From geospatial data capture to the delivery of GIS-ready information : improved management within a GIS environment
This thesis presents the research undertaken to investigate how geospatial data handling techniques and technology can be potentially used to enhance the existing management of entire survey datasets from their captured stage to a GIS-ready state and the delivery of this to the user. Discovery of the current systems for managing survey data and information in the Survey and Mapping Department Malaysia (JUPEM) has been presented. In addition, the surveying practice and processes carried out have been examined, especially the different type of data and information existed within the raw data capture right through to the production of GIS-ready information. The current GIS technology and techniques for managing geospatial data have been inspected to gain an in-depth understanding of them. Geospatial object as an approach to model reality of the world has been discovered and used to model the raw, processed, the GIS-ready information. To implement the management, a prototype Database Management System (DBMS) has been implemented, and a trial data population and processing steps have been carried out. An enhancement of the managemenot f the datasetsf rom geospatiald ata capturet o the GIS-ready infori-nation has beend emonstratedT. o deliver online the final product, demonstrationo f available methods were illustrated, and then contrasted. A range of datasets around Malaysian context were used in the research. The investigation revealed that raw, processed and GIS-ready information can be successfully modelled as object in an object-relational spatial database. Using inherent GIS tools, survey datasets management and processing steps within the same system are evidently achieved in a prototype implemented DBMS. An improved management showing the capability of 'drill-down search' and 'two-way traceability' to access and search spatial and non-spatial information in the system is effectively illustrated. Demonstration of the vendor specific and open source technology for the GIS-ready information delivery leads to the comparison between them. The thesis concludes by recognising that a management for raw captured data, processed set of data and GIS-ready information, and the delivery of this, within GIS environment is possible. The inherent GIS tools and DBMS have presented a single-view system for geospatial data management providing superior interfaces that are easy to learn and use, and users are able to specify and perform the desired tasks efficiently. Delivery of data has some constraints that need to be considered before embarking into either vendor specific application or open source technology. In JUPEM, time and cost can be reduced by applying and implementing the suggested GIS application for cadastral and topographic surveys right up to the creation of GIS-ready information, as detailed in the thesis. The research also finds that the in-depth understanding and experience, practically and theoretically, of all aspects of current GIS technologies and techniques gained through this research has achieved an overarching inspiration: equalisation of a high level of awareness and ability of staff in handling GIS project development within currently developing countries with those in the developed countries, and within the national survey and mapping department with those of other government departments and commercial GIS contractors.