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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON DESIGN OF A WEB BASED DIRECTORY WITH A GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (G.I.S.) FRONT-END FOR HOSPITALS IN IBADAN METROPOLIS
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- Name: DESIGN OF A WEB BASED DIRECTORY WITH A GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (G.I.S.) FRONT-END FOR HOSPITALS IN IBADAN METROPOLIS
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This project aimed at designing a Directory for Hospitals in Ibadan Metropolis with a Geographic Information System frontend (hospitalgeodirectory). The background to this study was set first by noting that reliable information and effective communication are crucial elements in public health practices and that this can be engendered by the use of appropriate technologies which can increase the quality and the reach of both information and communication.
Hospitalgeodirectory, a web-based directory system with Geographic Information System (GIS) frontend was chosen as the best alternative after analysis. This combines the capability of the directory to provide adequate information about the existence and or availability of hospitals in a particular area with the location awareness capabilities of a GIS. Data about the hospitals considered was collected through interview, observation and the use of GPS and digital camera.
The System was developed following the System Development Life Cycle. The application has MySQL as its backend and PHP as the middleware. Asides other referral information in the directory, the database also contain geographic data of the hospitals from which the the google map geographic system used pulls data, using the Geotagging method. The System was implemented on a Pentium IV 2.4 GHz Intel MMX PC. A basic familiarity with the usage of computers and Windows operating environment as well as the ability to use the GPS to collect spatial data is needed by users for administrative tasks such as updating the database. The cost of putting the system in place was also estimated to be N285,000. Cost benefit analysis of the system shows that the benefits of the system outweighs the cost.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi
LIST OF TABLES x
LIST OF FIGURES xi
LIST OF APPENDICES xii
1.1. Background to the Study 1
1.2. Statement of the Problem 6
1.3. Objectives of the Study 7
1.4. Justification for the Study 7
1.5. Methodology 8
1.6. Scope and Limitations of the Study 9
1.7. Definition of Terms 10
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction 11
2.2. Importance of Hospital Directories 11 2.3 An Information System 12
2.3.1 Types of Information Systems 16
2.3.2 Systems Development Life Cycle 17
2.4 What is GIS? 20
2.4.1. GIS: A historical perspective 23
2.4.2. Benefits of GIS 24
2.4.3. Technical advantages of GIS 26 2.4.4 Internet GIS 27
2.5. Database Management System (DBMS) 28
2.5.1. Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) 30
2.5.2. Spatial Database 31
3. SYSTEM ANALYSIS
3.1 Introduction 33
3.2 Description of Data Collection Methods 33
3.3 Analysis of Existing System 35
3.3.1. Description of Existing System 35
3.3.2. Shortcomings of the Existing System 35
3.4 Alternative to the Existing System 37
3.5 Feasibility Study 38
3.5.1 Technical Feasibility 38
3.5.2 Operational Feasibility 39
3.5.3 Economic Feasibility 40
3.6 Selection of Alternative 40
4. SYSTEM DESIGN
4.1 Introduction 41
4.2. Objective of the New System 41
4.3. Description of the New System 41
4.3.1 Features of the New System 42
4.3.2 Elements of the New System 43
4.4 Development Tools 43
4.5 Input Design 44
4.6 Output Design 48
4.7. File/Database Design 49
4.8 System flowchart 50
4.9 Hardware and Software Specifications 51
4.10 Security and Control 52
4.11. Program flowchart 53
4.12 Data Dictionary 55
5. SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, TESTING AND DOCUMENTATION
5.1 Introduction 56
5.2. System Development tools 56
5.3 Georeferencing 56
5.4 Creating the Backend Database 57
5.5 Front End – Back End Connection 57
5.6 Program Testing and Debugging 58
5.7 System Documentation 58
6. SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
6.1 Introduction 60
6.2 Implementation and Testing 60
6.3 Maintenance 61
6.4 End Users Training 61
6.4.1 Launching the hospitalgeodirectory 61
6.4.2 User Manual 62
7. SYSTEM EVALUATION
7.1 Introduction 65
7.1.1 Effectiveness Analysis 65 7.1.2. Efficiency Analysis 66
7.1.3. Cost-Benefit Analysis 67
8. SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
8.1 Summary 69
8.2 Conclusion 70
