26/03/2015

I-PLAN and QGIS

An existing landuse plan using I-Plan qml planning colour template
QGIS Ver. 2.8 shows  I-Plan existing landuse compatible with Google Hybrid
Go2streetview works well on top of the landuse map with Google Hybrid underneath

In a nutshell, the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning (JPBD), Peninsular Malaysia's  Integrated National Landuse Information System (I-Plan) began development in October 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015. This landuse information system utilizes an enterprise relational database management system (RDBMS) linked to a web geospatial aplication for easy and convenient access to all interested parties including public. It is built wholly using Open Source Software (OSS) including Quantum GIS (QGIS) at workstations (initially distributed to every State Planning Department and eventually proposed to be distributed to every local planning authority), Enterprise PostgreSQL-PostGIS for the RDBMS, OpenGeo Suite for the GIS application and Tomcat Apache for the web application whereby the operating system for both server and desktop computer is my favourite Ubuntu (Isn't that a coincidence?). Incidentally, the preference for OSS as against the use of proprietary software saved the total project cost by about RM6 million. The centralized system consists of 7 physical servers and 3 virtual servers incorporating Development, Production, Database, GIS and failover functions. The initial stage involves vertical linkages from all local planning authorities within Peninsular Malaysia to  all State Planning Departments and eventually to the centralized I-Plan system at Kuala Lumpur. In years to come, the system will be extended to horizontal linkages between the I-PLAN system and geo-spatial systems at key government agencies that want to share JPBD's landuse data via map services. The I-Plan project is a massive exercise to coordinate, standardize, collect, rectify topology errors, update landuse data and transform previous landuse maps from the Survey Department's state Cassini Soldner map projections to their Geocentric Datum of Malaysia (GDM2000) map projections. The I-Plan system covers 3 landuse category namely zoning, committed and existing landuse. Map update will be carried out bi-annually beginning 2015 on a district-sharing basis between JPBD departments at the federal and state level to help overcome technical manpower shortage at many local planning authorities mainly District Councils and ensure landuse data will not be obsolete but always up-to-date on a scheduled basis  and accurately recorded. Myself, being as I-Plan Project Manager will not see it complete as I have to call it a day and pension by the end of this month where at this point in time, who will replace me is a million dollar question.

In the meantime,  using the Linux Ubuntu QGIS Ver 2.8 at my office desktop computer, I activated one of the existing landuse maps for a particular local planning authority. That GIS map had already been transformed to GDM2000 map projection. Next, I added the JPBD town planning .qml colour template (which we customized based on the second version of JPBD's GIS manual for development plans) to that map and everything worked out fine. This was followed by activating Google Hybrid. I was expecting QGIS to crash as in previous version because Google Hybrid had to be activated first but no, not this version. It worked out fined again though of course, I had to move the raster Google Hybrid below the vector landuse map. Finally, I activated the go2streetview plugin. At first, I was not expecting it to work as I had the Google Hybrid underneath the landuse map and expected it only to work in synergy being directly on top of Google Hybrid but no, it worked out fine again and on top of the landuse map. As I rotated the view angle, I could see what was around the spot I had chosen to view. OMG, this will surely be a great help to local planning authorities that can now do virtual site visits and save themselves, time, money while enjoying the comfort of their office/home. It makes cross inspection between what is on a GIS map and the site so easy. As a government servant, I wanted so much to make QGIS the principal GIS for the public sector and I believe I have succeeded here, well, give it one or two more years because I-PLAN is making it popular nationwide among local planning authorities, me, having shrewdly defacto-ed it at I-Plan workstations. I look back at when I got to first know QGIS in 2009 and now see the tremendous improvements that have come about especially over the past few years, I must take my hat off to the dedicated developers who made it possible as I am but a humble user.

2 comments:

  1. Syabas, Pak Abbas! Congratulations on your achievement. I am really happy to see OSS being deployed on such a large scale on such an important task. Thank you for all your hard work!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, I just do it because it seem to be the right thing to do, who knows...To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

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