Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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The current situation in Serbia

The use of Geographic Information Systems for planning and administrative tasks is not an entirely new topic in Serbia. Most municipalities of bigger cities in Serbia already count with Geographic Information Systems, based on locally different software solutions. However, many of the smaller cities are not sufficiently equipped with adequate software and / or lack human resources for the implementation and maintenance of those systems. As a result, many spatial and especially urban plans on local level are still only available in AutoCAD format without spatial reference, integrated attribute tables and the possibility for spatial analysis. In some cases the plans are even only available in hard copy format. Based on this given situation, from 2011 to 2014, the project “Strengthening of local land management in Serbia” supported an intensification of the use of Geographic Information Systems in local administrations, either through the provision of software and professional trainings or through upgrades with additional features and data for spatial analysis on different topics.

Why to implement Geographic Information Systems?

A Geographic Information System is an important working tool for the analysis, planning and administrative activities of municipalities.
Compared to simple drawing tools, often used for the elaboration of the maps for spatial and urban regulation plans, Geographic Information Systems include geocoded data with integrated attribute tables and enable the municipality to perform spatial analysis or search requests, to simple presentation of data in maps and easier monitoring of spatial development.
Spatial analysis elaborated based on the use of Geographic Information Systems support decision making processes for politicians and within the administration. Furthermore, the spatial data managed and / or analysed in Geographic Information Systems can be used to present spatial data to interested citizens, investors, enterprises, associations and other stakeholders during planning processes or to inform them on general possibilities, constraints and usage possibilities in different spatial units.

Professional trainings for municipal staff

In 2011 the project supported 3 small Serbian municipalities of Majdanpek, Despotovac and Kladovo in the development of local Geographic Information Systems (GIS). For that purpose, the project provided the municipalities with GIS software and assisted the municipal staff in its implementation. A national GIS expert elaborated a manual for the use of the specific software and performed professional trainings on the implementation, use and maintenance of the Geographic Information System for technical staff of the three municipalities.
Furthermore, the municipal staff received assistance for the technical work of digitalisation and georeferencing of spatial and urban plans from AutoCAD or hard copy format, for their transfer into the Geographical Information System.

GIS-based analysis of real estate values

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Screenshots GIS SuboticaScreenshot of the elaborated GIS based information system on real estate values in Subotica

In local pilot projects in Subotica, Valjevo and Zrenjanin, the GIZ project supported the implementation of a new feature for information on real estate values within the municipalities into the local Geographic Information Systems. Based on automatized analysis of average purchase prices in different areas of the municipality, the system permits inquiries and can generate real estate value maps for the use of the administration, interested citizens or investors. The availability of those data and generation of value maps contributes to an improved transparency of the local real estate market. A web-based application developed by a national GIS expert permits the access to and use of the data for different municipal institutions.

Implementation of a Web-GIS in Čačak

The main goals of a pilot project in Čačak has been the improved provision of spatial information on usage possibilities, constraints and general regulations resulting from spatial and urban plans, concerning individual cadastre parcels within the municipality. The support for the implementation of a web-based Geographic Information System in Čačak should provide the municipality with a tool for the simplification of cooperation and data exchange between municipal institutions, as well as for increased transparency for citizens and possible investors.

DRP Cacak.Detailed Regulation Plan of the historic centre of Čačak in pdf-format

As a first step of improving the access to spatial data, one of the main activities of the first phase of the project, from 2011 to 2012, has been to publish all existing spatial and urban plans for Čačak as pdf-files on the municipalities’ homepage. For the later transfer of spatial and urban plans from their current Auto CAD format into a Web-GIS application, a national GIS expert elaborated a UML-data model, based on national as well as European standards for the publication and exchange format of spatial data. The elaborated UML-data model for the municipality of Čačak has been reviewed by and discussed with German and Serbian experts and approved by the technical staff of the municipality and is now ready for its implementation.

data model The UML data model elaborated for Čačak