Friday, November 12, 2010

The Cebu City GIS Experience

I consider sharing experiences as a way of telling people that they are not alone or they are lucky that they don't have to go through painful mistakes on project implementation and that they can avoid those mistakes and do it right.

Had to wake up early in the morning to travel more than 50Km from Davao City to a fellow LGU called Digos City who has just started their GIS initiatives. For me it was an opportunity to help initiatives like this. And today's meeting I consider it fruitful.

They were at the verge of drastically cutting budgets simple because they had been misinformed about what this thing call GIS is all about.

By the way, for the information of my readers here (if there are any ;-)), GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. It's about putting spatial information on maps. To make is even simpler, you have map (in digital format of course), your data or information, you have a location and then you tie them together so that you can analyzed it. Since we are already ahead on this with regards to project implementation, I have a lot to share to them.

One simple GIS project I presented to them was Dengue Cases. We plotted incidences of Dengue in a community on a map and then let the computer process the information and come out with result on which areas had the most number of cases. Knowing who has the highest incidence would greatly help us target that specific area for operations and eliminate the guessing game and rationalize service delivery.

As expected, some were happy and some were emotional. In the end, at least I was able to present something decent and very layman for them to evaluate further and reconsider. That was enough to make me happy. In the end, I was able to say my piece.

I was presenting together with Davao City people who also has a long experience in GIS projects. Some project where similar, others unique. Bottom line was, that GIS as explained was a computerized system which serves as a tool to eliminate the guessing game and promote further transparency in governance and improve efficiency in delivery of services.

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