QGIS-PosgreSQL-PostGIS: The foundation of JPBD's iPlan takes shape
The department's iPlan is a mammoth and ambitious plan to integrate all landuse plans from different administrative tiers into a seamless integrated landuse plan namely from all local planning authorities in Peninsular Malaysia at the local government level up to all state town planning departments at the state government level up to the Fed. Dept of Town and Country Planning at the federal level. Yes, no doubt it will be an expensive project to realize but the facts of the matter is that the government is annually providing limited funds for development projects. But the show must go on so how does one go about it? Even if there are open source sceptic out there, they cannot but admit that this is the way forward. Most open source supporters know this and the recent tremendous growth of Android mobile phones is an excellent tell-tale.
The foundation to realize the iPlan is the establishment of GIS geodatabase at every planning office but this is non-existent in many especially the poorer town planning agencies. The problem can be attributed to a traditional and effective mind impression by the private sector to side line the availability of alternative GIS which from their business angle, they are doing the right thing. However, the development of open source geospatial database has been so tremendous in recent times that they have made geospatial software reasonably user-friendly to the point that non-programmers like me can now install and configure geospatial software be it GIS or database. The most important thing is that it works at with hardly any cost. I plan to repeat the whole process again from scratch to be doubly sure I can do it again with success, only then will I be really confident to give myself a good passing mark but I am confident I can do it.
Our recent success was :
- Downloading, installing, configuring then using Ubuntu Server 32bit operating system to convert an old computer into a server;
- Downloading, installing, configuring then using PostgreSQL-PostGIS to develop a GIS geospatial database
- Configure the server to link with the network and make PostgreSQL viewable from within the network (This was difficult for me)
- Downloading, installing, configuring then using PgAdmin3 to create a new database;
- Using PgAdmin3 to convert then uploading a landuse .shp files into that database;
- Configuring then using Quantum GIS to retrieve that landuse data then make SQL queries from the client computer.
The next thing to do is to implement it live for our own GIS native data. After that, implement it at a state planning office. A state director has already given his full support. Lastly, implement it at a regional project office if they can supply us a server or at least a computer. Once the development of GIS geospatial database picks up among other state planning offices, we get to fully implement Phase 2 of the iPLAN. This will demand the establishment of other servers to replicate gis data up the iPLAN network. You can see how QGIS's role is in this matter and while it is only a desktop GIS, it plays a critical role in iPLAN's success because desktop(client)-server synergy is vital to the iPLAN success. I have only one reservation...I do not know if my own department has enough faith in me if I were to tell them what I want, that is, that the department must fully migrate over to QGIS. Ths is because QGIS synergizes with PostGIS as they both adhere to OSGeo standards. Anyway, I do not know if I am still around by then.