Monthly Archives: April 2013

Cost Component of GIS Implementation

Cost Components of GIS Project

GIS project is costly and involve lot of resources. However, if implemented successfully it will bring you many folds of benefits in making the right decision and even saving lives. Unfortunately many GIS project started without proper budget planning. Ends up the projects are either stranded half way or being compromised by substandard implementation due to insufficient funding.

There are many reasons that might fail a GIS project. From budgeting perspective, under estimating the budget amount is one of the most common mistakes made by GIS implementation team.

Hence, let’s spare a moment to dissect the cost structure of a typical project and make sure you have at least taken the following into consideration when doing your next GIS project budgeting. Similar to any project budgeting, it is imperative to understand the basic components/ ingredients needed to start a GIS project, namely:-

  • Software – GIS, RDBSM, Operating Systems
  • Hardware – Workstation/Server/Storage/Backup/Plotter/Mobile devices
  • Services – Application development, system architecture design, database design
  • Training – Important for proper transfer of technology and knowledge (ToTK)
  • Data Acquisition, Data Conversion & QAQC – Raster to vector, vector to vector
  • Maintenance for Software, Hardware & Data – Else your solution will not be upgraded
  • Infrastructure – Site preparation, cabling and networking (if involving new office unit)

These cost components are equally important, inter-related and inter-connected. To some extend it is almost impossible to cut budget at certain specific scope, without impacting the overall performance of the GIS system.

I’m sure you have heard a lot of the following scenarios:-

  • Project A is not well accepted because the overall system is slow and the users are frustrated. While the software normally gets the blame, but in reality most of the speed performance issues are related to under estimating the hardware specification.
  • Project B purchased the most sophisticated software and hardware but did not budget effort for implementation services. Worst still, the in-house staff are not yet trained to handle the new system. Ends up the hardware and software remain unwrap and become a white elephant project.
  • Project C started off and finished well within project timeline, budget and quality expectation. However without the maintenance budget the system becomes out-dated due to constant advancement in hardware and software. After 12 – 18 months, the commissioned system is at least 1 version behind the latest technology release cycle and not able to maximize all the improvements and new features that come with the latest release. Eventually the system becomes obsolete due to lack of maintenance/upgrade.

There are many more similar cases that you’ve experienced before. It is sufficed to mention a few to elaborate my points. Hope this will help you to plan ahead better. Wish you all the best in your GIS implementation journey.


The Star Online Interactive Election Map

The Star Online - Election Map - Supportive

If you are The Star Online reader, you probably have noticed that the largest English news portal in Malaysia has embarked on their GIS journey by using GIS map to cover news story for upcoming general election.

Currently the general election result map is displaying interactive result for previous general election (GE12/ PRU12). On Election Day, the result map will show live progressive polling result for both state and parliament seats of GE13/ PRU13. Users can access this election map using their preferred devices/ platform i.e. desktop, tablet or smartphone (mobile version is made available too).

The application offers a simple way for anyone to discover election results. Results for relevant political contests will be presented in a series of information pods such as candidate names, number of votes, percentage of votes by candidate, voter turnout and result summary by state summarized in interactive bar/pie chart in the information panel at the bottom of the application. Users can locate election district and review election results. In addition, users can click on the Share Map button to share the map by email, post to Facebook wall or post a Tweet with URL auto-generated from the app.

This election map result app is configured using Esri location government election result viewer template and offers a map-based view of election results supported on multiple web browsers and smart device platforms. It is a JavaScript/HTML5 application and configuration of ArcGIS for Server that provides election results information to the general public and other interested parties.

Presenting election results in a map format helps reveal voting patterns, behaviours and provide valuable information to political parties, candidates and general public. This is an excellent example of leveraging the power of map to tell stories and put information in geographic context.

Bravo and kudos to The Star Online team for their bold step forward and at the forefront of using GIS technology to enhance election news coverage.

More details can be found on the following links:-