Use of geographic information systems with open source solutions, an approach to access edemocracy & egovernment

Nowadays the advance of technology enables innovation for democracy, government and governance [2]. E-Governance takes advantage of it and uses the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) [11,8,6], that allow a centric governance (Meier, 2012; Saxena, 2005). The emergence of E-Governance allows E-Government, E-Democracy and E-Business, among other digital services [7]. The use of ICTs in EGovernment boost citizens to act and promote the enhancement of civil rights and the access of information and knowledge society [5] allowing a better governance and improving the public services [13]. E-Government simplifies the user’s access to the information, providing full service by using government applications that reduce operational costs [9]. A basic example of E-Government is shown in [8], where payment of parking tickets is done online using electronic means rather than physical ones. Local governments have been one of the major users of Geographic Information System (GIS) [4]. One of the uses of digital spatial information is the treatment of urban services and the finding of related solutions [12]. The transition between digital cities into smart cities needs 3D geospatial framework, including the integration of GIS, Global Position System (GPS) and Remote Sensing [4]. All of this information is provided to the citizens in services like websites or portals that offer mapping geospatial services [10]. Today humanity has a wide range of issues; to solve them we use information and different levels of knowledge. No matter what the issue is in real life, to solve a problem some kind of spatial information is used. Based on what was said before, people such us: directors, technicians, customers or just citizens need to know and manage this spatial information.

But, why spatial data is special? Spatial is special because whit the advantage of technology all feature or phenomena could be represented by spatial location. Spatial data brings us measures of the feat- re you are looking for and gives this spatial reference of it. The term feature could be taken as service, location, place of interest, hot spot in different fields, markets influence, etc. In other words, we can represent the real world and the human activity with spatial information and show it on maps, charts or tables. All this knowledge of spatial data makes sense when decision makers or just citizens are able to use spatial information to get new knowledge and take better decisions; one example could something as simple as choosing the best route to get home, or something complex like the construction of a new route for public transportation in the down town. In order to better understand the facilities that GIS could offer it is necessary to know basic concepts of components and functions of GIS and the type and structure of spatial information. An important issue of spatial information is the existence of two types of formats that are widely spread: vectorial and raster data formats [1]. The first format is represented by vectors (points, lines and polygons); the second one is represented by pixels present in aerial photos and satellite images. Nowadays in general, the information depicted in maps is represented by a mixture of both formats. In this talk, we use open source software that allows to access and use spatial information; the software used for the practices are QGIS and GvSIG. This software could be downloaded for free from the Web because they have open source licenses. Finally, to understand concepts and management of spatial data some practices will be done by using one of the above applications mentioned.

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