In introducing this topic it is important to first re-emphasise the actual purposes for which it is envisaged that a marine fisheries GIS be used. What we will be considering here is the implementation of a GIS for the management of marine fisheries, usually by a government department which may be functioning at any level from local to international. If a marine fisheries GIS was being introduced by perhaps a private fisheries industry, a University Department or a Marine Research Institute, then implementation considerations may be very different, though clearly there would be some overlap. Even the implementation by differing levels of government will necessitate different considerations, though these will relate mostly to the scale of the operation and to the scope of the fisheries coverage envisaged. Figure 8.1 sets out the main implementation processes as we see them, plus those responsible for activating them, and we have ordered this chapter according to the systems boxes shown. Since the scope of this topic is so broad, and liable to so much variation from circumstance to circumstance, then our coverage here must be generalised. For readers wishing to know more on implementation considerations, then we would recommend Aranoff (1989), Antenucci et al (1991), Bernhardsen (1992), Korte (1992), CCTA (1993), Walters and Reeves (1993), Hart and Tulip (1994), Huxhold and Levinsohn (1995) or the various “Association of Geographic Information Yearbooks” (1989 to 1995), or the various “International GIS Sourcebooks” which are also published annually.
GIS's are not systems which can be bought “off the shelf” so as to become instant working aids. From the content of previous chapters, it should be recognised that a GIS is an assemblage of items which need to be brought together in a user defined way. Because the acquisition may be a complex process based on a long life cycle, like other business decisions it requires prudent planning and management. A large number of GIS's have failed, or have never come to full fruition, because their implementation was rushed, with the necessary in-depth considerations not being carried out. In a recent study Campbell and Masser (1993) found that the main criteria needed for a successful GIS implementation were:
(i) That there should be a high computing skills level among the staff in the organisation.
(ii) That the organisation should have an innovative environment.
(iii) That initial GIS applications should be simple, and that output which can be seen to be important to the organisation should soon be produced.
(iv) An awareness of the limitations of the organisation in terms of the range of available resources.
(v) Careful management of the projects so that all GIS workers can be seen to have participated in any success.
(vi) A stable organisational context should prevail within the department, or there should be the ability to easily cope with change.
(vii) A high level of commitment to the goals of the GIS tasks.
Figure 8.1 The Main Processes and Activators Involved in Implementing a Marine Fisheries GIS
A further introductory point of some importance concerns the problem of GIS introduction into some developing country's scenarios. The FAO now has a range of experience in GIS implementation, and in this context some of the constraints (and benefits) of developing a GIS approach to marine resources management in developing countries has been set out by Do Chi and Taconet (1994). This problem has also been carefully studied by Taylor (1991), who has stated, in an introduction to GIS and developing nations:
“…although GIS has potential to be of utility in the struggle for development, that potential has not yet been realised and there are many problems to be overcome. Some of the problems are technical in nature but the bulk of them are social, economic and political. It is argued that the current developments in GIS are primarily technology- driven and that such an approach has limited relevance to the problems of development in the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. GIS…. is an artefact of industrial and post-industrial society. Its structures, technologies and applications are products of the needs of these societies. If it is to be used in the context of development then it must be introduced, developed, modified and controlled by indigenous people who understand the social, economic and political context of the situation as well as the technical capabilities of GIS. This may involve some quite different GIS configurations and solutions from those already successful in the developed nations.” (p.71)
Taylor goes on to review a range of examples of GIS's which are operating in the developing world and finds that, although a large number of them are achieving varying degrees of success, they are all based upon initiatives from first world agencies or corporations, and in the main they are being led by personnel from the developed world. He doubts that local GIS initiatives will be successfully achieved until there is “socio-economic command of the development of science and technology”. The reality “on the ground” in many developing countries is that there is a huge range of priorities which must compete for extremely limited budgets. In this situation GIS is seldom perceived as being important. It may indeed be a distraction on the way to the next meal!
Although Figure 8.1 sets out the implementation procedures that we will be following in this Technical Paper, it is important to state that implementation can be viewed in different ways or in different degrees of detail. For instance, a useful way of envisaging the GIS implementation strategy has been proposed by Marble (1994). As Figure 8.2 shows, the development of a particular GIS can be seen to best equate with a spiral of processes and procedures. The “initial model” is achieved by acquiring information, analysing it and then organising it so as to establish the feasibility of the GIS. If the project is then seen as being feasible, another circle of the spiral is gone through in order to create a complete description of what the GIS is to do (the conceptual model). Here the initiator would have worked out factors such as who would be using the GIS, what type of output was required, and how the databases were to be structured. The third loop of the spiral requires that a detailed model for implementation has been devised, i.e. the exact GIS software would be selected, plus specific hardware pieces, staffing needs, etc. Only after these three spirals had been successfully achieved can the systems implementation really be completed. All the facets of this implementation model can still be performed within the implementation procedures which we outline below.
