While the title of the blog taken from a Malay proverb exaggerates the issue, it is an accepted norm that human tend not to see their own mistake but others better. To make matters worse, the problem multi-folds when a task is monotonous, dull and tedious where repetitious work usually gets mentally auto-corrected. An example of this is the collection of planning data but creative thinking helps. Instead of passing the buck to the coordinator, the buck is now passed back instead to the source by the development of a system that checks for planning data quality. This system was developed in 2010.

The National Landuse Information Division (BMGN)  has been traditionally been accused of the preparation of poor quality of landuse data but in fact that data cleaning must be seen as a collaborative effort between Project Offices (the regional coordinators of development plans) and BMGN. As a remedial measure to overcome the poor quality of landuse data, BMGN initiated a system to check the quality of planning data and ensures they adhere to the Manual on Geographic Information System (GIS) for Development Plan studies. This system automatically checks the quality of the planning data later generates a report. The system comprises 4 modules: organizational layer; database structure module; data spatial quality module and data attribute quality module.

When a landuse layer is activated by the system, selection of a module direct the system to undertake specific tasks to analyze that layer based on a check and balance concept comparing details of the landuse layer against technical requirement of the GIS Manual and then highlights error if any.

Module 1: Organiztional Layers

The module checks level of the organizational layers that represent the main database component for development plans ie State Structure Plan and Local Plan. It ensures that the file name follows proper folder structure. Eg. 01_Perancangan Fizikal.

Module 2 : Database Structure

This module checks the database structure of the geospatial data to ensure it meets the department’s requirement. Geospatial data must comply with the field names and specified types in the database structure.

Module 3 : Data Spatial Quality

This module checks the coordinate reference system and data topology to ensure there is no coordinate and topology error. It ensure all layers must be in State Cassini Soldner projection and detects topology error in landuse, committed and zoning layers because incorrect results can occur when GIS operations are performed. By checking against topological rules, topology data checks do not correct data but identify location of the incorrect data.

Module 4: Data Attribute Quality

This module checks landuse data properties on current landuse, committed and zoning layer and ensure they follow the proper landuse classification, colour and landuse code. 7 mistakes can be highlighted including landuse code, landuse classification, colour code, null attribute, null polygon, no landuse field, and no colour code field errors.

The benefits of this system include:

  • Ease to use.
  • Fast way to detect error in the GIS database structure submitted by the consultant.
  • Expedite the checking process.
  • Consolidate the errors by generating a report.

In order to ensure minimal error occurs, it is recommended that not only do the Project office use the system to monitor the quality of the data proposed but that a copy of the system is even initially used by the consultants themselves when preparing the geo-spatial data. Thus such geo-spatial data can be checked, counter-checked and triple-checked by the consultant, Project Office and BMGN respectively.

To conclude, humans are not prefect thus it is not surprising that errors may occur in that respect the system is more a remedial measure in resolving poor quality planning data submitted by planning consultant pertaining to GIS geospatial data of development plan.

Sadly, it cannot serve as a preventive measurement to that problem which would be great as that would be killing 2 birds with one stone. This problem with the human element and concern, among others issues of norm integrity, professionalism, positive thinking and a change in mindset away from apathy or tidak apa attitudes.

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