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Diploma Thesis, 2010
138 Pages, Grade: 3,0
2. Course of Investigation
3. Spatial Reference Systems in Urban Administration
3.1 MERKIS Recommendation
3.2 GIS in Düsseldorf
3.2.2 Structure of Düsseldorf’s GIS
3.3 GIS in other Municipalities
3.3.3 KRZN - Communal Computing Centre Lower-Rhine Region
4. Requirements in Düsseldorf
4.1 Tasks to carry out in the selected Department
4.2 Requirements concerning GIS
4.3 Problems in Departments
5. Possible System Improvements
5.1 Exemplary System Components
5.1.1 Shared Network-Graphs
5.1.2 Geo-Data Warehouse
5.1.3 Development and Implementation of individual Functionalities
5.2 Obstacles concerning the Realisation Process
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
The need for spatial data for administrative performances on the part of the urban administrations in Germany constantly increases. (See Cummerwie & Lucht, 1988) Therefore it is not anymore about the question: GIS, yes or no? Using GIS in urban dministrations is self-evident nowadays, almost every commune uses GIS. (See Bauer & Siebers, 2002)
Today, a huge amount of geo-data is available in many different departments of urban administrations. Concerning the programmes used to maintain the data and work with it, the different datasets, their underlying data model, and the seldom available meta-data it is clear to see, that this field of applications is very diverse. This diversity is not only characterised by a multiplicity of programmes, datasets, and data models, but also by differing geometrical quality. These differences in the data quality are either due to differing data coverage procedures, or due to a loss of information during converting data. (See Schilcher & Donaubauer, 2002)
Several urban administrations tried to rectify the problems that derived from this diversity. In Vienna for example, a completely new system was established that integrates all other GIS used before.
Other cities started to renew their GIS and spatial reference systems for the same reason. Düsseldorf however, is a city that till now did not replace its current system.
In the first part of this work, the author introduces the problems of GIS-use in urban administrations. At first, he describes the objective of this work and its limitations.After giving some basic definitions for better understanding of this thesis in chapter
2.1, the methodology underlying this work is specified.
In chapter 3, the use of GIS and spatial reference systems in urban administrations is described. Apart from the GIS in Düsseldorf, the use of GIS in Stuttgart, Wuppertal, the Lower-Rhine Region, and Vienna are characterised.
Chapter 4 gives information about the requirements the administration of Düsseldorf has towards a GIS and which problems occur due to the specifications of the current system. This leads to chapter 5 in which possible ways to improve the system in Düsseldorf are discussed. The basis for improvement suggestions are the systems used in the presented administrations in Stuttgart, Wuppertal, the Lower-Rhine Region, and Vienna plus improvement concepts the author discussed with hisinterview partners.
Finally, chapter 6 features conclusions and recommendations on how Düsseldorf’s system can be improved, meeting as many demands as possible, based on the information gathered before.
North America held the cutting edge concerning the use of GIS in urban administrations. Multiple communes provided spatial information very early to increase the productivity of administrative and planning processes. (See Harder 1998, p. 20)
The field of application for cartographic information systems on a local level in Germany however also grows. (cf. also Metzner 2001) The urban administrations increasingly establish city information systems (See Schaller 1998), space-related meta-data servers (See Hermsdörfer 1998), or systems supporting land use management and web-based environmental information systems (See Conrad 1998).
These systems are not only used for executing tasks by the urban administrations, but also to involve citizens as users. Therefore, the GIS are presented online; every interested citizen can use its data retrieval functions. In Aachen for instance, the users can measure distances, gather detailed information about industrial real estate, purchase prices, utilisation factors et al. (See Bernsdorf 2001)
After pointing out how GIS are used in Düsseldorf’s urban administration and assessing what the weak spots in the system are, procedures shall be recommended that help improving the current GIS.This is done on the basis of exemplary GIS-features used in other municipalities in Germany and Austria and in dependence of interviews the author led with staffs from Düsseldorf’s administration working with GIS.
Düsseldorf’s GIS is extremely diverse and heterogenic, thus forming a very complex system. Changing even one component of it can have quite severe consequences regarding interoperability between the system components, for instance.
Since the author could not interview representatives of many departments of Düsseldorf’s administration, this work and its results are far from being comprehensive. Unfortunately, apart from staffs of the department of traffic management, no employee of other departments agreed to support this work by giving information about GIS-use. Thus, all recommendations given relate to the specific demands of the department of traffic management, it cannot be guaranteed that the demands of other departments are met with these recommendations.
