The gathering of public opinion and spatially associated information is an important and critical task for city and local government agents, in order to assess human resources, regional development planning, decision-making process and public facility management.
Most local government decision-making processes require spatial distribution patterns of population and the associated information, especially in disaster management and emergency preparedness. Collaboration between residents and the local government is a key factor for effective administration process and regional development planning.
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Current public surveying systems (either online or by regular mail or telephoning) merely collect information, and additionally skilled persons are required to convert these data into GIS (Geographical Information Systems), in order to visualize and analyze them for decision making processes.
Here we are talking about implementing a Spatially Integrated Online Surveying System (SIOSS), which makes it possible to collect, integrate and analyze public survey data with spatially associated attribute information for the city and local government in a timely and cost effective way, under the collaborative GIS discipline. Study tools like ASP.NET, MS SQL Server and WebGIS will also be used to collect, store and share the spatially distributed objects and attributes in a time-efficient and cost effective way, (with little or no human intervention) for decision making processes.
With the increasing number of Earth observation satellite launching, and advances in communication and networking everyday, spatial information is more mobile and more widely used at various user levels (ranging from desktop expert users to mobile public users). In additional to offering educational resources in schools, students have the opportunity to think, explore and analyze the world they live in.
On the other hand, technological improvement in computing and networking (such as Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth) provides Internet home users with the opportunity to visualize the world either in a 2Dimensional or 3Dimensional view interactively. The growth of the Internet has been an explosive since inception, and this has lead to a great increase in the number of portable/mobile computing and communication devices such as notebook computers and mobile phones, in recent years.
As manufacturers constantly improve on the features, and general capabilities of mobile devices, the Internet also continues to get bigger and to improve, even at a faster rate than these mobile devices. By utilizing all advances in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for city and local government decision making processes, a Spatially Integrated Online Surveying System (SIOSS) can be implemented, which makes it possible to collect, integrate and analyze public information for the city and local government in a cost-effective and time efficient way, under the collaborative GIS discipline.
Classical database management systems, especially the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) can store, query and retrieve the information. However, RDBMSs are business-oriented applications, which manipulate large but simple data sets and are unable to manage geographical objects.
Our identification with geography gives us a sense of place, so applying geographic concepts to public education and management is natural. Geography provides us with unique positions on the Earth's surface, which can help in the study of resources. For example, the modeling of a landscape can give us valuable information about the ecosystem or historical setting of the landscape and help to visualize its future appearance, under various management strategies.
These RDBMS applications are normally used in libraries, stores, reservation and so on. There have been considerable efforts to extend and adapt DBMS technology to spatial information systems, known as Spatial Database Management System or Geo-database, naming by ESRI. The following table compares the answers from common spatial information users between the classical public surveying DBMS (either online or offline) and the SIOSS system.
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