Spatial Data Infrastructure towards E-Municipality: The Case of Beit Sahour Municipality

Posted in 2008 Papers

The paper at hand distillates the experiment of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ) in the development of a local Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), Also Known As; Municipal Information System (MIS) for the Beit Sahour Municipality. The development of the SDI is introduced as a step towards e-municipality, where all kind of information and communication technologies are realized in an electronic environment, in order to make effective use of spatial or geographic data leading to efficient decision making, through an effective management of resources.An interoperability infrastructure is at the heart of e-municipality. Therefore, Geographic Information System (GIS) was acknowledged as a core part of the municipality, due to its applicability on the many pertained municipal disciplines, including: administration, management, planning, development, and decision making.The GIS of Beit Sahour Municipality was built on Cassini–Palestine Grid (1923) coordinate system and was fed through multi channels of data sources, including: CAD files, aerial photos analysis, reports and statistics, hard copy maps, and a special designated questionnaire. However, field work was crucial to check the collected data and to fill the gaps of other missing spatial data. In consequence, phases of data filtration, geo-referencing and rectification, homogenization and restructuring of data were needed to ensure the sound development of the municipal GIS database, which is locally used for field coordination, billing and taxes, capital planning, distribution of infrastructurallines, digital mapping and information systems, and flexible analysis (spatial analysis, networking, 3-D Analysis, and geo-political analysis) among others.The paper ends in inventorying the main problems facing the municipalities in its way to efficiently manage the SDI. Accordingly, a set of standards, policies, and recommendations in relation to the right to access information and to the use of spatial data are proposed.

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