Saturday, 15 October 2011
APPLICATION OF GIS IN MALAYSIAN NATIONAL ELECTION
Geographic information systems (GIS) (also known as Geospatial information systems) are computer software and hardware systems that enable users to capture, store, analyze and manage spatially referenced data.
It have transformed the way spatial data, relationships and patterns in the world are able to be interactively queried, processed, analyzed, mapped, modelled, visualized, and displayed for an increasingly large range of users, for a multitude of purposes.
In Malaysia, the application of GIS is widely used began when the Department of Survey and Mapping decide to improve the Digital Cadastre Database and National Topographic Database in mid-1980s. Started from that, various government institutions began to use GIS as an application to create better management and also planning.
The example of government bodies that used GIS application in their working procedure are:-
1. Department of Survey and Mapping
2. Ministry of Health Malaysia
3. Department of Town and Country Planning
4. Department of Agricultural and Forestry
5. Ministry of Defense
6. Ministry of Transportation
7. Department of Environment
8. Department of Public Works
9. National Election
Geographic Information System (GIS) is one of the information technologies that have recently grown rapidly worldwide. This system can prepare a framework to integrate a volume of total space data from many varieties of source and time period. Aside from that, the system can help management activities and information programs as a support tool for decision making. Thus, Geographic Information System is applied in various fields, including political geography and elections. With GIS, we can assess the national election pattern more effectively and comprehensively. (Fauzi, n.d)
This assignment will explain the role and function of Geographic Information System and geopolitics as an introduction to look at the election pattern in Malaysia. This application stresses on the geographical aspect of the election system. The application can be divided into three that is:
1. GIS for Electoral Boundaries (Mapping)
2. GIS for Information Management System (Database)
3. GIS and Spatial Data Analysis (Spatial Modeling)
1. GIS for Electoral Boundaries
Electoral Boundaries Plan is one of the most sensitive issues because it can cause a conflict even though there is minor unintentional bias. Many principles of the boundaries have been misused in re-boundary process (malapportionment). That is why a unique analytical and fair system is needed to practice this process to avoid any bias, misused happen and resulting in peaceful election.
Usually, geographical politic used the sub-district or district as a base for a elected representative of any political party to be a DUN member or sit in the Parliament. So, the boundaries of villages, sub-districts and districts are really important in determining the electoral boundaries. Ever since before, geographical found this really hard as it really need a thorough analysis. So, this is where GIS is needed. By GIS, a unique system can be used in forming and integrating the spatial and attributes information as well as made use of mapping as one of the output. With all this, electoral boundaries can be done analytically and accurately.
Electoral boundaries also need a better analytical surveying system. Typically, the re-boundary system will focus on a democratic system based on a few relevant criteria. This system is important in maintain a democracy in Malaysia. It must well-received by a civilian and also strictly follow the law stated. This process is under The Election Commission of Malaysia responsibility. Every single area consisting a voter must be determined. The Commission will helped by Department of Survey and Mapping, Statistical Department and Attorney General’s Chamber for doing this re-boundary process.
As a whole, GIS application help in determination of electoral boundaries as it:
i. Integrate the spatial and non-spatial data making the re-boundary of electoral constituencies can be made by a more effective way
ii. Survey the boundaries analytically eliminating any bias
2. GIS for Information Management System (Database)
The application is focused more on the data management for re-boundaries process. It is treat as a helping medium in integrating the data especially for the Commission in managing all the information of election such as electoral boundaries, voters’ information, constituencies, political parties and its candidate, result and report of the election. GIS application in data management can be divided as:
i. Medium of managing the spatial and attributes data as well as the re-boundaries plan so that it fulfill all the requirements
ii. As a support system in decision-making process for managing and planning for electoral data making the maps and electoral publications visualizing the re-boundaries plan including the one for mass and electronic media.
The data included for the management are:
i. Electoral spatial data of population and voters
ii. Economic social, jobs and other demographic attributes data relevant
iii. Map and existing electoral boundaries, administrative boundaries and topology information related to the election area
iv. Previous electoral information consisting the result and report of the election as well as the background of the political parties and candidates involved.
