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GISC 6383 Geographic Information Systems Management


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Title: GISC 6383 Geographic Information Systems Management

GISC 6383 Geographic Information Systems
Management Implementation
Introduction The Challenges
  • Dr. Ronald Briggs
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • Program in Geographic Information Sciences

Course Objectives
  • to understand the fundamentals of implementing
    and managing Geographic Information Systems
    within modern organizations
  • maximizing the liklihood of success
  • minimizing the liklihood of failures

Who is in Attendance?
  • Graduate Students pursuing degrees
  • GIS Professionals seeking additional skills
  • People who think GIS holds promise
  • Students who couldnt care less - need the hours
    and the time fitted their schedule

  • Tomlinson, Roger Thinking about GIS GIS
    Planning for Managers ESRI Press, 2005 2nd ed.
    (1st ed is OK)
  • Zeiler, M. Modeling our World The ESRI Guide to
    Geodatabase Design ESRI Press, 1999
  • Alternative Texts to Tomlinson
  • Huxhold, William E. and Levinsohn, Allan G.
    Managing Geographic Information System Projects
    New York Oxford, 1995
  • Harmon and Anderson The Design and implementation
    of Geographic Information Systems Wiley, 2003

Alternative Texts and Useful Books
  • Management/People focused
  • Obermeyer, Nancy J. and Pinto, Jeffrey K.
    Managing Geographic Information Systems New York
    The Guilford Press, 1994 (dated and very
  • von Meyer, Nancy and R. Scott Oppman Enterprise
    GIS.URISA, 1999, 98 pp. (set of case studies)
  • Derek Reeve, GIS, Organizations and People
    London Taylor Francis, 2000 (UK case studies)
  • Heather Campbell and Ian Masser GIS and
    Organizations London Taylor and Francis, 1995
    (earlier edition of Reeve)
  • Technology focused
  • Korte, George B. The GIS Book Santa Fe Onword
    Press, 5th Ed. 2001
  • Hohl, Pat GIS Data Conversion Strategies,
    Techniques, Management Santa Fe, Onword Press,
  • Yong-Qi Chen and Yuk-Cheung Lee Geographical Data
    Acquisition Springer-Verlag, 2001,
  • Shashi Shekhar and Sanjay Chawla Spatial
    Databases A Tour Prentice Hall, 2003

ESRI PRESS Application area series
  • Public Sector
  • OLooney, John Beyond Maps GIS and Decision
    Making in Local Government, 2000--- excellent!
  • Fleming, Cory The GIS Guide for Local Government
    Officials , 2005
  • Huxhold, W.E. ArcGIS and the Digital City A
    hands-on approach for local government, 2004
  • Green, R.W. Open Access-GIS in E-Government, 2001
  • Green, R.W. GIS in Public Policy
  • Amdahl, G. Disaster Response GIS for Public
    Safety, 2001
  • Green, R.W. Confronting Catastrophe A GIS
    Handbook, 2002
  • LeGates, R. Think Globally, Act Regionally GIS
    and data visualization for social science and
    public policy research, 2005

ESRI PRESS Application area series
  • Private Sector/Specific Application Areas
  • Boyles, C.T. Measuring Up The Business Case for
    GIS, 2004
  • Harder, C. GIS Means Business, 1998
  • Lang, L. Managing Natural Resources with GIS,
  • Harder, Christian Enterprise GIS for Energy
    Companies, 1999
  • Lang, Laura GIS for Health Organizations, 2000
  • Godin, Lisa GIS in Telecommunications, 2001
  • Lang, Laura Transportation GIS, 1999
  • Godin, Lisa GIS in Telecommunications, 2001
  • Herzog, David Mapping the News GIS in
    Jounalism, 2003 (features UTD!)
  • Harder, C. Enterprise GIS for Energy Companies
  • Lang, L. Managing Natural Resources with GIS,
  • Hanna, K GIS for Landscape Architects, 1999

Semester Student Assignments
  • Provide a State-of-the-Art Technology Assessment
    report for a selected topic
  • class presentation to be made on assigned date
    and accompanied by written evaluation
  • See course outline for example topics you may
    select others
  • 2 or 3 people per group (no more and no less 12
    groups max.)
  • Prepare a GIS Implementation Plan for an
    organization, using principles outlined in class
  • 1. By or before date of Midterm, identify
    organization and send me e-mail outlining your
  • 2. Turn in your written report (target 10-15
    pages) at semester end.
  • See course syllabus for exact due dates.
  • See Web site for additional details.

