Joburg deploys geoinformatics to improve spatial configuration

The City of Johannesburg uses digital geoinformatics for a range of functions, including resource and infrastructure inventory, provision of street names and address management, as well as land use management, zoning and town planning.

Other geoinformatics applications used include digital mapping systems for public data provision; health care planning and surveillance of public health risks; proximity analysis of city services; and transportation planning and service routing.

The city is also deploying geoinformatics for development law enforcement, emergency management services, disaster response, housing, human settlement strategies, and comprehensive land administration, among others.

Roxanne-Pyal Parthab, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist in the Corporate Geoinformatics Branch (CGIS), best describes the City’s deployment of geoinformatics.

“It’s the science of ‘where,’ which answers questions like what’s where, why, when, and how,” Parthab explains.

She says geoinformatics is the broad, overarching discipline concerned with using various forms of scientific infrastructure, technology, information systems, and geographic data to solve problems in the built environment. It sheds light on decision-making around the human-environment link.

Geoinformatics comprises several interconnected branches of study, including geography, GIS, engineering, spatial statistics, survey, geometry, remote sensing, and geodesy, among several other disciplines that inform urban planning.

Parthab claims that the city’s development planning department is the custodian of “space” in the municipality and the building block of space as a “plot of land” or “property”. The Land Information System (LIS) Land Value Chain, which is the City’s sole source of land information, manages the lifecycle of a property, and all other systems feed off of this source of information. information. If a property is not on the City’s GIS, it cannot be billed.

“Geoinformatics therefore plays a crucial role in the management of parcels of land under the City’s jurisdiction. The electronic map containing data on each property of the City is captured, maintained and linked to various systems that ensure the proper delivery of municipal services as well as maintaining accurate billing records Geoinformatics is a central part of the municipality’s real estate value chain, linking the property (land), a person (property) and the meter (services and billing)” , adds Parthab.

She says geoinformatics and land use planning are inextricably linked. “Most spatial planning and design processes require the use of geographic datasets and various geographic processing tools. A branch of geoinformatics is spatial statistics, which governs the fundamental concepts of spatial planning. Geoinformatics informs the urban planning and design process by facilitating the analysis and modeling of spatial data.”

Some aspects of geo-information operate in real time, including satellite imagery, remote sensing, data, and visualization dashboards. There are various GIS location services available and various real-time GIS tools applicable, such as GeoEvent Processor and 3D City Engine.

Most of the geographic data used by city planners is not real-time data, but spatially accurate representations of the ground, captured or updated daily by Corporate Geo-Informatics, ensuring that essential data sets that are not captured in real time are always up to date. date and as accurate as possible for planners.

All data collected by the City’s geoinformatics system, including records entered by the cadastre, zoning and address sections, are stored in the CGIS database which runs on the SQL server.

“The database administrator assigns rights to the different sections according to their different roles so that each team can only update the data of its section, thus minimizing the possibility of errors and inaccuracies in the capture sections. Data that has been modified or updated is replicated to the RGDB database (reports), which is the data displayed by the website. The data is also replicated to the LIS_PROD database which is runs on DB2, which is used to send information to rates, ratings, and other city departments.

Parthab adds that more than 80% of all municipal information has a spatial context and can therefore be linked to a map. Moreover, a GIS is the only tool capable of integrating information from various sources and linking it spatially for analysis.

“It is therefore the ideal decision support tool for informed decision-making in a diverse environment such as local government.”

The good news for anyone interested in learning more about geoinformatics is that a virtual training course is available on the CGIS online map portal. It is free and includes an introduction to the City’s online maps website. To book a session, send an email to [email protected] or [email protected] with the subject “Online Maps Website Training”.

Training is offered Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., by reservation and by invitation only. The training is open to City employees and the general public.

Written by Brümilda Swartbooi


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