Furthermore, the author did not calculate a cost-benefit ratio, which means that the recommendations given might be unrealisable. The author however tried to estimate a cost-benefit ratio to maximise plausibility of his recommendations.
Apart from developing approaches to an improvement of the current system, this work is not a concept for a new one. It may serve as a basis for the improvement of individual systems components, though.
To accomplish the objective of this work, the main method used was to interview representatives of the urban administration of Düsseldorf, Vienna, and the KRZN (Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein - Communal Computing Centre Lower-Rhine Region).
Together with information gathered from literature, the results of the interviews shall contribute to the recommendations on how to improve Düsseldorf’s GIS.
To increase the comprehensibility of this work, the author defines the basic terms in the context of GIS-use in urban administrations used in this work, before the modus operandi regarding the interviews that were led is described.
There are very many definitions of the term GIS. The most common however defines GIS as the following:
Geographical information system; a system for collecting, storing, testing,manipulating, integrating, analysing, and displaying data that refers to spatial objects.According to common understanding, a GIS consists of a spatially addressable database and appropriate application software harmonised for it. (See the online glossary of the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn at www.giub.uni-bonn.de/gistutor/anhang/glossar/g.htm)
GDI stands for Geo-Data Infrastructure and is defined as follows:
A geo-data infrastructure consists of a database, a geo-data network, and rules concerning the exchange of geo-information. It allows the participating institutionsdirect access to the use of geo-information and geo-services of different providers.
(See the glossary of the Federal Agency for Hydrology at http://geoportal.bafg.de/karte/help/de/WebHelp/whgdata/whlstg0.htm)
(Geo-) Data Warehouse:
A data warehouse is a database separated from operative data processing systems,only providing read access. In regular intervals, the specific company data and historicised and therefore inalterable data gets assembled, standardised, aligned according to utilisation correlations, summarised, and durably filed in the data base. The goal is to improve the intra-company information distribution and therefore the support of strategic decisions. As an analytic system, it provides information for problem analysis that is generated by means of methods like data-mining, for example. (See Gabler online Economy Lexicon at http://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de/Archiv/56463/data-warehouse-v6.html) E-Government:
E-Government is the alleviation and processing of information-, communication-, and transaction-processes that contribute to the provision of administrational services by means of information and communication technolograumann both internally and between administration agencies as well as between administration agencies and individuals or companies. (See Becker et al. 2003)
The foundations for this work are several interviews that were led with employees of the urban administration of Düsseldorf, Vienna, and the KRZN in Kamp-Lintfort, Northrhine-Westphalia. In order to discover how the system in Düsseldorf can be improved, the author tried a combination of focussed and problem-oriented interview models.
According to Lamnek (1995, p. 70 ff.) a focussed interview is arranged with limited openness. The interviewer has got assumptions that he tries to falsify or verify.Focussed interviews are designed with a guideline, which constrains the negotiation.
A problem-oriented interview distinguishes itself by openness to a large extent. A theoretical concept about the topic of the interview is the foundation for the conversation and the assumptions of this concept get confronted with the actual situation regarding the subject, verified or falsified, and then modified. The interview can contain both narration sequences and sequences according to a guideline. A problem-oriented interview is open, so the interviewer can react to the course of the conversation. (See Flick 1995, p. 94 ff.)
Combining different interview methods is a common procedure in practice. (See Hopf 2000, p. 353)
To be able to properly evaluate the interviews, the author made transcriptions that were then coded. The purpose of a transcript is to provide a durable copy of the results of an interview for scientific analyses. (See Kowall & O’Connell 2000, p. 438)
The author edited the spoken words to ease reading the transcript, errors of word order and other mistakes were not transcribed. (cf. also Mayring 1996, p. 70)
The purpose of coding an interview is, to structuralise and categorise a text for better understanding and easier evaluation. (Flick 1995, p.200)
The coding and categorising was done with software support. The programme used was MaxQDA.
In the following, the interview partners the author met will be presented (the names have been changed by the author).
Mr. Hermanns works at the MA14 in Vienna. He was responsible for implementing a new GIS for the urban administration of Vienna
Mr. Petersen is a head software developer at a company that produced a new system in Vienna.
Mr. Steiner works at a department of technical infrastructure in Düsseldorf’s urban administration.
Mr. Dietmann is part of a work group that is responsible for strategic traffic planning, traffic prognoses, and traffic analyses.
