The application of information technology gets growing number of activities, which are under the jurisdiction of local government, partially or fully automatized due to fact that nearly 80 percent of all the decisions and information, made are directly or indirectly related to spatial data. This article presents the importance of geographic information system applications in local governments as an effective tool that should provide support for the upcoming decisions through the analysis of spatial and other data, including support planning. It is also indicated the importance of using GIS software solutions, which implementation can be achieved interoperability in local government.
With the development of information and communication technologies, geographic information systems (GIS) have been increasingly developing on a technological level, and considering the place and time in which something is situated, based on spatial and non-spatial information, a successful implementation in different areas of business is provided.GIS is one of the technologically developed systems that has provided and promoted the understanding of information and display of spatial data in the last 20 years. GIS displays that data in a visual, simple form that the user can relate to.
A wide use of GIS in the last couple of years represents the result of progress in other technologies and areas that are correlated and supportive of the GIS system, such as geography and cartography, revisualization, computer science, data base theory, mathematics, etc.
Ron Alber defines GIS as „not a singular, but a gathering of simultaneous technological revolutions“. The fact that GIS does not undermine other applications, but itself represents an essential and innovative application concerned with spreadsheets, systems for data base managing and processing, it could be defined ad a powerful set of tools for gathering, storing, accessing, transforming, searching and displaying of spatial data from the real world for specific purposes.
INTRODUCTION AND APPLICATION OF GIS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Numerous businesses related to planning and administrative tasks in local governments mostly rely on spatial data. With the process of decentralization, the local governments have been increasingly transforming into certain service and administrative enterprises of their own, and are at the service of their users.
Generally speaking, the users could be divided into those who manage the spatial data and keep track of it, and to those who simply use the data provided. The classification of users can as well be made on the basis of data usage frequency, where we distinguish those who use the data frequently with the goal of performing their activities, and those users who occasionally access the spatial data.
In order for the spatial data to be used, firstly all of the objects and phenomena of interest should be spatially represented, together with a complex analysis and processing of data when required. In that case the local government has two possibilities: to increase administration or to apply the GIS technology. Considering the fact that the appliance of GIS as an organized set of computer hardware, software, data, staff and networking provides recording, editing, managing, handling, analyzing, modeling, displaying of data with a spatial reference, as well as storing on a single location, its introducing is seen as a more appropriate solution.
Spatial information that are of significance to the local government are mostly situated in various public institutions and utility services, due to which numerous property data are outdated, and some only available in an analog form, thus being convertible. Considering the fact that GIS can provide a more simple storing, saving, and exchange of data in a standardized manner, its appliance in this case can represent a significant solution. By connecting the local government with other local and republic organs and institutions, GIS can contribute to a better usage of resources, faster exchange, analysis, and processing of information among different institutions, or within an institution itself, as well as to a syncing of businesses in planning, managing, and maintenance of local systems.
IMPORTANCE OF GIS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
There are numerous benefits and advantages of using GIS. Through the main applications of GIS: mapping, measuring, monitoring, modeling, and managing various analyses can be performed, depending on the requests and expectations, and the results provided can further be sold to interested clients.
GIS, as well as the programs based on the appliance of geospatial data in a local government, support a wide range of local and regional functions and provide an opportunity to minimize the expenses and maximize the benefit of the authorities in charge when it comes to investing.
Thus, the importance of GIS to the local governments can be spotted through following aspects:
– lessening the administrative expenses and efficient business making
– better quality and faster decision making process
– improved connection with the citizens
GIS technology plays a crucial role in generating timely and confident information for planning and decision making on all levels of the local government. According to this, it could be pointed out that an important goal of promoting the information support of the spatial development of a local government is creation and development of GIS as a supporting instrument for planning, executing and tracking the spatial and territorial development, with acknowledging the key directives of the general plan.
The importance of GIS in the modern society is increasing, first of all because of the development and appliance of information and communication technologies which contribute to its efficient usage and its future development as well. GIS industry includes a wide range of possible applications. It will increase in time through innovations in technology, with the raising awareness about its advantages as a powerful means of supporting decision making, but also its greater availability of spatially represented data and software. The strength of GIS lies not only in the ability to visualize spatial relations, but also in creating a holistic view of the world that emerges from its interconnected components and complex relations.
Introduction and appliance of GIS are an important precondition for the efficiency in the work of local governments. Applying GIS in the local governments during the last decade has impacted the means of functioning of certain municipalities. Complex business processes that required an overview of the scanned geodetic surfaces are already in the past. A saving of resources of people and technique is also present, which justifies the introduction of this system. GIS provides a possibility to storage and save data, maps, and alphanumeric data in a digital form, and in such a way the parties in charge conduct the exchange of data much faster and easier. What is of crucial importance to the development of GIS is a strategic guidance in order to use all of the advantages this system has to offer.
One should not neglect the fact that the appliance of this system is never finished, considering that it is a process that implies gathering, entering, usage of data and its constant updating. It is important to emphasize that success in the implementation of GIS in a great matter depends on the people working on it. A great role is played by motivation, skills, technical knowledge, but also the ability of thinking within the frames of this system. In order to escape certain limitations in the development it is important that the management of the local government provides a working group in means of workforce, time, financial means, etc.