8.3 Recommendations 70
APPENDIX1: Evaluation form 71
APPENDIX2: Web Pages 72
APPENDIX3: Data Dictionary 76
APPENDIX4: Source Code 77
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1: Comparison of the Features of the old and new system 37
Table 3.2: Cost of Development of Alternative System 40
Table 4.1 Database Tables for the HospitalGeoDirectory Backend 49
Table 4.2 Data Dictionary of Table Locations 55
Table 4.3 Data Dictionary of Table User 55
Table 4.4 Data Dictionary of Table Users 55
Table 6.1 System Maintenance Schedule 61
Table 7.1 Measure of Operational Effectiveness(Ease of Use) 65
Table 7.2 Measure of Operational Effectiveness(User Satisfaction) 66
Table 7.3 Measure of Technical Effectiveness 66
Table 7.4 Measure of System Efficiency 67
Table 7.5 Measure of System Efficiency(Response time) 67
Table 7.6 System Cost Breakdown 68
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1: Design Framework 9
Figure 2.1: Information System Development Lifecycle 20
Figure 2.2: The Components of Geographic Information System 22
(Source: Encyclopedia of Geographic Information Science)
Figure 2.3: Development of Internet GIS (Source: Okantey, 2007) 27
Figure 2.4: Architecture of Internet GIS (Source: Okantey, 2003) 28
Figure 2.5: Main Component of Relation Database Management System 31
(Source: Hellerstein et al (2007))
Figure 3.1: Data flow Diagram of Health Facility Diectory 35
Figure 4.1: User Login Form 45
Figure 4.2: ‘Create New User’ Form 46
Figure 4.3: ‘Add Hospitals’ Form 46
Figure 4.4: ‘Edit Map’ Form 47
Figure 4.5: ‘Edit Hospital’ Form 47
Figure 4.6: Home page of the System with Geographic Interface 48
Figure 4.7: Output Form showing Hospital Details 49
Figure 4.8: View of table locations in the Hospital Geo-directory 50
Figure 4.9: System Flowchart of Hospital Geo-directory 51
Figure 4.10: Program Flowchart for Hospital Geo-directory database Udpate 54
Figure 6.1: Wireframe of the hospitalgeodirectory homepage 63
Figure 6.2: Sitemap of the hospitalgeodirectory 63
LIST OF APPENDICES
APPENDIX1: Evaluation form 71
APPENDIX2: Web Pages 72
APPENDIX3: Data Dictionary 76
APPENDIX4: Source Code 77
1.1. Background to the Study
Watson (2003) had noted that advances in information and computer technology in the last quarter of the 20th century have led to the ability to more accurately profile individual health risk.
Daly (2003) Also opined that given the right policies, organisation, resources and institutions, ICTs can be powerful tools in the hands of those working to improve health.
The use of the ICTs has proliferated in businesses, libraries, hospitals and schools. ICTs, which according to Ogunsola (2005) may refer to an electronic based system of information transmission, reception, processing and retrieval, can be viewed as encompassing the full range of communication technology, from radio and television to telephones (fixed and mobile), computers and the Internet. If used effectively, ICTs have enormous potential as tools to increase information flows and the dissemination of evidence-based knowledge, and to empower citizens. According to infodev(2006), reliable information and effective communication are crucial elements in public health practices and this can be engendered by the use of appropriate technologies which can increase the quality and the reach of both information and communication. ICT has over the years improved dissemination of public health information.
Important to this research project is the use of internet or web services in the provision of health care access information. Schuette (2007), has observed that
Community human services agencies [such as hospitals, schools, hotels, etc.] are increasingly using databases and web distribution to provide referrers and potential clients details about available agency services and contact information through centralized directories. This explains therefore why directories are very important information sources, information sources being entities purposely created and used by people to convey, store and obtain information (Tiamiyu, 2003).
A directory for the purpose of this study is a database containing listings of individuals, agencies or organizations alphabetically or thematically with details such as addresses and telephone number as well as services offered in the case of organisations. It refers to an information system containing database of descriptive information that allows users to search according to themes or group content. Electronic directories can either be stand-alone or web based. This study focuses on the design of web based directory for hospitals in Ibadan Metropolis.