Figure 8.2 Marble's Spiral Model for the Design of a GIS
A second, less abstract way of viewing the necessary GIS implementation procedures, is set out by Antenuci et al (1991) (see Table 8.1). Here implementation is viewed as occurring in five main stages, which are subdivided into 17 steps. Whilst we agree that it is important that all of these steps should be considered, the ordering of the steps could be subject to considerable variation according to local circumstances. For instance, during the whole of the implementation procedure it is likely that there would be “feedback loops”, i.e. the necessity to go back to a previous step following a learning process from a current step. Steps such as “system acquisition” might be placed further down the list, i.e. possibly after “site preparation”. Also, depending upon systems design, many of the steps could either be carried out “in house”, or be carried out externally by a sub-contractor.
|1. Concept||i. Requirement analysis.|
ii. Feasibility evaluation.
|2. Design||iii. Implementation plans.|
iv. Systems design.
v. Database design.
|3. Development||vi. System acquisition.|
vii. Database acquisition.
viii. Organization, staffing, training.
ix. Operating procedure preparation.
x. Site preparation.
|4. Operation||xi. Systems installation.|
xii. Pilot project.
xiii. Data conversion.
xiv. Applications development.
xv. Conversion to automated operations.
|5. Audit||xvi. Systems review.|
xvii. Systems expansion.
The original idea to proceed with the adoption of an innovation such as GIS, may not have come from within an organisation, i.e. it might have been suggested from outside by a consultant or an aid organisation, or it might have been imposed by perhaps a parent company or by someone who has seen its success elsewhere. Alternatively, the GIS implementation idea may have come from within an organisation by an employee who has perhaps read about its potential, and who is keen to see a GIS adopted. By whatever means the innovation was first conceived, as with the inception of many new ideas, to make sure that its adoption is successfully it almost inevitably will require action by someone with what might be termed a “visionary or imaginative spirit”. This individual has been called the “champion” or the “initiator”. Clearly the person will need to be in the position of having complete understanding of all the prerequisites for success. He or she could be someone working at more or less any level in the organisation, as long as they have sufficient time to nurture the project implementation. The person will also need to have a very good idea of the potential which a fisheries GIS will have to offer.
It is vitally important to have, or to gain, the support for the implementation from any senior management who might be in some way involved. The “initiator” will usually be the person who will take the responsibility for advancing the GIS adoption plans through the various stages shown in Figure 8.1, although they, or the fisheries management, might decide that it is necessary to appoint a project planner. Whoever undertakes the task, the person will need the necessary degree of independence and authority to ensure that each phase can be activated in a potentially successful way.
One way in which the “initiator” can promote the idea for GIS adoption is through the organisation of internal or departmental seminars. These need to be well organised, using if possible external expertise to put over the more technical aspects of implementation, and to give a visual, illustrative idea of the capabilities of GIS. These seminars should also consider the repercussions of GIS implementation on the fisheries department and its current practices, and they should conclude by underlining the next implementation steps which would be necessary.
The aim of this Technical Paper is primarily to provide information concerning the application of GIS to various marine fisheries tasks, and there will be many readers who will be investigating the possibility of such an implementation. Clearly, before entering a commitment into what is a complex and broad ranging technology, it is sensible to find out as much as possible about what may be involved. A traditional way of deciding upon the utility of a proposed innovation, is to carry out a cost-benefit analysis. To do this in the case of most GIS's is usually difficult. Although a fair indication of the costs can be derived (with the exception of data costs), the benefits are far more difficult to calculate since in the main they are either very long term and they may be intangible, i.e. typically they represent additional or improved means of assessing spatially related considerations, or other considerations to which monetary values do not apply. Though various authorities in the past have given benefit/cost ratios, usually in the range of 2:1 to 4:1, the length of time over which these benefits accrue will vary enormously.
As an alternative to using cost-benefit analysis, it is frequently more rewarding to simply examine the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring a GIS from the viewpoint of a potential user, i.e. rather than from somebody who is within the GIS industry and who would therefore see GIS in a completely different light. Finding out any advantages and disadvantages must be an important initial task for the “initiator”. Although we include here an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of GIS near the beginning of the implementation procedures, we recognise that a consideration of these might be revisited after a systems requirement analysis had been undertaken (section 8.3.2). What follows is a listing, in no particular order, of firstly the main benefits of GIS, and then the main problems (costs or disadvantages) which may be encountered.
* GIS can allow for an advance from straight forward and traditional descriptive mapping, to prescriptive mapping.
* Once maps have been established in a digital format, then it is a simple task to update them, to change them, or to merge them with other maps in order to create new maps.
* GIS provides a huge range of tools which allow for accuracy of output and thoroughness of decision making.
* The range of potential graphic displays is almost infinite, allowing maps to be customised to suit situations and individuals or tasks, and allowing for visualisation experiments to take place.
* GIS contains the prerequisites for modelling scenarios, both from the research aspect and in operational resource management tasks. Multiple scenarios can be rapidly undertaken, and varying hypotheses can be tested.
* GIS allows for the easy and immediate integration of other large data sets, i.e. the technologies of, for instance, GIS and remote sensing or GIS and acoustic SONAR imagery, can be readily combined.
* GIS allows for the display of spatially related data in a way which is easily comprehensible to most people.
* The use of GIS greatly improves human productivity and the speed of working in all map producing operations.
* GIS allows for a regular flow of spatially related information in a standardised format. This might be for a given time series where all maps are produced together, or it might mean that periodically a new version of the same map can be produced.
* GIS allows for the production of one-off maps of a high quality, which would otherwise be non cost effective.
* GIS allows for high quality cartographic output from people who might have no cartographic skills.
* GIS implementation will undoubtedly have an impact upon the department, such that organisational changes will be necessary. There could well be “losers” in this process.
* The cost of data inputs will inevitably be high, either in terms of purchasing existing digital data, in carrying out digitising, or in setting up and maintaining data gathering systems. These costs could be unpredictable at an early stage. So the actual value of utilising a GIS is difficult to establish.
* The input sources to a GIS may be of a varying standard. This means that a certain degree of error propagation will be inevitable and the extent of this is difficult to measure.
