1 Administration and Management of Georeferenced Information in the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia - IDEAM Rubén Darío Mateus Sanabria 1, Maria Liseth Rodriguez Montenegro 2 1 GIS Researcher and project manager, 1 Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia IDEAM 1 Teaching SDI Module and geographic metadata 1 National University of Colombia 2 Coordinator technological component REDD Project, 2 Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia IDEAM Abstract The organization and structure of the information inside a GIS, is one of the principal priorities because it represents particular trends and patterns of the data. This structure consists in organizing the same type data sets, they must be grouped and arranged so that they represent a specific trend. Its main objective is to provide a logical scheme for data handling and publication. These models correspond to a real world abstraction and they must be organized with standards designed to allowed analysts work efficiently. The implementation is made in order to have a dynamic system for efficient and optimal flow of information. Furthermore, this system intends to incorporate a culture about data management for the normalization of the available cartography. It will allow the opportune decision taking processes. The use of this kind of tools lets to the administrators to keep control over the spatial data with a minimum investment of time, financial and human resources. These structures are part of an administrative system divided in tools that interact logically and coordinately among them with the objective of producing and analyzing geographical information to accomplish several user requirements. Before consolidating these structures, organization and a GIS it is necessary to clarify the objectives and requirements that the information system needs. All data must be supported by standards and protocols for their correct acquisition, processing, interchange, diffusion, storage and protection. In this sense, since the implementation of the GIS model of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia - IDEAM, several standards
2 and protocols for spatial information handling in each Institute s project have been generated. Some of those standards are the following: Standard for information organization Standard for format handling Reference and coordinate system standard Standard for working scales handling Standard for map presentation Standard for documentation of geographical data conjoint Standard for project documentation Back Up and file security protocol Information security policies The results obtained with the implementation of these tools are: consolidated and organized information, best performance, time and space optimization, improvement in the processes of information handling, more information in the data model, implementation of best practices for information exchange, documentation and divulgation; it is important to mention that this is the first step towards the consolidation of an institutional georeferenced information management system. In addition, we will node with the Colombian Spatial Data Infrastructure - ICDE. Keywords: SDI, Standard, GIS, data model, data base, information. 1 BACKGROUND The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia - IDEAM, was created through Law 99 of 1993, along with other research institutes that are related explicitly to environmental issues in Colombia. The IDEAM's mission is to generate information and knowledge to assist decision making on the sustainable use of natural resources and to forecast and warn of environmental conditions that can generate hydrometeorological disasters. His vision is to be a technical and scientific excellence of the National Environmental Information System - SINA support for making decisions on the sustainable use of natural resources and a highly reliable organization in the field of environmental forecasts and alerts, and generation and data collection. It has an organizational structure, where the thematic generating areas of basic information play a key role in environmental data of climate variability monitoring and generation for decisions makers at various scales and regions. Figure 1 is the functional and organizational IDEAM chart.
3 Figure 1: Organitation Chart IDEAM Each of these areas is in charge of specific functions in the generation of spatial information to carry out their missional activities, and to deliver or arrange it to various actors at national, regional or municipal level. Among the general functions assigned to IDEAM, dealing explicitly with the issue of information management either geographical or alphanumeric, the following ones can be identified: 1. Obtain, store, analyze, review, process and disseminate basic information on hydrology, hydrogeology, meteorology, basic biophysical geography, geomorphology, soils and vegetation management and use of biophysical resources of the Nation.
4 2. Provide knowledge, data and environmental information required by the Ministry of Environment and other agencies of the National Environmental System - SINA. 3. Direct and coordinate the Environmental Information System and operated in collaboration with scientific institutions linked to the Ministry of Environment, Corporations and other agencies of SINA. In this sense, geographic information plays a key role in meeting each of the objectives and functions of the institution. That is why it is important to take into account the implementation of organizational strategies, standardization, processing, storage and final disposition of this information. Since the implementation of good practices in management guarantee on time access, use and generation of new information, allowing the generation of more accurate and efficient policies in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources. In addition, it will allow action taking and early warning systems implementation to mitigate the effects of atmospheric phenomena and climate variability. Management of spatial information requires the implementation of strategies and mechanisms for their management. This is why in 2004 the Institute posed the need to implement effective strategies that ensure the proper administration of this information. In spite of this, spatial information did not flow efficiently through the system and consequently, it did not flow through the institution either. As a result, many drawbacks that hindered its correct disposition were obtained such as: lost of information, low quality information, unavailability of it for decision makers, or inappropriate management of the projection and spatial reference systems. After evidencing each of these failures, presenting them to the management of geographic information and considering that, this is fundamental for the development of the missionary activities of the institute, the implementation of a project to diagnose the state of organization of georeferenced information was proposed and new strategies and mechanisms to optimize, enhance, complement and rethink how this is administered were formulated, since, according to the results, measures must be taken to reorient its administration to more effective and efficient schemes. That is why this project, which results are presented along this document, started in 2009, beginning with a diagnostic of information, a restructuring of it and the existing models, the implementation of standards for storing, managing, documenting and publishing spatial information was posed. It was also necessary to design, develop and implement a Geographic Web viewer to display the information published through the use of Geographic Web Services, since the
5 IDEAM did not have the minimum tools necessary to perform these tasks that allowed the provision of information to the public. 2 METHODOLOGY In the development and implementation of information systems in general, each of the components is important, but the information that the system captures, generates, processes, stores, transforms and finally makes available to users who require it, is much more important and valuable. So, the information becomes the most important asset any organization and system have. Usually in the process of modeling GIS to its implementation, studies or analyzes aimed to organizing and structuring the data were not taken into account or considered. Figure 2 shows the general flow of information. In the same way, in the first stage of this process, due to external factors, at the moment of modeling each of the processes for generating and managing spatial information key aspects which allow the management information and ensure their use, were not considered. Figure 2: Geographical Data Flow Among all the activities, the organization, structuring and standardization of spatial information is one of the earliest and largest developments on the issue at the institutional level, as these processes were not implanted in the generation of geographic products. That is why, structuring information, topological revision, evaluation of the attributes, standardization of information, implementation of domains and unification of the projection system activities were developed. These activities allowed organizing data management and access to these in a timely manner. In the same way, general guidelines were articulated, generated and proposed so that they "organize and consolidate the GIS oriented towards the construction and implementation of a Spatial Data Infrastructure IDE.