What is a GIS?
  • A GIS allows the geographic features in real
    world locations to be digitally represented so
    that they can be abstractly presented in map
    (analog) form, and they can be worked with and
    manipulated to address some problem.
  • It can be the basis for
  • conducting a project,
  • running one or more departments
  • within an organization,
  • or for managing an entire enterprise.

Real World
A city wants you to propose a plan for
re-organizing its primary operations (80 of
which are geographic based) so that standard
daily operations, as well as longer-term decision
making, can be accomplished more speedily and
efficiently. You propose an inter-departmental
shared GIS to replace paper maps and documents
associated with daily operations and to improve
data and information flow between departments to
enhance and speed-up decision-making.
Real World
  • Texas Super High Speed Rail asks YOU to propose
    alternative routes, with initial cost estimates,
    for high speed rail lines linking Dallas,
    Houston, San Antonio. The initial plan should be
    ready next month. You use GIS to examine
    alternative corridors and estimate costs.

An Oil company wants to start documenting its
oil production by well. They own or lease over
30 thousand wells worldwide. Set up a GIS that
can accept reporting data on a daily basis and
analyze production trends.
  • Add natural features
  • Add human features
  • Add socio-economic data
  • Utilize industry standard commercial database
    (Oracle, SQL Server, etc.)

A City wants YOU to supply it with all its base
mapping, set up its new computers/GIS network so
maps can be shared between departments, train
its users and make quarterly updates for them
until they hire a GIS Coordinator. They need a
proposal in two weeks.
Real World
You are an intern in the city fire department.
The fire chief has heard of GIS and thinks it
could help them with their planning. Being young,
educated, somewhat computer literate, but not
trained to go out on fire-trucks (thus in the
chiefs eye relatively useless), you are asked to
research this and make recommendations.
GIS Scope
  • Project
  • Single department application (Departmental GIS)
  • Multi departmental application
  • Enterprise system (Enterprise GIS)
  • Multi Institutional endeavor (Community GIS)

Level I Project
  • Institutional Environment
  • Expected result is a product
  • Project has an end date
  • Costs paid by project
  • No long-term support expected no commitment to
  • little or no organizational impact
  • GIS Implementation Approach
  • One-time effort
  • need best tool for the job
  • consultant or contractor may do entire thing
  • Benefit
  • product produced on-time within budget
  • highway feasibility study completed
  • rail line corridor study complete

Level II Single Department(but perhaps multiple
of them!)
  • Institutional Environment
  • Small Institution or Single Department
  • Well-defined, existing business function to be
  • Ongoing support is required but no major
    commitment to GIS
  • Little or no reorganization e.g. manual drafters
    shift to GIS workstation
  • Managed by departmental responsible for business
  • Corporate support nice, but not needed
  • GIS Implementation Approach
  • PCs, with local department network
  • File-based spatial data maybe CAD focused
  • Little or no integration with attribute databases
  • Little or no sharing of information within or
    beyond department
  • Benefit
  • supports specific business task more effectively
    and efficiently

Example automate map production or manage storm
water drainage system
Level III Multi-Department/Service Resource
  • Institutional Environment
  • Mid-size to large institution, more than one
  • More significant commitment of staff and budget
    to GIS
  • Ongoing support and update strategies essential
  • Some organizational or functional adjustments
  • perhaps run as a service department or managed
    by cooperating departments
  • corporate support helps, but not essential
  • GIS Implementation
  • Multiple, networked PCs
  • Topological GIS data
  • Relational database
  • Some information sharing between departments
  • Benefit
  • Improves effectiveness of specific business tasks
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Integration of business functions
  • Better use of limited resources

Example automate map production and manage storm
water drainage system
Level IV Enterprise System
  • Institutional Environment
  • Usually medium to large institution, multiple
  • High level long-term commitment of staff and
    resources to GIS
  • Organization-level strategic planning via formal
    methodology, distributed implementation and
  • Incorporation of GIS as part of organizational
    infrastructure for production of services
    significant organizational adjustments
  • corporate management support and involvement of
    corporate is essential
  • GIS Implementation
  • Distributed client-server networks
  • Integration of multiple GIS, database, and
    related technologies
  • Multi-department data sharing,
  • standards and metadata essential
  • Benefit as for multi-department, plus
  • Emphasis is improved effectiveness (better ,not
    just cheaper!)
  • Consistent information
  • Better decision making
  • Better external service to citizens and customers