* The means and degree of access to data sources will be variable. The legal position with regard to this is sometimes poorly determined or unnecessarily restrictive. There are copyright problems in making newly created data available.
* There is still a huge problem with explaining and describing the potential that a GIS has to offer. This is due to the intangible nature of the advantages, the fact that the system is quite complex, and the difficulty in many areas of acquiring the systems' prerequisites.
* Advances are being made in the general field of GIS which occur too rapidly for the average worker to keep up with, and which cause the rate of systems obsolescence to be very high.
* As yet there are still no universal standards for GIS data, i.e. for allowing the easy transfer of data between countries and systems.
* “User friendly” interfaces have been slow to materialise in GIS software, and some systems still rely on the knowledge of a complex command language. Much of the documentation could be described as “formidable”.
* There is still no easy way of finding out exactly what databases are in existence or what the rules of accessibility are.
For the GIS to be successful, it has to meet with the expectations of a variety of groups. These might include:
(a) The “initiator”. He or she will clearly have expectations of what is possible from the system and, since this person will have the greatest hopes of success, then he or she might prove the most difficult person to satisfy in terms of GIS operation and of output.
(b) The fisheries management. They will have been told that the GIS is capable of producing a range of output which is going to make their job easier. They will therefore be expecting “results”, and these might be required within some sort of hierarchical time scale, and to a certain level of clarity.
(c) The GIS operating team. This team may have quite a different make up from department to department, which usually accords with the scale of the GIS operation. Whatever its size, it will have expectations of the system in terms of not only meeting any output requirements, but also of the system's ease of use, its “user-friendliness”, and in terms of its future potential and job opportunities.
If all of the groups are to be satisfied, then a great deal of initial investigation is necessary. It is this investigation which makes up the systems requirement analysis (sometimes referred to as a feasibility study - or the “initial model” in Fig 8.2); it is important to differentiate between this and the next phase of the implementation, i.e. the systems design and proposals. The former, which is described in this section, is essentially concerned with identifying what it is that the GIS is going to be required to do, whilst the latter is concerned with how the GIS will be set up to perform any identified tasks. The systems requirement analysis itself must be conducted by staff and/or external consultants who understand most aspects of fisheries or aquaculture, and who are also aware of the full potential of GIS.
Obviously the first task, if it has not already been done, will be to explain to the requisite fisheries managers exactly what a GIS is and what it is capable of doing. This task itself might come in response to needs which have already been identified, or it might come in the form of suggestions from the “initiator”, or from an outside agency such as the FAO. It could be envisaged, for instance, that the fishery manager has identified a spatially related need such as “How much fishing effort is being put into sector x during the summer season?” or “Why is area y failing to produce fish in the quantities that it did last year?”. Equally, it could be envisaged that the fisheries manager will have no idea of the existence of GIS and therefore of its capabilities. It will then be in the initiator's (or outside agency's) interest to outline these possibilities, using examples where possible. For some larger GIS installations, then this is the point where a pilot project could be carried out in order to demonstrate the potential for GIS in a selected field. This might also be the time to review the experience which other companies or departments have had in setting up their own GIS's. All systems implementations will have experienced problems and will have found out “useful tips”. If possible, learn directly from others who have been “hands-on” users in other firms.
As a result of finding out the possibilities, it will be important for the fisheries managers, in conjunction with the “initiator” or an external consultant, to decide upon the range of functions and the spatial area(s) that they wish the GIS to initially cover, and the range that they hope will eventually be covered within a reasonable time scale. The scope of this could vary enormously, from perhaps a full fisheries management project covering an entire region, such as the Regional Maritime Database (BDRM) of the “Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation Between the African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean”, and its fisheries GIS component (Anon, 1993b), to a project which might only cover one small geographic area or fishery topic. Finding out the range of functions required for the GIS might be undertaken via a user needs survey, or through some form of multi-lateral discussions. It is important here to stress that whatever GIS output is required, it will only be obtained sequentially, i.e. there must be no expectations of a large array of output all being produced simultaneously by some given date. In our experience it is best to commence the introduction of GIS with a limited set of realistic goals. Since the number of processes to be gone through between establishing the goals for any GIS and actually obtaining them are so many, then it is important that the management realise that time scales for any output may need to be flexible.
The main factors influencing the GIS goals which are first chosen may not only be related to management requirements, i.e. they may also have to relate to the ease of achieving an output goal. Thus, for any goal, data will be required, and it is initially important to set initial goals for the GIS which relate to realistic data availability, plus the capability of achieving output from any early configuration of the total GIS set-up. It is also important to keep a track on any perceived eventual GIS goals so that there is always a target to be aiming for.
So one of the major tasks in the systems requirement analysis will be to seek out the availability of useful data, and to establish some form of data inventory-the beginnings of a meta database. Since this is such a time consuming task, it is going to have to be undertaken at an early stage and with a large degree of manual input. In Chapters 2 and 3 the whole of the data collection strategies were discussed in some detail. It will inevitably be found that some of the data needed does not exist in the requisite form, or does not exist at all, so a major part of the requirements analysis will be to work out any data gathering systems which may need to be put into place. There may be a case for further searching for existing data, or for ways of modifying existing data, or more frequently it will be necessary to establish how new data is to be secured.