Mr. Gerhards is responsible for the redesign of the road data base in Düsseldorf.
Mr. Perlmann is responsible for traffic light planning and traffic management.
Mr. Klaasen is part of the business sector “Applications”.
Mr. Graumann is product manager for the land survey register and geoinformation.
Mr. Heilmann is product manager for construction, planning, and environment.
In this chapter, the author gives an overview of the use of GIS and spatial reference systems in urban administration. After a short introduction into the topic byexplaining the need for GIS in municipalities, he clarifies the fundamental condition regarding GIS-use in urban administrations, the MERKIS recommendation (abbr.:Scale Oriented Unified Spatial Reference Basis for Municipal Information Systems).
In the following, he highlights GIS-use in Düsseldorf and, in the last part of this chapter, gives several examples of municipal GIS-use in Stuttgart, Wuppertal, Vienna, and the Lower-Rhine-Region.
The need for information about the spatial apparition of cities for municipal planning and other administrative duties increased strongly over the last years. (See Cummerwie & Lucht 1988) The everyday work in administrations in municipalities can be greatly influenced and improved by a consequent and extensive use of spatial reference systems and GIS. In 2002, more than 90% of all major cities and metropolitan regions in Germany benefited from using GIS and even the smaller administrations now at least begin working with professional spatial evaluation software. (See Schilcher & Donaubauer 2002)
Given that most municipalities work with GIS, it does not surprise that administrations rank among the pioneers in the development of GIS-software, since several departments engage in developing their own GIS-software solutions (e.g. ViennaGIS). In fact, the largest fragment of the international geospatial information market is the client base of administration departments.
To marketing experts, this client base seems to be very appealing. But since the field of applications in urban administrations is quite hard to overview and the implementation of a new system in a municipality affords a huge scale of coordination, this market segment does not apply to innovation unlike others. (See Schilcher & Donaubauer 2002)
However, the applicability of GIS in daily administration work is extremely broad. Therefore, virtually every department of urban administrations in Germany is using GIS. This makes demands on the specific programmes quite complex, since interoperability often is a request on the part of the users, especially towards different data formats. Furthermore, this complexity also counts on special applications and organisational requests to the programme concerning interdisciplinary cooperation between departments.
Due to the fact that the requirements to GIS-programmes are diversified and the differences in the tasks to carry out in the distinct departments of the administrations of large cities are wide, it is in the nature of things that systems of different manufacturers are in use contingent upon their attributes and applicability.
Table 1 shows the most common fields of application of GIS in urban administration and demonstrates the large amplitude of administrational duties.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Public Services Public Affairs Office Real Estate Office
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Parks and Gardens Urban Surveying Office Planning Department and
Department Building Control Office
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Civil Engineering Office Building Department Planning Office
Table 1: Municipal Geographical Information Systems in Major Cities (Adapted from Schilcher & Donaubauer 2002)
Differing spatial reference creates needless costs and effort and constrains interdisciplinary cooperation. Therefore, the basic spatial reference should be consistent and standardised. (See Cummerwie & Lucht 1988) Since the GIS-market is very diverse and the demands of administration departments are complex and highly specific, unifying GIS-use in municipalities is very difficult to accomplish. Hence, MERKIS can neither be an obligation, nor a directive.
MERKIS is a recommendation on the part of the Deutsche Städtetag from 1988 regarding the composition of space-oriented information systems for municipalities. The term MERKIS shall be deemed to be a geographic data basis of subject-specific, spatially oriented, communal information systems that:
- Have a super ordinate Gauß-Krüger coordinate system as a basis,
- Use a consistent, subject-independent memory model within the communal administration for all topographic and subject-related geometry data, which meets the communal demands,
- Are arranged in three initially autonomous, scale-oriented levels of spatial reference (Raumbezugsebenen RBE), 1:500/1,000 (basic level), 1:2,500/5,000 (1. subsequent stage), 1:10,000/50,000 (2. subsequent stage). These RBE shall be used separately for the different needs of the departments of urban administrations, the basis for the RBE are the communal foundational maps and the generic parcelling map of the land survey register,
- Serve as an integrated foundation for pre-existing spatial reference systems (e.g. GEOCODE as basis of Communal Statistical Information Systems KOSIS), and
- Use a consistent database-interface (EDBS) as a communication-gateway to other administrative units, public authorities, and sundry communal agencies.
