Design Of A Web Based Geoinformatic System
Considering the geographic distribution is one of the key features of modern tourism. The web-based GIS is a potential system to manage and share the information. In this thesis, the prototype of web-based GIS is designed as three tiered software architecture comprising of web application, web service and spatial database. The prototype provides the possibility to integrate with the information from other sources. For the information managers, the prototype takes advantage of the web, open specifications and open source software. Therefore, it minimizes the barrier of the migration from original information system, and the information management is easy to be done in the web browser. For the public, the web map is easy to use and user-friendly. In the end, the potential improvement in the management web interface is discussed, and the further development such as introducing more roles into the system and having the usability test are pointed out.
1.1 Background of the Study
According to Chang, K. T. (2008), Geographic Information System (GIRS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all types of geographical data. The acronym GIRS is sometimes used for geographical information science or geospatial information a study which refers to the academic discipline or career of working with geographic information system. In simplest terms GIRS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis and database technology. A geographical information retrieval system can be thought of as a system which digitally creates and manipulates spatial areas that may be jurisdictional, purpose or application- oriented. Generally, a GIRS can be custom designed for an organization. Hence, a GIS developed for an application jurisdiction, enterprise or purpose may not be necessarily interoperable or compatible with a GIRS that has been developed for some other application, jurisdiction, enterprise or purpose. What goes beyond a GIRS is a spatial infrastructure, a concept that has no such restrictive boundaries.
In general sense, the term GIRS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares and displays geographic information for informed decision making. GIRS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user – created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data in maps and present the result of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying geographic concepts, applications and systems. The link between geography and information technology can not to a very large extent be over- emphasized.
Using Enugu State tourism board as a case study has helped to give a comprehensive understanding of the importance and the need of a geographic information system, as it is believed, information technology has a significant role in geographic information system and high level of expectations would and is already being demanded from its use both in Nigeria and the world at large.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In our daily lives as humans, most of our endeavors involve moving from one location to another for one thing or the other. A problem emerges when there is no proper direction or a system as to give accurate direction in locating our destination, what they said destination contains and what is has to offer. This is the problem the state has as concerning tourism, whereby a good number of tourists (most especially tourists visiting for the very first time) and other individuals wanting to visit tourist sites in the state but cannot do so because of the lack of a well detailed system to provide them (tourists) with an accurate geographic information system as to how to locate these sites within the state.
Due to the lack of an accurate geographic information retrieval system as far as tourism is concerned, most tourists are discouraged from exploring these tourist locations within the state, this in turn hampers the positive impact that tourism is meant to have on the development in the state and the Nigerian society at large.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to design a web-based geo-informatic system capable of displaying the geographic attribute of a location. To achieve the stated objective, the following specific objectives were laid out:
- To examine the existing / current system in regards to how geographic information for tourism is provided either for tourists or those within the area.
- To improve on the already existing system by designing a geographic information retrieval system that is well detailed and easily accessible.
- To broaden the scope of tourism in the state through providing a comprehensive geographic information retrieval system.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will be utmost importance to tourists who needs to know the geographical area of their destination. It displays detailed information using satellite data, hence perfect tool for tourists. This study also shows that there’s a link between geography and other professions and can be created on the platform of information technology. i.e. to show that with information technology the problem of location can and is solved to a very large extent.
This study is useful to layman on the street as it a useful too for navigation. Due to detailed maps showing pathways, drivers, commuters can use it to move though locations they have not been before without stress.
This work is also useful for scholars who are researching the field of geographical information system as it will serve as a reference point for study.
1.5 Scope of Study
This study is web-based hence it must be accessed with internet tools. It runs on a browser and cannot work without internet connection. The scope is limited to tourist locations and hotels within the state providing / improving on the existing geographic information system of the board for tourism in the state.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The system, since it is web-based cannot run without internet. Users must have internet enabled before assessing it.
The major limitation faced during the course of writing this project is the actual source codes. PHP source codes required to render map was difficult to obtain. This made me use the available but less preferred code for its implementation.
Also, the software makes extensive of google maps API. Google nowadays requires a paid account before using their service. Free accounts, which is what I used offer limited services, hence this work cannot be used for real-life implementations
Time and money were also major constraints faced during the research for this project work and limited the effort in developing a much more comprehensive package needed in the design and implementation of the geo-informatics system.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Geography is a science that deals with the distribution and arrangement of all elements of the earth’s surface. The word geography was adopted in the 200s BC by the Greek Scholar Eratosthenes and means „earth description.
An information system can be defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect (or retrieve), process, store and distribute information to support decision making and control in an organization.
Geographic Information Retrieval System:
A “geographic information system” (GIRS) is a computer-based tool that allows you to create, manipulate, analyze, store and display information based on its location
The position, site or sitting of somebody or something.
A diagrammatic drawing of something such as a route or area made to show the location or how to get there.
Travel to benefit from a particular service or activity that is unavailable at home.
Running using internet technologies and accessed using the browser.
Summary, Conclusion and Contribution to Knowledge
With the understanding of information system, information technology and the role it plays in tourism, it is believed that if this Geographic information retrieval system is implemented, tourism in the state will experience a giant step and on the long run boost the economic activities within the state as more people become aware of the tourist locations in the state through the designed geographic information system.
5.2 Contribution to Knowledge
Achievement so far recorded in the course of this work
- In the course of the analysis of the existing system, it was discovered that the Enugu state tourism board has an existing website on tourist sites in the state but cannot be said to be a full GIRS system
- The existing system has being improved upon by adding a oA full GIRS system which comes with a map to show exact locations oIn addition too, coordinates which will show exact points where each of the tourists‟ sites is located and hotels within.
- A help option to show users who might need assistance in using the system
- And above all, a well detailed web –based geographic information retrieval system has being developed, which will ultimately boost tourism in the state.
5.3 Areas of Application
A geographic information retrieval system can be applied in every organizational setting and or sector of the economy; in actual sense every organization can have its own geographic information build or design to fit its own need and specifications.
To mention a but a few it can be applied in the
- Banking industry
- Commerce industry ETC
5.4 Suggestion for Further Studies
Since a GIRS system has being designed for tourist sites within the state I suggest that anyone or student with interest in GIRS can broaden the scope of tourism by designing a GIRS system for the eastern, western, northern region or even the whole country as the case maybe.
I strongly recommend that this system be implemented to give tourism and the state an unprecedented economical growth.
There is no doubt the extent to which a geographic information retrieval system can boost any sector in an economy. I therefore conclude that geographic information is one of the ultimate ways to boost economic growth and development.
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