Example Calgary Implements Enterprise
GIS ARCNews, v. 21, 2, 1999
Level V Multi-Organizational
  • Institutional Environment
  • public organizations, most probably industry
    alliance possibly, but anti-trust laws may be a
  • Multi-participant organizational structure for
    planning and policy
  • Distributed maintenance responsibilities across
  • Long-term, high level commitment among
    participating organizations
  • Significant reorganization of functions across
  • GIS Implementation
  • Distributed maintenance of shared elements
  • Data exchange facility via Internet or other WAN
  • Data integration from multiple technologies
  • standards and metadata paramount
  • Benefits
  • lower costs to citizen/tax payer
  • enhanced competitive position

Example State government, metropolitan area,
industry alliance
Scope of Management Challenge
  • Know how to use GIS as a tool
  • route fire or garbage trucks
  • draw maps
  • Understand how GIS can be used to meet the goals
    and objectives of your unit or organization
  • reduce losses from fires
  • enhance service to citizens/customers
  • Appreciate the challenge of integrating GIS
    enterprise-wide into the organization to enhance
    its efficiency and effectiveness
  • This is what we will do!!!

Gets harder!
Fundamental Management Responsibilities
  • Plan!
  • Taking the hits as they come is not management!
  • If you dont know where you are going, you never
    get there
  • The unexpected should never be expected
  • Standardize!
  • Free-for-all throughout the organization is not
  • Standards are paramount
  • Document!
  • Relying on peoples heads as the depository for
    organizational knowledge is not management!

Take a Break!
GIS Implementation
  • no guaranteed recipe for success
  • no cookie-cutter formula to apply
  • BUT
  • there are general procedures and processes
    (models) which can help immeasurably
  • ignorance of problems past failures is not
  • to be forewarned is to be forearmed!

Context for Successful GIS Implementation(What
you need to understand primary course topics)
  • GIS Paradigm
  • Use of spatial location as integrating framework
    for information
  • Understanding the GIS paradigm the focus of GISC
    6381 Fund.
  • Geographic Data Management Principles
  • Extend data management principles to include
    geographic focus
  • db (database) principles one major component of
    this course
  • Technology
  • Select appropriate GIS-enabling technology and
    plan to evolve
  • Addressed via student group technology reports
  • Organizational Setting
  • Organizational setting a crucial ingredient to
  • Systematic GIS design process essential for
    enterprise-wide applications major topic for
    this course

Steps in a GIS Project
  • I. Data acquisition (never underestimate the
  • paper maps
  • digital files
  • remote sensing/satellite
  • fieldwork
  • II. Preprocessing preparation integration
  • format conversion
  • digitizing and/or scanning
  • edge matching and rectification
  • III. Data Management
  • variable selection definition
  • table design (performance v. usability)
  • CRUD policies/procedures Create (data entry),
    Retrieve (view), Update (change), Deletion
  • IV. Manipulation and Analysis (all the user
    cares about!)
  • address matching
  • network analysis
  • terrain modelling (e.g. slopes, aspects)
  • V. Product Generation
  • tabular reports
  • graphics (maps and charts)

Appropriate for a project, but insufficient for
an enterprise implementation.
GIS Enterprise Planning Process general strategy
retirement savings? boats cars? kids
college? residence?
  • Conceptual Design/Needs Assessment/Requirements/
    why do it
  • does it support organizations goal or strategic
  • Tomlinson Chap 3, 4, 5 Chap. 11
  • Huxhold Chap. 3 Strategic Planning for GIS
  • Logical Design what it does
  • what business process(es) will be supported?
  • Tomlinson Chap 6 ,7
  • Huxhold Chap. 5 Systems Design Methodology
  • Physical design how it will do it
  • hardware, software, data, applications, people
    their management
  • Tomlinson Chap 8, Chap 9, Chap 10
  • Huxhold Chap. 4 Implementation Planning
  • Implementation getting it going
  • actually doing it!
  • Tomlinson Chap 12
  • Huxhold Chap. 6 Implementation Management
  • On-going System Management keeping it going
  • operations, maintenance, update and use
  • Huxhold Chap. 7 Managing the System

bachelor pad m-no-k core family extended family
Ranch or 3 story floorplans wood or brick tub or
Dirt flies concrete poured Move in.
Living there. Maintenance Home improvements
if you were building your dream house, would you
use blueprints?
GIS Development GuidesState of New York, Local
Government Technology Services (1997)
An 11-step Process
A 10-Stage GIS Planing MethodologyTomlinson,
Thinking About GIS
  • Consider the strategic purpose
  • Plan for the planning
  • Conduct a technology seminar
  • Describe the information products
  • Define the system scope
  • Create a data design
  • Choose a logical model
  • Determine system requirements
  • Benefit-cost, migration and risk analysis
  • Make an implementation plan