Currently, the database-interface of the automated land registry map (ALK)
achieves this objective. (See Dürr et. al. 1992; Deutscher Städtetag 1988)
By creating and implementing a communal spatial reference system, decision-making on both levels municipal council and administration shall be alleviated and completing tasks concerning planning and execution of administrative initiatives shall be supported. (See Deutscher Städtetag, 1988)
According to the DST (Deutscher Städtetag), MERKIS should be used for major administrational activities, such as drawing and maintaining various maps and plans, creating network information systems, e.g. for numerous traffic analyses, defining spatial classification areas, or overlaying and blending reference zones in order to perform analyses.
To ensure this range of functions and make them as practical as possible, a unified spatial reference is vital. That is why the three levels of spatial reference that are recommended by MERKIS, are a key feature.
With all those specifications, MERKIS is beneficial for administrative departments. Expected advantages are:
- Mutual utilisation of all subject-related data in the context of data protection (multiple use of geometric data, assuring interconnections),
- Higher quality of information (definite localisation, easier integration, sophisticated conclusions through formally and substantially variable analyses, blending information geometrically-logically as well as through simulations),
- Differentiated conclusions about complex spatial relations (e.g. through overlapping diverse topics),
- Effective administrative performance (e.g. avoiding redundancies, standardisation, better friendliness towards citizens, improvement of organisation and flow of information),
- Efficiency (personnel limitation, time, cost, staff-friendly, future-oriented working techniques, basic support with completing complex tasks, improving efficiency of urban administration). (See Seuß 2002)
Still, if MERKIS is to be implemented, the demands of the actual users in administrative departments must be met, especially regarding data and geometry being up-to-date, and the accountability of every department for their data must be preserved.
In 1994 the MERKIS recommendation was rendered more precisely for the state of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. In the course of the revision of MERKIS, the Datenzentrale Schleswig-Holstein completed the recommendation, so that not only the needs of larger cities were fulfilled, but also the requirements of other boroughs, agencies, rural districts and communal administration unions. At the same time, it highlights the importance of the existing spatial data bases ALK (automated realty map), ALB (automated realty book), and ATKIS (official topographical-cartographical information system). (See Dreves 1994)
One major alteration was made concerning the levels of spatial reference. Instead of suggesting three autonomous levels, the Datenzentrale recommends only two basic data sets, level one (ALK) for the scale of 1:500-1:2,000, level two (ATKIS) for the scale of 1:5,000 and smaller.
Both data sets are comprehensively covering the areas of every municipality and serve as a reference table, since many further administrations use their data as a foundation for GIS. This way, utilisation and combination of external data is warranted. (See Seuß 2002)
The MERKIS recommendation’s importance stands out because of the emphasis of a spatial reference basis as a tool for integration of communal administration. Thus MERKIS helps initiating the implementation of a new spatial reference system in combination with administrative GIS, giving a guideline and pointing out the advantages of unified spatial references.
However, MERKIS lacks specific integration strategraumann and pilot-projects, leaving realisation of a new communal GIS a nonetheless complex task.
In this subsection of the third chapter, the GIS in Düsseldorf’s administration is about to be described. Since MapInfo is the main programme to be used in the urban administration departments, the standard functionalities of this GIS will be demonstrated, before the specifications of the features of Düsseldorf’s system come up.
MapInfo is one of the most popular GIS in the world, with more than 200,000 installations. Since 1996 a more advanced version of the software is available as a so called professional version, providing a desktop GIS with multitudinous applications for analysing and visualising spatial data on a high level. (See Dickmann & Zehner 2001)
Based on a vector-data influenced layer-system, MapInfo provides data as maps, tables, and diagrams; changes to the content of either of the display formats are automatically transferred. In order to give the user the best possible ability to create reader-friendly maps, a huge set of tools for cartographic composition is part of the software.
One important feature of the programme, apart from the user-friendly and powerful digitising-module, is the import-application which allows the user to import vector as well as raster data provided in data formats incompatible with MapInfo. Among these data formats are the standard formats of the rivalling programmes ArcView and Intergraph.
Visualisation of attributes takes place in the well-established table format; the linkage to the corresponding geometry objects is assured by a key-column. MapInfo professional is equipped with an ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) gateway, allowing the programme to access external databases such as dBase, Oracle, Access or FoxBASE. Any changes that take place there affect MapInfo instantaneously, however the user can decide if he wants to accept the changes or keep the original map. (See Dickmann & Zehner 2001)
All departments of Düsseldorf’s administration are urged to use MapInfo as their GIS. But to match the needs of some departments, further programmes are necessary. As explained in chapter 2, the requirements of an exemplary department were examined in several interviews. The structures of the distinct GIS in use in this department differ and present themselves as follows.
