Developing a GIS web based information system for population data management
The status of population data currently is not up to date and largely based on manual systems. This is so because despite the biggest databank being at the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics custody, a large amount of the same data is held by other organizations such as the many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Government agencies within Kenya. This has resulted in conflict of interests in the data and due to lack of standardization procedures, sharing and discovery of the data is also a big challenge in Kenya. Web GIS has been identified as a powerful tool that easily and effectively can disseminate integrated spatial and statistical information about the population online via a web browser. All that is required for this endeavour is the internet map server for this case ArcGIS server. For the rendering to be as expected, the various data layers need to be pre-processed such that they are in the same projection and be standardized for ease of sharing and interoperation. The database to be utilized need to be properly formulated with the schemas having the appropriate fields and populated accordingly before utilized locally and also published online. The system would be a critical tool for online provision of population data to planners and other development agencies for on demand analysis to support decision making. This will go a long way in reducing the amount of time to reach certain critical decisions thus efficiency enhanced. The ability to model in a GIS environment is also scaled by the system allowing users to model different ‘what if scenarios’ with the availed data for better appreciation of their interest at hand In future, the prototype will need more patching to enhance it and improve its capability especially with regard to user interaction and analysis scalability. For instance, the aspect of multi-layer analysis and overlay need to be investigated and implemented in the web environment as many factors come into play while for instance thinking about population of a given region. The issue of geodata rights management also needs to be investigated as it is still a very grey area especially in Kenya. This is in appreciation that population data is sensitive data and injury can be occasioned hence need for relevant policy framework to support the dissemination in web GIS platforms as demonstrated on the prototype.