Conceptual Design
Logical Design
Physical Design
Analysis of Requirements
Evaluation of Alternatives
Specification of Requirements
Implementation of System
6. Final Design
7. Request for Proposal (RFP)
14. Implementation
A Fourteen Step Implementation Process!
(assumes external acquisition)
Source Longley, et. al. p. 391
Five-step Process from Somers/URISA
Conceptual design
Logical design
Physical design
Source Rebecca Somers, Quick Guide to GIS
Implementation and Management Park Ridge, IL
Urban and Regional Information Systems
Association, 2001, p.7
Its not the order or precise structure of the
tasks but rather that, in one way or another, all
get completed.
GIS Development GuidesState of New York, Local
Government Technology Services (1997)
34 guaranteed recipe for success!
Evolution of Issues During ImplementationCampbell
, (1992)
  • Technological, associated with system
  • data-related, associated with lack of consistency
    between data sets
  • organizational, associated with data ownership
    and control
  • institutional, associated with how to use
    information in the policy-making process

as implementation proceeds
Each challenge must be overcome as the
implementation process proceeds.
Human Factors ParamountCampbell, 1992
  • Organizations, and units in them, jealously guard
    their scope of activity and treat with suspicion
    proposals that may change this
  • administrative applications associated with cost
    savings are more readily accepted than
    decision-making applications to be used by policy
  • local communities very suspicious of developments
    that suggest centralization of information and
    therefore power
  • GIS techies often uncomfortable with social and
    political aspects of system implementation and
    utilization, thus need to involve
    politically-adept users/line managers/policy

People problems paramount!
  • "....As far as your project goes, I'm willing to
    help but I'm not sure we are the ideal candidate
    for the project. I'm working for the Department
    of Natural Resources which covers a lot of
    territory Oil and Gas Administration, Water
    Administration, Game and Fish Department, Land
    Administration, etc. etc. All these departments
    are sort of run as little fiefdoms with each not
    really working with the others unless they have
    to. It's sort of the norm, nobody wants to
    coordinate with anyone else. I know from attempts
    in the past that it is nearly impossible to get
    information or data from these guys. In some
    cases we have ended up collecting our own data
    just because we couldn't get copies from other
    departments. We had a full time planner spend the
    better part of a year meeting with department
    heads to try to identify their needs, update the
    status of various projects, and come up with a
    plan for the future. Very frustrating as this was
    all work that was going to help them but they
    didn't want to cooperate at all. Long story
    short, I'm willing to help but can't commit much
    time to dealing with these idiots, trying to get
    information out of them. This is a weird little
    environment and not really like the "real world"
    in a lot of respects..."
  • Quote from an e-mail received by a student in
    GISC 6383

Conclusion GIS Implementation
  • a comprehensive, systematic approach to planning,
    design and implementation will more likely
    produce a successful GIS implementation--but no
  • GIS is both an enabling technology and a set of
    concepts about organizing work and data, thus it
    will impact an organizations established way of
    doing business
  • management and institutional issues raise the
    greatest challenges, thus must be addressed
  • The only human that loves change is a baby in
  • open, participative processes are more likely to
    deal successfully with with these management and
    institutional issues ( and the technical ones!),
    therefore involve people
  • GIS is a complex information technology
    application, thus many of the same principles
    apply as in IT...

Conclusion Information Technology Implementation
  • Organizational change is both a cause and an
    effect of evolving information technology
  • Human aspects of organizational change are more
    important and challenging than technical aspects
  • While information technology can improve
    organizational performance, the technology alone
    will not transform an organization
  • Successful implementation depends on planned,
    well-conceived and managed integration of
    information technology change and organizational

A corresponding list of implementation
challenges from an IT text!
Conclusion GIS within Context
Organizational Context --people and processes
Organizational Context --people and processes
Organizations Goals and Strategies
Technological Environment
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