Every department provides important data to a particular network drive. Thus, exchanging data between departments is assured. Listed here are some exemplary layers:
- Traffic lanes, main street network, street names, network classifications
- diverse city maps, aero photos with varying scales, land development plan, realty maps, street and traffic cadastre
- Rest homes
- Waste containers
- Statistical blocks
- Industry data, data on buildings
(Adapted from Fantasny 2009)
However, the data provided is meant to be used with MapInfo, which doesn’t meet the demands of all tasks in the departments. That means that all departments try to combine their data with other systems to complete the set of necessary applications essential to carry their tasks.
The department of traffic planning for example uses MapInfo as well as the traffic model VSS, which is not GIS-based, to plan traffic-development and to create traffic prognoses. VSS was one of the first traffic models to come to use in administrations in Germany, developed in the 80s of the last century, which means that compatibility to other programmes, databases, and more recent data can sometimes be constricted. This combination of systems in this department is quite unique and it was constructed by hand. As Mr. Dietmann said in the interview, the necessary coordinates used to create a network were taken out of regional maps and put together to a distinct coordinate system. Partly, this system was converted into Gauß- Krüger-coordinates. But these coordinates, although detected soundly, still are not as exact as those of other departments. To create at least a hint of an interface, the Gauß-Krüger-coordinates are used to bring the original coordinate system to MapInfo, but still, transferring data is hardly possible that way. (See Interview Dietmann) That is why the system in Mr. Dietmann’s department is in the broadest sense autarkic which delimitates compatibility concerning coordinate systems and openness to gateways.
The only way to export data on congestion is to convert the according attributes into ASCII-files which then can be uploaded to the MapInfo network drive. This of course is more complex than it has to be. If VSS would be easier to connect to MapInfo via gateways, a data exchange would save a lot of time in working with traffic data.
A further disadvantage of the system Mr. Dietmann uses apart from the lacking compatibility is that maintenance has to be carried out by hand. Every change concerning the street network has to be taken over in the system. Doing this by hand, can be a source of error. On the other hand, automated maintenance programmes do not always take over changes exactly how the user wishes, either. Mr. Dietmann says he is a sceptic when it comes to automated procedures, especially because his system is highly specific and specially tailored to his demands.
That is why not all the streets in Düsseldorf are applied to Mr. Dietmann’s system. Of the ca. 1,300 km of streets only about 550 km are components of the VSS. Neither cycle paths nor field paths or byways are part of the system, since they are not important for Mr. Dietmann’s operation procedures. So his reference of Düsseldorf’s street network is rather crude. This is one source of problems for data exchange between departments using street data, because other users refer their data to a denser street network. So the requirements differ.
Since there are several handicaps regarding interconnections between the different systems, experiences about connecting VSS and MapInfo are rare in Düsseldorf, because work-around solutions are often less labour-intensive. Mr. Steiner, head of the department for traffic planning, accentuated two main applications in his department. The first one is a graphical programme surface for the central office of the traffic department, used to manage and visualise information about traffic conditions or about switching of individual traffic lights. This programme surface serves as an operating interface and at the same time provides an exportfunction to visualise data online.
The second application is a stocktaking-functionality for light signalling systems. The data about existing light signalling systems can be managed by users with hand-held devices, allowing organisation of repairs to be more practical and up-to-date and thus deliver definite information in planning processes and operations. (See Interview Steiner)
When working with these systems, the users always execute special workflows on a regular basis. For those workflows permanent gateways to data of other departments are crucial and hence, they exist. But firstly, there are always tasks to fulfil that require data which needs to be imported via an interface that has to be established first, and secondly, converting and importing data can be quite time-consuming and laborious. This inhibits the work of Mr. Steiner’s department, as he points out in the interview, since the algorithms and linkages to other attribute data have to be created, either relatively frequently or especially for individual data and tasks. As long as the system in the department for traffic planning is open for gateways, so that other departments can use traffic data and as long as data of other departments can be imported to the system in Mr. Steiner’s department, working with the system is no problem. But as soon as a permanent flow of information is needed, the system would be rather insufficiently working, if the interfaces had to always be created on demand. So, to keep the system running properly, a permanent flow of information is secured by an on-the-fly online connection. (See Interview Steiner)
The system in Düsseldorf provides traffic information to third party associates. Via the RDS-TMC-standard (Radio Data Service - Traffic Message Channel), a pan- European standard, the traffic information is sent to the police force, navigation systems or the fire brigade, for example. This way, Düsseldorf’s administration cooperates with users of a hardly limited field of application. (See Interview Steiner)
The network coding of the RDS-TMC-system, in which the current traffic situation and traffic declarations can be displayed, derives from a pre-existing traffic declaration system which means that it is not as accurately structured as the networks used in GIS in Düsseldorf’s urban administration. Mr. Steiner’s department adapted their system, so that sending information via RDS-TMC was possible.
