GIS as Decision Making Tool for Leader and Politician

GE-13With the 13th General Election (GE-13) is around the corner, let’s talk about what can politician – both government and opposition can be benefited by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS).

By and large, how a leader is perceived by the public to great extend is based on his/her ability to make the right decision. When leaders make a rationale decision that is strongly supported by accurate facts, most up-to-date data, the politician can be confident that they have made the best informed decision at that juncture. GIS can be used as a content /database management system that organize, store, retrieve data based on location that allow information to be presented in timely, complete and accurate manner on desktop, web, mobile, smartphones (iOS, Android, Windows) or tablet PCs.

GIS allows politicians to flexibly integrate data from different departments, in different format, i.e. population data in Excel from Statistical Department, district boundary in geographical format from state government, location of road improvement projects from Public Work Department (JKR) in textual project address (i.e. KM 25, Jalan Persekutuan), combine with personal knowledge and simulation workflow such as what-if analysis, GIS allows leaders to visualize the result geographically (can pin point the location, proximity, distribution patterns, etc).

This will definitely help our leaders to identify/ analyse the problem and make the right decision for area/location impacted or potentially impacted by their decision. If address and census data is made available, the leaders will be able to know how many household are impacted by his decision within any buffer/radius or geographic extend defined by him/her.

Take example of MRT expansion project, instead of debating about possibility of the MRT route based on abstract sentimental and cultural value of the area, our leaders can communicate why the decision was made that way with better clarity and accuracy.

Isn’t it more convincing, if our leader can communicate the facts more clearly by stating i.e. the planned route A incur the least burden on people because only 3% of land will be under  acquisition impacting only 10 unit of household, but potentially bring economic benefits to 10,000 people within 1 km buffer along the MRT line. Compare to expansion Plan B which incurring more burden to people but less economic benefits, etc ?

If visualize these information on a map, I’m sure the leader will able to communicate the situation better and able to make more informed decision that will make them popular/ well respected. Against the GE-13 backdrop, isn’t that’s exact what’s needed by our leaders ?

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