The range of GIS output which is required in the foreseeable future will play a large part in determining the scale of the GIS in terms of both the system's size and its capability, and consequently in the financial and personnel investments which will be necessary. Again, we would advise in thinking comparatively small at first, and then in letting the GIS developments gradually evolve through the increased familiarity by all involved. We can confidently recommend this approach, since the physical costs of investments in the system at the start-up stage can now be very low indeed. Thus, in Chapter 5, we indicated that all the basics for a realistic fisheries management GIS, operating at a start-up level, could be purchased for less than US$5 000.
A further systems requirement factor which may be of importance relates to who the users of the GIS are going to be, or which department needs to be physically connected to the system when it is established. If the GIS is envisaged as simply operating as one small unit within perhaps a small fisheries department, or within one specified sector of a larger department, then this may not prove to be much of a consideration. However, it is more likely that the fisheries department itself is split between different physical sites, each of whom may wish to be involved with the GIS, or that the fisheries department wishes to be integrated to some other allied department or organisation, e.g. perhaps a department concerned with environmental management. In this case decisions will need to be made on the best siting for the GIS and what physical connections are desirable. Similarly, for a variety of security reasons, it will be necessary to decide on exactly who, or which departments, should be allowed access to the GIS.
At the end of the systems requirement procedure, it might well be decided that the fisheries department (or facets of the fisheries management) is not yet at a stage where it is ready to incorporate any GIS work into its activities. In this case GIS implementation may be abandoned, at least for the present. However, if this is the case, it would be as well to consider that a GIS might be taken up at a later date. Bearing this in mind, if any data collection systems are being put into place, then it is vital that they consider the incorporation of geo-referenced recording. It might also be the case that only a small amount of GIS work was found to be necessary, i.e. such that it was not worth the effort of setting up an internally operated system. In this case consideration should be given to contracting out the work to an external organisation. Obviously, the “pros and cons” of doing this will need careful consideration, and a consultant should be able to advise on this.
Having established exactly what the requirements of the GIS are, then it is essential to work out in detail an overall systems design, and to put this together as a GIS implementation proposal. This is sometimes called a strategic GIS development plan - or it may equate to the “conceptual model” in Figure 8.2. The main points for doing this are that it is clear in the mind of all the involved fisheries department personnel what the full extent of the plans are, and also that the implementors of the GIS know what is to be expected from the system. The strategic plan should be phrased mainly in terms of the output needed from the GIS rather than in any technical terms of how the system might operate. The plan will need to incorporate a degree of flexibility since, during the whole implementation stage, which for a complex system could last for two years, then there are certain to be many changes. Despite the timing uncertainties, it is useful to timetable approximate target dates by which all parts of the system should be in place and functioning.
With regard to GIS systems design, then it is difficult for us to give specific advice since it will be different in almost every situation. What we can usefully do however, is to propose a series of questions, covering four main areas of GIS implementation which need to be considered. The areas are: (i) hardware, (ii) software, (iii) total systems and (iv) personnel. The answers to these questions should be sought in conjunction with someone who is familiar with the requirements of the fisheries GIS such as the “initiator”, a project manager or with a GIS consultant. As well as these major areas, considerations will need to be given to all the other factors listed in Table 8.2.
|*||The location for a GIS.|
|*||Data acquisition, structuring and storage procedures.|
|*||Future data flow patterns.|
|*||Maintenance of the databases.|
|*||How to maintain quality of inputs and outputs.|
|*||Overall systems management.|
|*||Recommendations about a pilot study (if needed).|
|*||Listing of all functions to be automated.|
|*||Time schedules and milestones for the various activities.|
|*||An investment plan and budget, including insurance and depreciation.|
|*||Any restructuring of the organisation which might be necessary.|
|*||The geographic areas which the GIS will cover.|
|*||The subject areas which the GIS will cover.|
|*||The allocation of physical space for the GIS.|
Details on the various hardware components have been outlined in section 5.2. In making purchases (or leasing) any hardware, the main questions to consider are:
* What types of peripherals are required, e.g. pens for plotters. Are these peripherals readily available?
* What sort of maintenance agreements or guarantees exist? How much are servicing costs? What might be the expected quality of the back-up received?
* How user friendly is the prospective item? This includes both how easy is the item to use and are the manuals to understand.
* Where might the purchase best be made? Can I get independent advice on this?
* Given that the obsolescence rate on equipment is very rapid, i.e. an average of five years, are there any new models about to appear?
* What are the relative merits between various, but similar, pieces of equipment? How can this best be evaluated?
* Will the equipment be compatible with the rest of the system? How flexible or extendable is it?
* What quality, quantity, size, colour and range of output is required?
* How many users are likely to require access to the hardware and might this access be at the same time?
* How often might the hardware be used?
* What is the throughput requirement from each piece of hardware? This may be especially relevant to printing and plotting devices.
Clearly it would be possible to mention a range of lesser considerations, but these are the important ones relating directly to hardware acquisition. It is also important to mention that there is no “right” hardware to buy. What is decided upon will reflect personal preference, software choices, finance available, functional requirements, the degree of interaction with other systems, etc.
It is initially important to remember when selecting software, that there is unlikely to be one single GIS software package that will perform all the user requirements. This makes it inevitable that the software choice will be made in terms of selecting a suitable package which best performs a range of specified tasks. Further details on software were given in section 5.4. Some of the main questions which need to be asked include:
* Is it important whether or not the software is raster or vector based? Is it essential to have both capabilities?
* Which specific GIS software can best form the centre of the complete GIS?
* Since most software is now being marketed as a series of modules, which modules will it be important to buy?
* Can the software produce the necessary range of data manipulations and final output which is required?