A second form of transferring information is Düsseldorf’s online appearance. At www.duesseldorf.de/verkehrsmanagement/aktuelle_verkehrsinfos, Düsseldorf’s traffic planning department provides up-to-date information about the traffic situation. This information is very capaciously graphically presented and contains both, information via RDS-TMC-codes from the municipal network-graph and information of third party associates.
Mr. Perlmann, a third employee of the department of traffic planning in Düsseldorf, is in charge of the domain of traffic lights planning and traffic management. For his daily work, he also needs more than just one GIS. He uses the municipal GIS MapInfo, just as every employee of the urban administration using GIS, and furthermore, he uses a traffic data processor which is a computing system exclusively designed for Düsseldorf’s technical traffic infrastructure that is traffic lights and detection devices.
Furthermore, there is a third system in Mr. Perlmann’s area of operations, where the information of the other systems is being put together. It consists of a network graph, where the traffic models for the online traffic situation survey and the light signal data converge. (See Interview Perlmann)
Setting up the system for technical traffic infrastructure took several years. The basic software was optimized for the department’s needs, but was generally already available. Filling the programme with data took about two to three years; the network graph itself was delivered by a different department of Düsseldorf’s administration. This too was revised for Mr. Perlmann’s department and the geometric data on traffic infrastructure was added.
Creating the network graph alone took about four to five years and still is not really finalised. Only since two years the department can work with this new system.
The traffic surveillance system in Mr. Perlmann’s area of competence consists of several sub-systems like a car-park routeing system, the traffic data processor, and the detection sub-systems. They all come together under the traffic management programme surface in the department of traffic planning.
To Mr. Perlmann, the municipal system - MapInfo - is a sheer information system, where spatial data is being stored, visualised, and which is only capable of smaller analyses. The traffic data processor on the other hand, is his basic tool. With it, he and his co-workers cannot only visualise their data on traffic lights, but they also can use a traffic model, to calculate and display the current traffic situation online and to route on the network system.
An alleviation of his work however, would be an easier way to integrate data of other departments, e.g. data on locations of facilities like schools. Data like these are available on the network drive for MapInfo, but integrating it into Mr. Perlmann’s system for traffic light planning is not easy and therefore time-consuming and complex. (See Interview Perlmann)
One special feature of Mr. Perlmann’s system is the over-all agency strategy management. This means that even if a highway is getting blocked, giving an alternate route still is possible, since the flow of information between Straßen-NRW, the state agency responsible for all highways, and the urban administration in Düsseldorf is constantly secured.
In the context of a research project, the municipality of Düsseldorf tried to build up cooperation with a private service provider. The goal of this research project was to supply navigation service providers with traffic information data that matches the agency over-all strategy in the form of offering alternate routes in case of traffic congestions or road blockings. (See Interview Perlmann)
The basis for traffic situation plan development is cadastre data, which means that these plans are highly accurate concerning geo-referential correctness. Mr. Perlmann’s system on the other hand, does not have the specifications of cadastral data, since it is just in use for routing and visualisation of the street network in his department. So, similar to Mr. Dietmann’s spatial reference system, Mr. Perlmann’s system is not as accurately geo-referenced as most other GIS in Düsseldorf’s administration.
Maintenance of the traffic infrastructure system is done by Mr. Poppengorg. As soon as any changes concerning technical traffic infrastructure in Düsseldorf are conducted, Mr. Perlmann transfers these changes into the system. He has access to all the plans and can see what has changed. This way, he can transfer the changes to the GIS-database and his system likewise. This way, the system is always up to date, which is not a matter of course. The traffic model for example, is just maintained on a yearly basis, since timeliness is not that essential in this case. Both, the model and the underlying network graph are also maintained by a private enterprise, which initially produced the system.
