To facilitate transparent and rational planning at district level, it is pertinent to have a Decision Support System (DSS). As a strategy to provide DSS at district and taluka level in Gujarat state, Gujarat Geographic Information System (GGIS) was envisaged for grass root level planning. PRAGATI – Low cost software developed using Java and MS-Access, can run on any PC with minimum configuration and does not require any costly GIS software. Village level data regarding demography and amenities related to health, education, irrigation, infrastructure etc. are available at a few clicks. Mathematical and logical queries based on various attributes can be carried out to get the desire results. Complete information about a village can also be obtained by just clicking on the map. The village level information can be obtained at district or taluka level for Gujarat State. Any other village level data can be further integrated with ‘PRAGATI’ and on-line help is available for the users. The village level information can also be obtained at parliamentary or assembly constituency level. The various outputs can be printed in a hard copy or can be exported to jpeg format for presentation. Thus a particular map can be easily availed at very low cost.
The software has been installed at all the districts of Gujarat state with relevant training to District Planning Officers and others who are involved in decision-making.
GIS or spatial IT is a covetous area in the field of Information Technology. GIS has grown within the last few decades and efforts at national level as well as state level has resulted in to creation of geospatial datasets. These spatial datasets are needed not only by the creators of datasets but a much large community of grass root decision makers, policy makers, academics, research organizations etc. Today our decision makers sieve through a large amount of information. For dispensing their needs and also to facilitate transparent and rational planning at district level, it is pertinent to have a Decision Support System (DSS), which is economically viable, user friendly, and has customizable spatial dataset. In Gujarat it is evident to have a paradigm shift to filter complicacies for the GIS to be user friendly. Here is one such approach done at Remote Sensing & Communication, Centre (RESECO) Gandhinagar, which initiated as Gujarat Geographical Information System and is popularly known as “Pragati”. The software Pragati was developed under NRIS program.
PRAGATI is low cost, java based platform independent GIS software, used for depiction and analysis of various data at Village, Taluka or District level to serve as DSS. The software is Windows based, customizable software package, which can be used as DSS with spatial approach. It can display various geospatial layers; can accept user defined non-spatial datasets to generate maps based on it. It can also generate maps based on complex user queries.
The map of a particular Taluka showing the availability
of schools within a village
Some Salient Features of “PRAGATI”
PRAGATI is user-friendly software with Menu/Tool Button Driven access. It enables one to generate complex queries from non-spatial datasets and also display results of it on spatial datasets (maps), as shown in figure-2. For this a Smart Query Generator dialog box is provided, which guarantees that queries generated from it will be syntactically true, so that user does not need to worry about SQL Syntaxes. Software has also got parser which will check the generated query and will prompt the error message if it finds some error (indicating the place of error) in syntax of the input query and it also will display the results of query in the spatial form (on map) with selected entities filled with different color.
Some other salient features of the software are:
- Zoom In, Zoom Out, or Pan the map without distorting shape or information of it.
- Linking of any nonspatial data to spatial data the user has.
- Built in facility for customizing views and the ranges of classes for classification.
- Printing of both spatial and non-spatial datasets is possible. Spatial data will be printed in the graphical form where as nonspatial datasets will be printed in tabular form.
- One can also export current theme in the JPEG format.
- Measurement of aerial distance between any two points on the map.
- One can also import shape files with all its data.