* How much flexibility does the software have in terms of presentational output? Can the user design their own symbols and other presentational features?
* What operating systems will it be necessary to acquire? Are there facilities for communicating with other systems?
* Will extra database management packages be needed? If so which ones will best integrate to other software components?
* How user friendly is the software? Does it have a fully integrated menu system? How easy is this to understand?
* What support is given for the software? Are there telephone help lines? What degree of commitment to the user seems possible?
* What is the cost and approximate frequency of software updates? * Is installation performed by the software company? How much does this cost?
* Does the software company offer training facilities?
* How “open” is the software, i.e. can it easily be integrated with other software, including communications programs?
* How well does the GIS software perform on various types of hardware or hardware combinations? What might be the optimum hardware platforms for a particular package?
* What is the user instruction and system support documentation like?
* Does the software have facilities for restricting access?
* What are the means for restructuring any databases?
We have not included questions about the reliability of the software company, its reputation, its financial resources, its sales turn-over, etc., but if possible these should be discretely ascertained. Since it is often difficult to chose between one GIS software and another, Bernhardsen (1992) has suggested a way of evaluating between different systems (Figure 8.3). Here a, b, c and d represent four different GIS software packages.
In this section the questions for consideration are wider than in the previous sections, and they will include both hardware and software, i.e. here we are thinking in terms of the whole GIS as a functional system. Actual variations in configurations were discussed in section 5.3. The main questions to ask are:
* Should we go for a turnkey system? This is where the software company, or sometimes a specialist consultancy, develops a complete GIS package of hard and software, which is delivered to specifications for undertaking prerequisite GIS tasks which the user has set out. This method of GIS purchase is normal where large scale systems are planned. At this stage in the development of fisheries management GIS's, it is doubtful whether the systems requirement are such that specifications could be drawn up, though undoubtedly this will happen in the future.
* Are there particular departments who might wish to share in GIS activities, and where would it be beneficial to have direct computer links to? Will these need to be LAN's or WAN's?
* What are going to be the immediate computing systems configuration needs? Where should these be physically housed?
* How easy will it be to increase the system's functionality or to improve its performance? How flexible is the system?
* How will the whole system perform in the case of a power failure? How can the integrity of the system be restored after such a failure?
* What features exist to prevent unauthorised access to the system, or to specific parts of it?
* To what extent will the system be able to utilise any IT components which the department already possesses?
* Will all the data requirements be held in the department's own system, or are there external databases to which linkages must be made?
* Where can independent advice about system's configurations be obtained?
* How can data storage best be arranged? What storage capacity do we need now, or might we need in the near future?
Figure 8.3 An Evaluation Matrix for Selecting a Suitable GIS Software Package (from Bernhardsen, 1992)
As with considerations of hardware, there will be no correct configuration, and the final choice will depend on a number of factors. It can be guaranteed that nearly every GIS which is presently functioning will be configured in a slightly different way, with the range of possible combinations being almost infinite!
The implementation of GIS will not happen without personnel being involved. Until a few years ago it was extremely difficult to obtain most categories of GIS trained personnel. However, since various GIS education and training programmes have been functioning over a number of years, then this shortage problem has now been greatly ameliorated, though the situation will obviously vary between regions or countries. In many situations there will already be computing personnel who might be prepared and capable of taking on additional GIS work. It is important to realise that if only one person is allocated to GIS work, then they are likely to have to be very versatile, i.e. in the sense that GIS involves a detailed knowledge of not only computing and the intricacies of the software, but also of spatial analyses and probably matters relating to fisheries as well. The range of personnel skills which might be needed to manage and operate a fisheries department GIS includes systems administrators, GIS analysts, programmers, production personnel, support staff and cartographic technicians.
Implementation considerations regarding personnel require that a varied set of decisions are made and questions are asked:
* How exactly do we break down the GIS oriented tasks? What particular staffing mix do we need? Will it be feasible to allocate tasks fairly around so as to make optimum use of expensive personnel?
* Will it be necessary to hire new specialist workers? If so, how do we approach this task?
* Would it be better to promote people who already work at the fisheries department? How do we select such people?
* How do we train personnel? Is this better done “in house”, or should they be sent to an externally organised course?
* For what tasks do we require external people to act as consultants?
* At what level do we need to make appointments?
* How do we define the exact responsibilities for any new posts? How much decision making authority will each individual have?
* How do we best motivate a GIS team?
* Is it important that all employees see the value of GIS?
* Will the GIS implementation lead to personnel redundancies or the need to change job classifications? How should this be handled?
It is difficult to outline this section precisely since the procedures followed are often developed by individual organisations, who therefore have no choice but to follow the company's set of rules. However, certain basic factors should at least be taken into consideration.
Some documentation should have been prepared which sets out clearly, for the benefit of senior management or for any potential GIS suppliers, exactly what the aims of securing any GIS are, what its costs and benefits might be, and how it is envisaged that these aims can be secured in terms of hardware and software. The document would equate with the “detailed model” in Figure 8.2 and, in reality, it might well take the form of an “Invitation to Tender”. This is a document which sets out in detail the requirements of the total GIS, and which can be forwarded to potential GIS suppliers. They can then respond detailing likely costs and timings, and outlining exactly how they might propose to meet your requirements. Any potential systems supplier can be asked to carry out “benchmark testing”. Here several software companies are given an appropriate GIS task to perform, and the user can make his decision to purchase depending upon how well the tasks have been executed. We feel that it is unlikely that the application of GIS techniques to marine fisheries is yet at a stage where any very detailed tendering or benchmarking is necessary, though undoubtedly these will be prerequisites in the future.