Since controlling traffic lights is a very sensitive topic and changes can have a fatal effect, it must be assured that only skilled personnel have administrable access to the system. For that reason, several different user-groups were established. Mr. Perlmann for example can access the system with administrative rights. That way he can not only look at the features of the system and query the data, but also can perform changes.
To sum it up, GIS in Düsseldorf is very complex and multifarious. Considering that probably every department uses multiple systems at the same time, it is just logical that compatibility is problematic. The fact that not all systems are perfectly accurately geo-referenced contributes to this latent incompatibility.
Every department has differing requirements regarding GIS. So making the programmes match the needs takes a lot of time in most cases. Apart from the time taken to invest in creating a system that matches, heterogeneity tends to create interoperable systems since it forces the users to find a way to combine the different systems; unless the different systems are incompatible or the loss of data during conversion is too high.
Via the MapInfo network driver, a minimum of data exchange is assured; connecting the systems beyond this solution is rarely done by creating interfaces. Constructing these interfaces is quite often a complicated task and, depending on the work in the departments, the interfaces have to be created relatively often. That means that a continuous flow of information, which is vital for applications implying third party associates, is rarely guaranteed. (cf. also chapter 4.3)
This part of chapter 3 describes several GIS in other municipalities in Germany and Austria. After Stuttgart and Wuppertal are introduced, the author presents the systems of KRZN (Kommunales Rechenzentrum Niederrhein), a provider serving as an administration union for several rural districts, and Vienna. The Viennese system will be presented quite detailed, since the author has first-hand experience with it.
Stuttgart is the heart of one of the strongest economic regions in Germany and is part of the leading European region concerning exports. (See Bauer & Siebers 2002) With 179 cities and communities in the Stuttgart region, performing GIS-supported tasks in urban administrations is challenging. The municipal land surveying office hitherto took over classical duties like cadastral measuring, surveying, cartography, realty assessment, and data processing. But this department was newly structured to an office for geo-information.
Since 2004/2005 the land surveying office in Stuttgart works with the new organisation structures. Four sub-divisions, data processing, measuring, appraisement, and geo-data and cartography, will build up the new department. This way, the field of application concentrates on the core areas of geo-information, customer support and consulting, in combination with more personnel in the GIS department, including a central GIS-server supervision in the land surveying office. (See Bauer & Siebers 2002)
The geo-information department of Stuttgart's administration now works with an exceptional GIS, especially tailored to their needs. This new system, SIAS (Spatial Information and Access System), was developed in 1994/1995 and still is in use. The foundation of SIAS is an inventory of tiled secondary data, which allows relatively short access times. The visualisation-tool is Mapwork. SIAS distinguishes itself by features like the overall plan, a street-map, digital city maps for several contents and different scale ranges, canal information, data on potentially contaminated sites, coloured digital orthophotos with a 20 cm ground resolution, land-use plans, and legally binding land-use plans. Furthermore, user's data from excel-tables, access-, and other databases can be linked to the digital city-plan via valid key-features like street/house number or land parcel numbers.
Applications executed with SIAS are:
Realty- and open-space-management.
Administration of canal information, light signal data, ground-water level measurement, aerial defence shelter maintenance, traffic sign plans, the general drainage plan, street statistical data, and data exchange with energy suppliers concerning power, gas, water, and district heating.
Managing of land-use plans and legally binding land development plans (scanned and with added vector data)
Managing information about potentially contaminated sites, drill-hole information system, mineral spring protectorate information, water body information system, landscape preservation information, and data on explosive ordnance of the Second World War.
Arboreal cadastre, open space management.
Traffic information centre based on Navtech-data (decree of administrative arrangements, wide loads, construction site management, etc.)
Restoration areas, Greenfield land between buildings.
Realty cadastre information requests, digital terrain model, 3D city model, standard ground value map, purchase price map, and canal fee billing. (See Bauer & Siebers 2002)
One key responsibility of Stuttgart's GIS-department is customer support concerning the distribution of geo-spatial data provided by the urban administration. Three core elements of securing customer care are to determine:
A customer centre with finished products, Speciality departments (surveying or cadastral measuring, realty assessment), and A central marketing department for digital products of the GIS-department.
This organisational structure helped raising incomes on data sales and the products for sale are quite diversified. However, the expenses of building up the new system cannot be covered that way.
Apart from basic geo-data (vector- and raster-data, data on realty), SIAS for private customers via ISDN, aero photos, coloured orthophotos, the digital terrain model, digital cartography services and products, the CD-ROMs “Stadtatlas Stuttgart” and “3- D-CityMap”, the online city map and shop, geo-coded addresses, and the interface assistance are within the bandwidth of services of Stuttgart's customer support.
