Planning GIS for Palestinian Municipalities: Bidya Municipality as a Case Study

Discussion Committee: 
 Dr. Ali Abdelhamid / Supervisor
 Dr. Ihab Hijazi / Co-Supervisor
 Dr. Adbulnaser Arafat / External Examiner
 Dr. Ahmed Rafat Ghodieh / Internal Examiner
Dr. Ali Abdelhamid / Supervisor
Dr. Ihab Hijazi / Co-Supervisor
Sana Yousef Qasim
With the continuous increase in population and high demand on services and resources along with the rapid development in the information systems and computers, municipalities require an effective tool to manage these resources and a smart system to best keep and organize data with the ability to modify, manipulate, retrieve, display and link to geographic locations. Geographic information system is a powerful tool to do that, but it needs great capabilities in terms of financial resources and highly skilled people as well as the ability of acquiring precise data. Because the incorporation of a GIS in a municipality would consume a considerable amount of its budget, well-examined plan should be conducted to justify the money allocation for the GIS adoption. A preset plan also specifies accurately what we will get out of the GIS and eliminates all unneeded effort, and certainly this would save money and raise benefits. The prior knowledge of costs and benefits supports the decision making of whether or not to adopt such system. This research has inspected the extent of the need for geographic information systems in the municipalities and how they could benefit the Palestinian municipalities and used Bidya municipality as a case study. To do that a practical thorough investigations were conducted on the workflow of the different duties usually done by municipal staff at all departments within what is called information product description which included mainly a thorough understanding and description of the spatial and attribute data and functions needed to obtain the information product. Depending on the information product descriptions a comprehensive relational database schema was built for the overall municipality. In fact this database schema was the main result of this research. During this practical work some constraints of adopting EGIS was detected, therefor an implementation schedule was proposed for Bidya municipality to overcome these constraints. The main conclusion that we can reach out of this research and study is the emphasis on the need for planning GIS projects separately for each organization which intends to adopt GIS, and that geographic information systems couldn’t be directly bought. Accordingly as a governmental policy it is recommended that a Comprehensive diagnostic study of all Palestinian municipalities should be conducted to examine the degree of preparedness to adopt geographic information systems according to preset criteria or model as an introduction to find the ways to overcome impediments for GIS adoption within a national strategic plan in Palestine.
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