6 Likewise, we had the opportunity to experience and observe national and sectoral developments, it was also important to know about trends in international standards and that somehow it is necessary to interoperate with data infrastructures at regional and global scales such as GSDI and ICDE. The methodology developed contemplated the next steps for implementation: 1. Data Analysis 2. Organization of storage schemes - Model 3. Structuring Geographic Information 4. Migration to the Database 5. Documentation of the data model 6. Construction of objects catalog 7. Development of geographic metadata 2.1 Data Analysis This stage contemplates, in the first instance, the review of the data model implemented in its first version. This activity is necessary since it permits to validate this first version and to see that it is possible to adjust and maintain it due to external conditions. After reviewing the model, interviews and meetings with users of geographic data generators of different subject areas of the institution were realized. They are who have the power and expertise to address the work done. GIS cannot be developed in isolation from generators and users, as they are who know about the procedures developed for the generation of different geographic products and are who are able to support the creation and consolidation of the data model. It is clear that the data models are not static in time they must be scalable and flexible, so they should be fed back permanently. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate new information that may be supplied or to be incorporated into the data model depending on the user s need. 2.2 Organization of storage schemes - Model
7 Once the interviews with different thematic users of each of the areas were realized, the data model was redefined with their support. So, that it fulfill the new requirements and expectations of the user. Layers, attributes and domains to which the data model will refer, were generated. It changed from containing about 300 layers modeled with about 30% charged in the data model to have about 1,200 layers with a estimate 95% charged. In the same way, in the data model, the incorporation of new information was needed and the redefinition and acquisition of the missing information was also necessary in order to be incorporated into the schemes of data storage. Once an early version of this model was consolidated, the implementation of internal workshops to socialize and validate the proposed model began in order to interact with users to make the respective adjustments and corrections. 2.3 Structuring Geographic Information As mentioned before, this structure was performed according to the necessary topological settings: redefinition of attributes, generation of standards for information and decision domains to optimize data management. 2.4 Migration to the Database The migration of information consisted of implementing the mechanisms needed to compile existing information in different subject areas of IDEAM in different formats and various storage media where the spatial data was found. Once collected, structured and standardized it was ported for storage in the geographic database designed for this purpose. Figure 3 shows the migration process. 2.5 Documentation of the data model Documentation of processes and design plays an important role, mainly, in these kinds of activities. This documentation ensures an adequate knowledge management and institutional strengthening. Under this premise the following items were documented: the background, organizational schemes, thematic areas and the data model. 2.6 Construction of objects catalog The catalog was constructed based on the ISO standard technique, which is a fundamental standard in the standardization of geographic information; it enables users and producers speak a common language for the content of data sets and have a greater understanding of content and scope.
8 Figure 3: Migration data geographis It is a first approximation to an abstract and simplified representation of reality and a structure that organizes the spatial object types, their definitions and characteristics. Figure 4 shows the levels of aggregation of information. 2.7 Developing geographic metadata Documentation of geographic datasets - geographic metadata was done based on the standard technique ISO 19139, this must be done according to the data stored in the storage schema and with the support of the theme makers and information custodians. The technological tool for their management was developed by FAO GeoNetwork. We are currently generating metadata information loaded into the database, it also continues generating information and loading it into the model and storage schemes. The institute is dynamic and, as the missional information is meteorological; this is daily-based generated, so that procedures must be dynamic and optimized. Figure 4: Catalog of objects
9 3 TO CONSIDER Management models that are provided by geographic information within organizations should be consistent with the needs of implementation. So, a Geographic Information System must meet a corporate objective and should not be built in isolation or without purpose, because it will result in a waste of resources and time. These models should be made known to all members of the organization, especially those who are directly related to geographic data. If not, the empowerment by the organization would be null, and investment would be wasted. Investment of resources to implement strategies of the processes socialization of the geographic information management implemented in the organization is necessary. Besides, control use policies should be generated, and support of institutional administratives is essential. It is necessary to note that the implementation of strategies for the management of existing documentation ensures knowledge and application of the basic concepts for handling mapping, standards, storage and quality of information. The offices responsible for managing geographic data, must implement a series of different items such as: Schemes and physical infrastructure Servers for applications, data, and maps online
10 Devices to ensure data security Enabling, in this way, faster processing tasks of data access and protection of them. It makes it possible to define, adopt, adapt and implement sets of rules or standards known and recognized in the environment. International Regional National Local Moreover, in some cases it is necessary that some organizations generate or create their own standards according to their needs and management of spatial information management 4 RESULTS The data model implementation allowed, among other things, the following: It went from 70 layers loaded into the storage schema to about 1200, which means good management and organization of information. Centralize and integrate geographic data, to collect and organize them into a single database. It opened the possibility of having and socialize a considerable volume of information for decisions makers. Count on standards of organization and structure of geographic information. Optimize response time, space, processing for the users of this type of information. Mitigation of duplication of information. Generation of documentation of available information and the implemented processes.
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