At this stage in the development of GIS applications to fisheries management, it is most likely that procurement will result from recommendations made by the project planner or by a consultant. They should obviously be in a position to have registered the user needs as outlined above. In practice, the exact nature of the GIS acquired will reflect the local situation in terms of the budget available, the anticipated output scale of the GIS, the present existence of any hardware plus the local availability of any expertise or back-up. Where possible local purchases of software and hardware should be made, since this is where any after sales service will need to come from. If it proves difficult to find out who the local suppliers are, then this can be checked in one of the major GIS trade directories (see section 8.3). The trade directories also provide lists of companies who can advise or help with the complete GIS implementation programme.
Once a GIS has been successfully installed, there are still a number of tasks to be faced if the system is to continue to function satisfactorily. Thus it is very unlikely that the GIS will be producing any desired output from day 1. There remains a requirement therefore to ensure that the system delivers the benefits that were expected of it. This can best be achieved through undertaking some or all of the following:-
a) Preparing the Organisation. Part of the operations process which often receives insufficient attention is the preparation of the organisation (in this case usually a fisheries department) to receive the new technology. This will involve several important tasks. It is almost inevitable that the development of new working practices will have to take place. This may mean staff having to work to new routines, possibly in new venues and with a different set of duties, responsibilities and targets. For some employees this could cause stress and the necessity for sympathetic attitudes from colleagues and managers. We see it as important to initiate a GIS user group. This might constitute a multidisciplinary team and perhaps other interested parties, some from outside of the department on a part-time basis, usually from different “levels” within an organisation, and usually under the direction of the “initiator”. The main function of this group would be to plot and plan progress, to resolve problems and to keep other parties up-to-date with any progress that the GIS is making. From our experience with GIS implementation, it is of fundamental importance to familiarise other workers in an organisation about any implementation plans including the perceived uses of the GIS and the progress which is being made.
b) Training. Almost all personnel involved in the GIS adoption will require some training, and training requirements will certainly vary between individuals according to their previous experience. For some, perhaps the senior management, training might be simply a brief familiarisation of what GIS is and what its capabilities are. For most others, training will need to be of a more practical nature. In section 8.3 specific training needs are discussed, but here it is important to highlight some operative requirements.
It is essential that at least one member of the GIS team, probably but not necessarily the person in charge or the “initiator” (see section 8.2.1), has an overall working capability with the system. This does not mean that he or she needs to know absolutely everything. There may well be others who know more about certain areas, but it is important that someone has an overall conceptual vision of the entire required set of GIS processes. The reason for this is that, having a holistic view of the GIS processes, enables the best working practices to be established. This person will also be of use when other personnel are absent or when there are other working pressures. It is also important that at least one person has some specialist training in the use of the particular GIS software which is being used. Likewise, training will be needed in the operations of all hardware items. In making allowances for training, the department must be aware that upgrades of the software may be quite frequent, and familiarisation with these will be essential.
c) Management Involvement. It would be impossible for a GIS to be successful without having management support, since presumably the management are the people who know where the organisation or department is headed in terms of development, and since they are the ones who control the budget. This means that not only must the key management have been persuaded that a GIS is capable of bringing benefits to certain aspects of their management, but also that the management should play an active and interested role in fostering the development of the system. Managers should be aware of what is going on and they should be told of advances as they occur. It is only with their enthusiastic support that any future GIS advances will be made.
d) Service and Maintenance. All parts of the delivered system will require some maintenance and hardware should receive regular servicing. When the equipment is purchased then there are usually agreements which can be entered into which cover either or both of these.
e) Monitoring of Progress. Is the system living up to its expectations? It is very useful to have in place some form of GIS auditing procedures under which systems monitoring can be made. These procedures will have to be worked out in advance and may take the form of establishing targets which should be reached. Then auditing will take the form of measuring the extent to which targets have, or have not, been met. It is important that all parts of the GIS operation have a system for being checked, and that auditing and evaluation is in terms of both monetary and systems output targets. This monitoring will also be essential in planning realistic future GIS targets.
The auditing procedures can be useful in determining when to make changes in the GIS set-up. Thus, any single GIS cannot hope to keep up with all the advances in technology. There must be some stability otherwise users will be constantly working on keeping up with hardware or software version changes, rather than concentrating on actual problems. Planning and monitoring should anticipate future developments, but decisions to change cannot be made with precision, and they should not generally be made until absolutely necessary.
Until a decade ago, GIS was almost unknown. During the late 1980's the subject area began to take off and as the technology proliferated, then so too did all the aids to the technology's success. By 1990 there was already established a number of basic texts in GIS, some trade and academic journals had emerged, conferences had started to become held as annual events where the industry could show itself to those who were interested, various education initiatives had been fostered, and a range of back-up services had begun to emerge. Over the past five years all these facets of support and guidance have become well established, or have proliferated and now a far wider audience is accommodated. GIS is very much main stream in the subject areas of Geography and Information Technology or Computing. In this section it is our intention to provide a few leads as to where further guidance and support can be sought. Once the reader has embarked on this, he will quickly uncover a host of fresh leads. Our main problem in examining this whole area is that guidance and support is now offered on a world wide basis, and we cannot possibly hope to cover more than a very limited number of approaches. These are likely to be biased towards European sources.
