (Fig. 6)

Fig. 4.- Coverage of Social Programs Module

Fig. 5.- Coverage of Social Programs

Fig. 6.- Oportunidades Human Development Program Beneficiaries

2. Module of Thematic Maps

In this module the user can generate thematic maps in order to represent the variables at different levels of aggregation: street-block, AGEB”s Urban[2] (Basic Geostatistical Urban Area, AGEB for its initials in Spanish), location, municipality, federal entity. Using colors and symbol size allows the user to appreciate the distributions, trends, and makes it easier to read the relation of the variables. These maps also make it easier for the decision-making obtaining a better targeting and addressing of the social programs considering their population (Fig. 7).

Fig. 7.- Thematic MAP AGEB Urban with Lack of Quality and Spacies

3. Influence Range module

This module allows to have influence in the urban and rural field trough a circle of influence or a specific polygon choose by the user, from which the street-blocks and localities intercepted, can be selected generating a sum from each of the variables selected previously. (Fig. 8)

Fig. 8.- Circles of influence

4.- Priority Areas Module

In this module the user can seek for the Priority Areas of Attention, the poverty rating and deficiencies. The Priority Areas of Attention in the regions, mostly rural or urban, are those where their population shows ratings of poverty or marginalization indicating the existence of notorious insufficiencies and delays in the exercise of the rights for the social development, established at the General Law of Social Development. (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9.- Urban Priority Zones

5. Social Infraestructure Module

In these modules the user can seek the location of social infrastructure programs and its selling points, storage, branches, shelters, cultural centers, service centers, childcare facilities. Also, the infrastructure attributes and the generation of location maps can be consulted. (Fig. 10)

Fig. 10.-Selling Points Locations of the Milk Supply Social Program (LICONSA)


Along with SIGSE, SEDESOL presents a tool available for decision-makers that allows the consultation of statistical and geographical information in the field of social development, with supporting elements for research and assessment of social policy.

With this tool SEDESOL has a platform that allows to know the socioeconomic and demographic situation of the community, the distribution of the social needs, the demand and coverage of the social supports and contributes to increase the transparency of the social policy actions implemented by SEDESOL.

Courtesy of General Direction of Geostatistics and Beneficiaries Registries from the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), Mexico.

[1] Location with a population of 2,500 or more inhabitants, where the municipal authority resides.

[2] Basic Geostatistical Urban Area. It is the territorial extension composed byt certain number of street blocks, between 1 to 50, delimited by streets, avenues, or any other characteristic that can easily be identified in the land, or where the main use of the land is for housing, industry, services or commercial. They are only assigned to the urban locations.