One rather unique feature of the system put to use in Stuttgart certainly is the implementation of the 3-D-city model. To create this model, Stuttgart's land surveying office commissioned an analysis of buildings via aero photo evaluation. To visualise a 3-D digital image of the city, an area-wide block model was generated from the outlines of the buildings in the DSK (Digital City Map) and the extensive amount of building-related data.
Focal points in the GIS-department are the use of geo-spatial information in intra- and internet, command and control information systems, and the effects of ALKIS.
Since SIAS as a strategic system for the urban administration is an expert system and thus will always have a huge importance, a web-client for other users not as familiar to highly complex spatial analysis tools as experts is required and implemented in the intranet. Furthermore, SIAS implies a connection to Lotus Notes, so that using a command and control information system is possible. To easily supply web-clients, geo-data portals, and online shops with data, a geo-data server was set up.
Concerning the implementation of ALKIS, the municipal administration of Stuttgart does neither expect economy of scale, nor staff savings.
Wuppertal, Solingen, and Remscheid form a consistent agglomeration, outlined by the “Rheinschiene” (Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Duisburg) in the west and the Ruhr area in the north.
Similar to the tasks and fields of work in Stuttgart, the department “Measurement, Land-Registry, and Geo-Data” has the duty to measure realty, calculate property taxes, register changes, visualise geo-referenced data, and evaluate all parcels of land in Wuppertal. Furthermore, this department distributes geo-data just like the municipal land surveying office in Stuttgart both online and in a store.
To cover such a range of responsibilities economically wise, using a lot of technology is indispensable. Therefore, petitions and certificates, just as maps, are available on floppy disc, CD-Rom, and online. The department’s clients are quite diversified:
- Land-owners, leaseholders, purchasers of realty, parties willing to develop the land and house builders, parties aggrieved in planning processes, road users, people interested in town history, and customers buying city-maps,
- Solicitors, publicly hired private land surveyors, architects, land surveyor’s offices, planning agencies, and realtors,
- Other institutions like public authorities, banks, insurance companies, energy providers, and municipal subsidiary companies. (See Jerosch & Sander 2002)
Technology based data processing is a good way to reduce financial pressure in communities. (See Jerosch & Sander 2002) To ensure financial advantages, information technology like GIS must be optimized and used in the most effective way possible. Therefore, a consistent spatial reference basis is necessary, since differing spatial references increase the need for calibration, are more timeconsuming, and constrict interdisciplinary cooperation. A constitutional pre-condition to make complex decisions, integrated in networked structures, based on a substantiated information foundation as quickly as possible, is a network of information that is always up to date and available, the involvement of all data, and an up-to-date reporting system. (See Jerosch & Sander 2002)
These requirements show, how important uniform spatial references and standardised linkages between different systems are to ensure economically working GIS in municipalities.
Wuppertal’s urban administration works with GIS since 1984 and started with two graphical-interactive SICAD-workstations. Since then, GIS-use increased, because the importance of geo-spatial data became noticeable in the following years. Today, every member of staff engaged in compilation and extrapolation of spatial base data can use a GIS-workstation.
Meeting the demands of departments using GIS in urban administrations is not easy.
Particularly, since a possible solution must be easy to use, quickly to apply, and costeffective and because spatial base data is quite memory capacious and still must be always up to date so that acceptance is secured. Using the data with different GIS always implies that the data has to be converted, which is cost-intensive and reduces data quality. Web-based software and inexpensive standard software (web-browsers) seem to be a possible solution to involve many members of the staff into the work with GIS and spatial data, without causing too many expenses. (See Jerosch & Sander 2002) Furthermore, using the city administration’s data from a home-PC makes telecommuting an option for the administration as an employer.
Cordes (1999) articulated the ideal conditions for users of spatial data:
“Spatial base data shall be complete and accurate concerning the contents, as well as comprehensively available; at the same time, it should be always up to date and delivered in several different data formats; either for free (in-house use) or at least
with minor costs (third party customers). The data delivery shall be carried out cost- effectively, quickly (just in time), and on demand.”
This statement gives a general orientation for all municipalities and matches the goals of the MERKIS recommendation.
The diverse groups of consumers of spatial base data explain why the MERKIS recommendation is so important for public administrations and illustrate how applicable Cordes’ evaluation of the ideal conditions for users of spatial data is. The consumers can be subdivided into four major groups:
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