The Internet technology which is noticeably evolving rapidly is becoming the most efficient means available for electronic communication of information and data. This is further corroborated by the following quotes by Annan:
‘The Internet holds the greatest promise humanity has known…It offers the best chance yet for developing countries to take their rightful place in the global economy. And so our mission must be to ensure access as widely as possible. If we do not, the gulf between the haves and the have-nots will be the gulf between the technology-rich and the technology-poor’ (Annan, 1999, p.1079).
The vast potentials of the internet as captured by Annan (1999) explain the paradigm shift from the traditional use of print directories to electronic format which can be provided to online users as a web service. A web based directory can
therefore be said to be a web based information system that allows online users to search or retrieve information about agencies or organization according to themes or group content through the provision of query tools for locating particular information in its database.
Information system has been defined as a means of providing information in such a way that it would be most useful to the persons for whom it is intended. In other words, an information system comprises a set of complementary activities that are performed towards a common objective of facilitating information flow among a community of people (Tiamiyu, 2003). This imply that an information system is essentially a collection of interrelated entities (procedures, systems, modules, hardware) interacting to perform the ultimate task of collecting or retrieving, processing, storing and disseminating information to support decision making, planning and control within an organisation. It is a system involved in information generation, processing, acquisition, storage, retrieval and dissemination. A web based directory must therefore be seen to perform these tasks.
As the Web continues to extend its reach into our daily lives, an increasing number of our interactions will happen online. In the context of this study, the frontend of the system becomes the major channel of interaction with the system. For example, users need to be able to easily recognize information resources that match with their needs (White&Ivonen, 2001). For a Web directory to be implemented successfully, the frontend should reflect each user’s individual needs to allow users to develop their own information seeking strategies. As suggested by previous studies (Carter, 2002; Chen & Macredie, 2004; Leader & Klein; 1996) as
cited by Chen et al(2005), users with different characteristics tend to develop and use different strategies in a user interface.
Of importance to health information seekers is information about the availability of health service centers which information, any dedicated directory for hospitals can provide, however, of more importance to health information seekers is information about the location of those centers, hence the need to integrate geographical information system (GIS) in this design. Therefore, while the capability of the directory to provide adequate information about the existence and or availability of a service in a particular area is not in doubt, a functional frontend such as the Geographical Information System will provide, will enhance its usefulness by providing necessary information also about its location. GIS tools can effectively be used as front ends for directories, if designed appropriately.
Geographic Information System (GIS) has been described as a unique integration of computer hardware, software, peripherals, procedural techniques, organisational structure, people and institutions for capturing, manipulating, storing, analysing, modulating, modelling and displaying of geographically referenced data for solving complex human related problem (Fabiyi, 2001). A GIS is composed of hardware, software, data, users and methods. GIS provides a method by which geographically dependent data can be displayed in an easily understandable visual format to simplify the process of decision making. This is a rapidly advancing computer based technology where information is organised, analysed and presented with reference to a location.
It is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing and displaying geographical referenced information; i.e. data identified according to location. GIS is also defined as the procedures, operating personnel and spatial data that go into system. The power of a GIS comes from the ability to relate different information in a spatial context and to reach a conclusion about this relationship (Solanki & Hu, 2005). This is because most of the information we have about our world contains a location reference, placing that information at some point on the globe. GIS technology integrates common database operations such as query and statistical analysis with the unique visualisation and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps. A GIS creates maps from data pulled from databases. Data presented in the form of a map as opposed to data tables catalyzes pattern recognition and helps to form connections and to draw conclusions about interacting variables. GIS graphic display techniques essentially produce maps. With a function known as visualization, a GIS can produce images, drawings, animation and other cartographic products. Changes such as differences in land use can be analyzed over time. It is also possible to create 3-D images and to integrate real time data into the system. A modern GIS has many analytical tools but essentially two are used: proximity and spatial analysis (Brim, 2001). These abilities distinguish GIS from other information systems and make it particularly a suitable system that can be integrated with the design of directory systems. With particular reference to health issues, locating the nearest Hospital during an emergency health situation is vital in saving one’s life and it may well be the difference between life and death.