Under this heading, we propose to examine those sources where some “hands on” experience in GIS can be gained. This will usually mean that the student, tutee, trainee, etc, will need to go to a venue where they will receive some kind of practical GIS tuition. Space will prohibit a consideration of guidance, education and training in all of the peripheral areas and in the hardware which may be allied to GIS. For readers who wish to find out more on general guidance and training, then we recommend Gilmartin and Cowen (1991), Goodchild and Kemp (1990), Green (1992), Gittings et al (1992) and Kemp et al (1992).
One of the problems with obtaining guidance and education in GIS is that the subject requires some knowledge from a wide subject range. Thus any student who is embarking on a GIS course which is of limited duration (say one year or less), invariably goes into it lacking at least some of the essential background knowledge or expertise and, since teaching time is limited, he or she may need to do a range of extra reading or research in order to get sufficient scope of experience. Added to this there is the problem of learning a range of computing skills and of gaining familiarity with a number of software programmes. So, in practice, very little practical knowledge may be able to be gained from most short GIS courses.
Within higher education establishments GIS tends to be taught in one of several ways. Firstly, a number of postgraduate degree or diploma GIS courses are available. These are usually of one year duration and, since they are often aimed at people who are already in employment, they may take the form of evening or distance learning courses. Most European and North American countries have institutions offering such courses. Secondly, GIS may form a complete unit or module of an undergraduate degree, usually associated with Geography but also with Computer Science courses. Many Universities or Colleges of Higher Education offer such programmes. GIS may also be integrated as one limited component of a an existing geography or computing module. This will be the case where pressure of space in the curriculum, or the lack of computing facilities, causes the teaching to suffer from a resource limitation. Some of the undergraduate courses are now also being offered on a distance learning basis. Finally, an example of a different approach is the type of course which is being put on by the University of Aberdeen, i.e. their B.Sc in Marine Resource Management. This course covers a broad spectrum of topics related to marine resources, but it is special in that the use of GIS (and to a lesser extent remote sensing) pervades all aspects of the course, so that the student finally gains competence in both the relevant theoretical material and also practical computing and GIS experience (Green and Stockdale, 1993). Figure 8.4 gives some idea of the range and number of GIS courses available in the UK.
Another way of obtaining hands on training is through the use of “in-house” exercises or tutorials which are supplied by some of the major software suppliers, or which are specifically written, usually by university departments. For instance, practical work books have been produced by Clark University in the USA to teach GIS through the use of their IDRISI software, by ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) to teach their ARC/INFO software, by Thinkspace to teach their MAPII software, and TYDAC, through its Institution for GIS in Education, has educational teaching materials for its SPANS software. Special tutorial books, which come with supporting disks, lecture notes, exercises, etc, include those by Langford (1993), Strachan et al (1992) and the IDRISI Project (1993). The Dutch company ITC, which produces the GIS software ILWIS, has a large educational programme, supported by various international agencies, which is aimed at introducing GIS to interested workers in the developing world. There are similar initiatives to teach the applications processes relative to image analysis. For instance, an excellent way of learning the basics of remote sensing, as it applies to the marine situation, is through the use of the “MARINF/90” tutorial programme (Robinson et al, 1993), which is produced through UNESCO. These are a set of computer based modules which cover a wide variety of marine RS applications, and they can either be worked through individually, or they could form part of an undergraduate level teaching programme.
There are still other ways of obtaining hands on GIS experience. Some of the Universities and the software houses put on very short courses, i.e. typically of one to three days duration, giving almost no time for practical sessions. These are primarily aimed at people in business who require a working knowledge of the functionality of GIS. These courses can be very expensive to attend, though some are put on cheaply (or free) with the ulterior motive of persuading the attendees to purchase the software of the promoting company. Some private companies who may have strong links with GIS activities, also put on a variety of relevant courses, e.g the Groupement pour le Developpement de la Teledetection Aerospatiale (GDTA) in Toulouse, France, provides an extended range of GIS related courses. Another way of gaining experience, or at least familiarity, is through the use of specifically designed GIS tutorial software. The main product here is GIST, the GIS Tutor produced by Birkbeck College at the University of London (Raper, 1992). GIST was developed in Hypercard for use on Apple Macintosh computers but it is now also available in the Windows environment. Through the “hypertext” concept the user is able to follow through linked concepts along eight main themes (Figure 8.5). There are hundreds of information cards along the theme lines, many of which are animated thereby allowing user interaction with the tutorial package. The tutorial is mouse-driven so that no commands have to be learned. Another GIS training package, GISTARS (Geographic Information STARter System), has been developed by the Pennsylvania State University specifically as a package which can easily be adopted in developing countries. It has an in-built digitising capability, the documentation is self contained, it runs on very basic PC's and it has been field tested in rural India (Myers, 1990).
Figure 8.4 GIS Courses Available in the UK
Figure 8.5 A Sample Page from the GIS Tutor Programme
Academic journals and trade magazines which cater wholly or partly for GIS now appear world- wide. The trade magazines are useful sources for finding out recent GIS developments and applications, as well as for locating suppliers through the advertisements. They also give complete listings of various GIS services which are available, plus the names and addresses of suppliers and of GIS related organisations. Some of the main GIS related journals and trade magazines (#) are listed in Table 8.3.
|*||The Cartographic Journal.|
|*||Cartography and Geographic Information Systems.|
|*||Computers and Geosciences.|
|*||Geo Info Systems.|
|*||GIS Europe (#).|
|*||GIS Progressions (#).|
|*||GIS World (#).|
|*||International J. of Geographic Information Systems.|
|*||Mapping Awareness (#).|
|*||Mapping Sciences and Remote Sensing.|
|*||Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing.|
|*||Surveying World (#).|
Listed in Table 8.4 are a selection of books on GIS which give a good general coverage at an introductory level.
