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Can a GIS software accurately transform physical reality into a GIS form?
As I lay on my bed, I stare at the ceiling seeking for answers I do not know but it doesn't answer back. All I like to do with GIS is to ensure that it can transform physical reality well into a digital GIS form so that it becomes an accurate representation of the real world scenario thus further ensuring a spatial analysis produces accurate results, failing which, a client may not be properly advised. Current GIS software to my humble knowledge can represent a physical feature on a 1:1 scenario well but the problem I see is that in life there are instances of 1: many scenarios so how does a GIS handle this without resorting to the aid of an RDBMS? Is it possible? Can it be done? How do I go about it? Maybe not. If so, what do I do?
People have been seeing too many Hollywood movies and think that a GIS can do about anything that deals with spatial form. They ought to know what it can or cannot do. In order to secure contract, consultants sometimes avoid telling the whole truth unless asked by their client and if many a client does not really know GIS, what it can or cannot do, in the end they may be getting a raw deal, after all, the name of the game from a business point-of-view is to secure the deal, isn't it?
In town planning, a plot of land may be desirous by the land owner to be developed for mix uses so how does one put that in a landuse map? Presently, the department's GIS manual does not accommodate mix uses but a specific landuse for a specific lot so obviously the GIS Manual needs to be updated. Room for improvement, here! Information about the less important landuse does not get input into the GIS. A land title under the National Land Code in Malaysia stipulates that a plot of land can be administratively used as agriculture, industry or building of which under 'building' it can be further categorized for a variety of land activity such as residential, commercial or institutional to name a few. In town planning, a landuse activity gets categorized by a landuse code. Things are OK when a plot of land is earmarked for a specific landuse but mix use?
One argument is that a plot of land can be zone for a specific landuse while other landuse activities on that plot of land can be recognize as a 'material change of use' under building use. This means that on the landuse layer, it may be 'commercial' but there needs to be another layer for building use to identify the building use for 'residential'. But what if there are more than 1 block and each block has different levels of floors and different levels were used for 'residential' with other levels used for 'commercial', 'religious use' and even 'recreational use'. My oh my, it will definitely be messy for a GIS software. This is a job not for Superman but a GIS-RDBMS package.
The other argument is that whether the above approach of attaching 'material change of use' really a proper approach? In fact, can it be better organized? The lawyer will say I only structure the Town Planning Act pe se because you structured the organisation of landuse activities for land and building that way i.e. using a 'material change of use' terminology so don't blame me. Here, I am in agreement with that lawyer.
So how does one go about it but without involving a GIS geospatial database since many local authorities have not advanced to this level? I'm still thinking and have not finished this blog. Now, the family wants to go out :-o so I have to KIV this blog ...