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The status quo of GIS in municipal town planning departments in Gauteng and in the education of town planners

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dc.contributor.author Marais, Hester J. W.
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-15T07:42:22Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-15T07:42:22Z
dc.date.issued 2008-08-15T07:42:22Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/858
dc.description.abstract Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are no longer new to the Town & Regional Planning (TRP) profession and have been implemented by different municipalities worldwide. The effective use of a GIS by municipal Town & Regional Planning departments in Gauteng would accelerate planning processes and enable more complex decision-making. This would expedite more effective land development administration associated with urban growth (Masser et al, 1996, p.195). This study investigates, by means of a mail survey and telephonic follow up conversations, the extent of use of GIS by the twenty-three municipal Town & Regional Planning department offices in Gauteng. Factors that, according to literature (Longley et al, 2001, p.346), could possibly result in limited GIS use, are identified and investigated with regard to each factors significance and further investigated. This includes a specific investigation into whether a GIS is available to Town & Regional Planning department offices, either on municipal level and/or departmentally as well as an investigation into the extent and quality of the GIS training of employees in a department office. The study establishes that the extent of use of GIS by the municipal Town & Regional Planning department offices in Gauteng is limited. Further, that GIS availability as well as GIS training are significant problem factors contributing to limited GIS use (Chapter 2). The absence of a GIS at municipal level in the six municipal regions in Gauteng, as possible cause to GIS availability problems as posed by literature (Easa et al, 2000, p.26), does not significantly contribute as a cause to less GIS availability, should a department office rely on using a municipally implemented GIS. The study identifies that a municipally implemented GIS, in most cases managed centrally in a specific department, is set up conducive for use by municipal Town & Regional Planning department offices. The study specifically establishes that although a GIS and Town & Regional Planning data may be 100% available via a network, some department offices may experience GIS availability problems because of the inadequate development of an intranet to serve a wider local area, and/or the absence of an Internet GIS (Chapter 3). Further investigation into whether GIS availability problems have their origin at departmental level, as posed by literature (Easa et al, 2000, p.11), establishes that a smaller GIS has been implemented departmentally by 43% department offices themselves. Only three of the thirteen department offices, without a departmental GIS, can access a municipal implemented GIS. These findings indicate the origin and nature of GIS availability problems experienced, since 8% of department offices do not have either a municipal or departmental GIS and 35% of department offices are experiencing problems to access a municipally implemented GIS, indicating why 82% of the department offices experience GIS and data availability problems which limits GIS use (Chapter 4). An investigation into the origin and cause of specific GIS training problems, experienced by 91% of the responding department offices’ employees, establishes that GIS departmental training problems are caused by a lack of GIS knowledge and/or employees with a Town & Regional Planning qualification that does not seem to have GIS as a subject, since 82% of the department offices indicate a need for GIS short courses (Chapter 4). Research into the formal Town & Regional Planning qualification as offered by the ten accredited tertiary institutions, with regard to the incorporation of GIS as a subject, establishes that the inclusion of the subject in the curriculum is not a significant cause of GIS training problems (Longley et al, 2005, p.431). The more recent introduction of the subject GIS into the curriculum explains why some employees have a formal qualification without GIS as subject. Specific problems are identified that negatively affect the teaching of GIS as a subject and cause a need for GIS study material that is specifically tailored for Town & Regional Planners (Chapter 5). The availability of a GIS and GIS training of department office employees is interrelated in facilitating effective use of GIS by municipal Town & Regional Planning department offices in Gauteng. This study specifically establishes that where a GIS exists at municipal level, such a system has to be made accessible to department offices within. This could be achieved either through appropriate development of the current inadequate intranet and/or the Internet, or further the implementation of a smaller GIS in department offices without a GIS. In addition, short courses should be offered in GIS for employees who did not have GIS as a subject when they qualified as well as to lecturers at tertiary institutions, who are not qualified to teach GIS. The offering of these GIS short courses can be supported through the developing of GIS study material tailored for Town & Regional Planners. These interventions, if implemented, will contribute to better GIS availability in municipal Town & Regional Planning department offices in Gauteng as well as GIS training of the Town & Regional Planning profession as a whole, resulting in more effective use of GIS. en
dc.description.sponsorship Dr. L.G.C. Scheepers en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Geographic information systems en
dc.subject City planning en
dc.subject City planners en
dc.subject Gauteng (South Africa) en
dc.title The status quo of GIS in municipal town planning departments in Gauteng and in the education of town planners en
dc.type Thesis en

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