|*||Antenuci et al (1991).|
|*||Hart and Tulip (1994).|
|*||Laurini and Thompson (1992).|
|*||Maguire et al (1991).|
|*||Masser and Blakemore (Eds) (1990).|
|*||Peuquet and Marble (Eds) (1990).|
|*||Star and Estes (1990).|
Most of the major software suppliers also produce a regular or periodic “newsletter” which is aimed at both promoting their activities and at giving information on recent or forthcoming software improvements. There are also some trade or business directories which, although comparatively expensive, do provide a large amount of valuable information. Three major directories which are published regularly are:
* AGI - Source Book for Geographic Information Systems.
* Cambridge Market Intelligence - GIS Report: A Definitive Guide to Geographic Information Systems.
* Frost and Sullivan - World Geographical Information Systems Software and Services Markets.
As indicated above, there is now range of support and back-up services available to the GIS sector. These services are mostly supplied by specialist agencies or consultancies, and their existence and location can usually be found through relevant trade directories. Examples of these back-up services, excluding the hardware and software companies themselves, are shown in Table 8.5.
|*||Projects and systems services.|
|*||Quality assurance control services.|
|*||Data conversion services.|
|*||Technical consultancy services.|
|*||Applications development services.|
|*||Survey and mapping services.|
A number of learned societies or associations have emerged which are specifically constituted to cater for GIS in individual countries or regions. They are listed alphabetically in Table 8.6.
|*||AESIGYT (Asociacion Espanola de Sistems de Informacion Geografica y Territorial) - Spain|
|*||AGI (Association for Geographic Information) - UK|
|*||AM/FM (Automated Mapping Facilities Management) - Switzerland|
|*||American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - USA|
|*||CCGISE (Canadian Centre for Geographic Information Systems in Education) - Canada|
|*||Centre for Spacial Information Systems - Australia|
|*||CNIG (Conseil National de l'Information Geographique) - France|
|*||EUROGI (European Umbrella Organisation for Geographical Information) - Europe|
|*||GIAC (Geomatics Industry Association of Canada) - Canada|
|*||Kort-Og Matrikelstyrelsen - Denmark|
|*||National Centre of Expertise for Geographic Data-Processing - Netherlands|
|*||NCGIA (National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis) - USA|
|*||NKTF (Norges Karttenkniske Forbund) - Norway|
|*||Polish Association for Spatial Information - Poland|
|*||ProGIS (National Land Survey Department) - Finland|
|*||SPDG (Syndicat Professionnel de la Geomatique) - France|
|*||ULI (Utvecklingsradet for landskapinformation) - Sweden|
Major GIS conferences are usually organised annually by learned societies. Some of these conferences are run in conjuction with a trade exhibition. The exhibitions can be a useful way of acquiring general information, of getting an up-to-date view on any software or hardware developments. They are also a useful venue for comparing the relative appearance and performance of competing products. Most vendors will be willing to demonstrate the individual capabilities of their systems. The conferences themselves usually produce useful “Conference Proceedings”. The international conferences are shown in Table 8.7.
|*||AGI(Association for Geographic Information) - (UK)|
|*||AUTO-CARTO (Automated Cartography) - (USA)|
|*||AM/FM (Automated Mapping and Facilities Management) - (USA)|
|*||Geosciences and Remote Sensing Symposium - (USA)|
|*||GIS/LIS - (Europe and USA)|
|*||GISRUK (Geographical Information Systems Research in the United Kingdom) - (UK)|
|*||EGIS (European Geographic Information Systems) - (Europe)|
|*||ICORG (International Conference on Remote Sensing and GIS) - (India)|
|*||IGARSS (International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium) - (Europe)|
|*||International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling - (USA)|
|*||MARI & Geomercatique - (France)|
There are a number of consultants who specialise in GIS. Most of them either specialise in particular areas of study, e.g. Utilities applications, Forestry GIS, GIS for surveying and land planning, etc, or they specialise in particular aspects of GIS such as database structuring and management or systems design. In some countries government information offices can provide details about consultants and organisations such as the FAO or other United Nations agencies have registers of consultants. Alternatively there are a number of directories of consultants. Many of the trade magazines and the GIS Yearbooks also give details on consultants, e.g. the AGI Geographic Information Source Book for 1994 lists 40 independent GIS consultancy services.
Another way of finding out more about GIS is via computer networking. Once the reader has access to the Internet, then there are a number of networking subscriber lists which can be joined for no charge, and these can be contacted as a method of not only finding out about a range of GIS activities, but also as a means of sending messages in order to solve specific problems. The network can also be used as a basic reference source. So much information is available that it is possible to pursue in some depth almost every aspect of GIS. The quality and quantity of information found on the network may be highly variable from subject to subject, but with new material being added all the time, then it is worth pursuing further. In section 3.3.1 we outlined references to help with networking. There are a number of GIS videos which have been produced and which can now be purchased cheaply. These offer introductions to the potential of GIS from various perspectives. A final way of finding out more about GIS is via bibliographic data searches. Most main public libraries, government department libraries or academic libraries have been implementing various search methods. Some still rely on searching via microfiche, but most are now going over to either straight-forward computer on-line facilities, which show (via a menu system) the contents of the particular library housing the facility, or to specialist CD-ROM disks which contain all the recent publications on a particular subject area.