The recent technological advancements and thus the integration of GIS,
GPS, IT, and ERP, has made a significant impact on the information dissemination
mechanisms, by means of mapping the information resources onto the real world
visualizations, culminating into the development of "Integrated Geo-Spatial
Information Systems" (IGIS). The powerful impact of pictorial representations,
i.e. overlaying the geographical features onto the conventional databases, as
well as analytical flexibility, with real world locational data, would make IGIS
a compulsive necessity for the business organizations.
The increasing power of the desktop computers,
the advancements in communications sphere and the convergence of GIS, IT, ERP
and GPS onto a single platform, provides newer opportunities, for the
conceptualization of "Integrated Geo-Spatial Information Systems" (IGIS). The
consequent development of newer applications for customer services, financial
and strategic planning, human resource planning, business operations, asset
accounting, outage / network management, and the impact on information
dissemination mechanisms, makes it imperative for all competitive enterprises,
having distributed resources / client bases, to acquire IGIS to remain effective
India based RMSI has developed an IGIS, for the
specialized needs of a major utility in the business of natural gas
distribution, integrating the geographical information, spatial and aspatial
databases, engineering information, environmental aspects, socio-economic data,
thus bringing the cumulative information resources to each desktop across the
IGIS - Integrated Geo-Spatial Information System
The project initiation
included a pilot study, and a thorough 'User Needs Assessment' (UNA), with
structured analytical modeling, for the information flow mechanisms, based on
the association matrices and context relationships.
The pilot study
directed towards a phased development approach- enabling quantification of
consequent benefits, at respective interim stages, as well as dynamic updating
in strategic implementation of the subsequent steps.
The UNA culminated
into defining the project specifications - including concept diagrams,
information flow charts, database structural designs, the user's interactive
interfaces and the query / reporting formats. Project
The project inputs included paper source maps for the area
of interest, the pipeline layout drawings, cadastral maps, various engineering
drawings with structural details, GPS based survey reports, and other data like
ownership / usage details and compensation requisites etc.
provided the digital mapping of the entire pipeline structure, with every point,
along the route, being uniquely identifiable in 'chainage units' (distance in
linear units from a defined origin). The system also provided various analytical
tools and dynamic calculation (from the combined data resources), of the
respective attributes, for a selected point (location) or segment.
The application utilities developed, included:
A typical IGIS display
- Automated and Semi-automated Data Conversion tools: Various
Applications, with user-friendly graphical interfaces, were developed for
assisting the data capturing and attribution of the spatial features and their
cross-linking with relational databases, and for translation of multiple inputs
on to a common platform.
- Interactive Query Builders and Report Generations: 'Database
Management Systems', developed for the purpose, included support for sequential
queries, to assist routings, site selections for sub-station/ monitoring
locations, etc., and assisted report generations into defined formats (as a MIS
- Intelligent and Dynamic Status Monitoring: Applications for
integrating selective real time data inputs on to a central resource base, and
updating to assist analytical queries / report generations, were developed for
- Visual Display Controllers: A user-friendly graphical interface,
assisting the customization of the display windows, for combined viewing of
multiple features along with a set of attributes / queries reports as related to
a selected feature/s.
- Print Controllers: A user-friendly graphical interface, assisting
custom formatting of graphical features and the data reports, for printing
purposes, as along side windows or as overlays (as per
are being planned for "Wide Area Network" implementation, thorough Internet, and
interfacing with temporal data and dynamic mapping for the purpose of
state-of-the-art remote station (control and monitoring) functionality.
Reference: Kapil Chhabra and Meenu Pall Walia, "Geo-Spatial Information Systems
and Utilities - An Indian Case Study", Geo Asia Pacific, April/May 2000, pp.