Caceres GIS. Municipality of Cáceres

The Geographic Information System (GIS) of the Municipality of Cáceres emerged from the effort, dedication and vision of future thanks to some technicians who saw, in the digital cartography and the automatic processing of data, the future of the territorial representation.

The Municipality, as territorial entity, handles a big amount of georeferenced data (estimated at 90%). The GIS can serve as an element that centralizes information from different sections and municipal departments, providing it with the consistency necessary for an integrated management of the information.

The subscribed agreement with the Junta de Extremadura for the adquisition of the cartography of the city in 1996, as well as for the upgrade of material (hardware, software and GPS) in 1998, allows to complete the basic instrumental configuration of the GIS.

There only was lack of staff, perhaps the most important thing. In February 1999, the first person joins the GIS and works exclusively for it. Thus, the sistem started about the middle of 1999, when the entire hardware and software equipment is installed and configured properly. Later, and in particular, in 2002 it is given the Geographic Information System more staff, joining a Technical Engineer in Topography, and a Technical Engineer in Computer science like a temporary member. This one has been renewed anually up to now.

One of the most highlighted aspects of the Caceres GIS is that has been created from the own Municipality, with all the advantages and disadvantages that it implies. The advantages include:

  • The Municipality is the owner of the system, so it does not depend on external companies.
  • The costs are notably minor, or at least distributed in more time.
  • The system is adapted to the municipal needs. Any change can be done on the way.

But it also has its disadvantages, among them, the most notable is the slowness in the implementation of GIS services. Thus, from booting up the system to the current state has been necessary 7 years.

Initially integrated into the Service of Urbanism, the first steps of SIG focus on this subject: digitalization of the Special Plan and PGOU. Later, it is assigned to the Technical Services, and with it the horizons are broadened thanks to the addition of Cadastre, some networks of infrastructures, the municipal inventory, the street directory, etc.

The GIS started as a caprice to many people, but as the offered services have been increasing, it has turned into an indispensable tool of consultation for a great part of the municipal technicians.

The following sections show the evolution of the GIS of Cáceres. The idea that is tried to transmit is that the GIS is an alive system, that never ends; the maintenance is continuous and it must always be updated as better as possible. All the basic components of a GIS must evolve: hardware, software, cartography and staff.