Anecdotal evidences show that the information needs of sick people about health centers are often location-dependent, the geographic Information System (GIS) which is a computer aided decision support and planning tool which integrate data from maps and other auxiliary information for a geographical area of interest can therefore be integrated with a directory system to provide a location based service that will not only provide information about the existence or availability of a hospital but also graphical details of its location. To this end, a client can guess his or her proximity to the hospital.
Therefore a synergetic integration of GIS with directory system such as in this study will result in an enhanced information system that is location oriented.
1.2. Statement of the problem
Provision of web based directory services for businesses, organizations or service centers is not a novel initiative, it has been around for some times now as information about the availability of such is important but if directory is mapped with some geographical and symbolic information, there are possibilities to create enhanced services.
With the speedy development of socio-economy, the quickening of people’s living rhythms, and frequent changing of time and space, people want the location-related information to be available at anytime and anywhere (Yu et al. 2003). Therefore the designing a directory system alone for services as important as health may not be sufficient as it will not be able to provide vital services as location
navigation and determination of proximity. This will therefore leave the system user disadvantaged.
1.3. Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study are
1. To document information about hospitals in Ibadan metropolis
2. To develop a web based business directory system for the hospitals
3. To develop a location aware system by integrating a Geographic Information System as the front end of the system.
1.4. Justification of the study
With the speedy development of socio-economy, the quickening of people’s living rhythms, and frequent changing of time and space, people want the location-related information to be available at anytime and anywhere (Yu et al. 2003). Locating the nearest Hospital /Doctor during the emergency health problem is vital in saving one’s life because at times the difference between a life-or-death outcome can depend on the time it takes to get a health challenged person to the hospital. Of importance to health information seekers is information about the availability of health service centers which information, any dedicated directory for hospitals can provide, however, of more importance to health information seekers is information about the location of those centers, hence the need to integrate geographical information system (GIS) in this design.
The Geographical Information System, a computer based tool that facilitate mapping and spatial analysis of earth features provides a system for managing business information of all kind according to its location. It gives a better understanding and evaluation of data by using cartographic tools to display information stored in the database. It can also be used to produce many different kind of maps thus giving a better understanding of the environment.
The Geographical Information System (GIS), an information management tool can integrate with the directory system design of Hospital in a synergetic way to perform the following tasks:
1. Create information about the availability of Hospitals in the vicinity of study
2. Create information about the location of those available hospitals in the vicinity of study
3. Create information about the proximity of the hospitals to the user.
4. Provides positional accuracy.
In retrospect, health information seekers especially want location related information about health centers(hospitals) to be available to them and since according to White&Ivonen (2001), users need to be able to easily recognize information resources that match with their needs, this project was conceived.
The methodology would involve gathering information on the existing registered Hospitals from which a comprehensive directory database will be built. A
Geographic Information System (GIS) front end would be designed showing the map of Ibadan.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) has a unique ability to store geographic referenced data about the hospitals and display graphical data for analysis.
The idea is to link bibliographic searching to a GIS system. All geographic subject terms are extracted and mapped unto the directory. In essence, a hospital in the directory database is referenced geographically by the Geographic Information System (GIS).
Figure 1.1: Design Framework
1.6. Scope and Limitation of the study
The directory is an internet based system that provide location based service for internet users only, it is limited in scope in comparism to location based systems on mobile devices as the Global Positioning System(GPS) on some of them enable position accuracy.
User Interface with GIS
1.7. Definition of terms Database: an organized collection of persistent and related data used by the application system of a given enterprise Directory: a listing of individuals, agencies or organizations alphabetically or thematically with details such as addresses and telephone number. It contains descriptive information that allows users to search according to themes or group content. Geographical Information System (GIS): a unique integration of computer hardware, software, peripherals, procedural techniques, organisational structure, people and institutions for capturing, manipulating, storing, analysing, modulating, modelling and displaying of geographically referenced data for solving complex human related problem. ICTs: tools that facilitate communication and the processing and transmission of information by electronic means. Internet: A massive electronic and telecommunications network connecting the computers of businesses, consumers, government agencies, schools, and other organizations worldwide, this allows seamless information exchanges. Metropolis: a large important city or region often the capital of a country or region.
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