3. GIS for Spatial Data Analysis
The main purpose using GIS in data analysis is to analyze the electoral behavior during the Election Day which may affect the electoral result and it spatial modeling. Usually, this is used by the academic people and geographic politician to view the trend spatially rather than any ordinary application used by the Commission before. Before this, there’s not many electoral research that can be viewed spatially. With the GIS application used for election, the information can be provided more accurately than before.
This application also can help the related party and civilian to get the accurate information about the trend of election and its behavior. Spatial analysis done is not providing only a report and statistic, in contrast, it show the mapping analysis integrating the spatial and attributes data to be viewed clearly. This will help people understand better. It’s been proved before, human brain can understand visual rather than numeric. So, GIS spatial analysis fulfills human needs in this. This spatial analysis also can be an aid in forming the electoral boundaries using all the geographical perspective criteria also providing the spatial information in electoral data management.
So, usages of GIS in spatial data analysis are:
i. Used by geographical politic member for analyze the behavior and trend of the election rather than descriptive analysis as it give more accurate information about the election
ii. Integrated analysis of statistic showing election information and mapping analysis with spatial data that show a clearer version of election trend
4. Electoral Spatial Modeling
Before this electoral analysis done ignoring the spatial data even the election result depend much on it. So, the study about the spatial data and the related information affecting the election is important. This is where GIS is used to study the electoral trend. It then viewed a spatial data in one area and also statistical analysis.
So, in 2000 a research on the factor affecting electoral result taken in North Penisluar Malaysia. The study focused much on the lifestyle and sosio-status of the residence. The result can be compared with previous election. After that, taking in account bout the lifestyle changes, the trend of election can be determined. Even BN won on 2004, their cotes decreased compared to 1999. This might be because of the civilian sosio-status had changed. Before, they might be just a farmer. Not knowing anything important. Just received anything given. Five years had passed. It seems like the civilian work become better and with the realization of current issue, and public demand, their mind setting also changed causing the result to differ.
This situation is what loved by the geographical politic people. They love to intreprate all this. However, a good medium is needed in storing the data, as well as analyze it better and presentable. This is where GIS is important. With the help from National Statistical Agency, the demography of certain areas can be determined. After getting the attributes data, integrate it with the spatial data which is the map of the area. The attributes data consist voters information. Both of the data is analyze after integrating both giving a great analytical analysis which will explain the electoral trend.
The Spatial Model forming is based on the factor affecting the election:
This model will relate the result with spatial reason which is divided into four as stated above. The voters criteria taking in account are race, age, gender, occupation, education, and also percentage of voters. Second one is location of DUN factor include the neighborhood, distance to the city centre and distance to the educational institution. Third is infrastructural factor which include development and housing scheme. The forth and last is structure factor which represents the DUN area and it shape.
The starting of GIS usage is integrated the result and the spatial and attributes factor affecting the result. The spatial analysis will be done to the entire factor using GIS technique until the forming of spatial model using analytical analysis. For the spatial model formation, there are two variables that are dependant and independent. The dependant variable is the electoral trend including the result and metric data while the independent variable consist metric and non-metric data. The formation is based on statistical regression. The objective of using regression is for a better future prediction of the election.
i. The preparation of the spatial model database
Data needed for the modeling of election is determined. The data needed is the factors affecting the result. The variable chosen must relevant also for the previous result for comparison purposes. The secondary data are the results and demography of voters. Other sources also can be used for references purposes. The primary data mostly got directly from the voters either by interview or other.
Spatial data formed is related closely with the spatial model that will formed research area. Spatial data obtained are transformed to the digital ones. All the data convert using ArcView including the electoral boundary information.
The coordinate system used is set as Lat, Long. The ability of GIS in data collecting, storing, analysis and preview making it possible to solve spatial problem.
ii. Translation of GIS for spatial data
The data from GIS database will be used in spatial modeling. The transformation, digitization and also integration of data performed using GIS application. The GIS analyze ability help much in decision making process. The information will be analyze and displayed visually.
Another thing, this model also used to make a additional information in improving the spatial structure or relation of the geographical information. One of the factors affecting electoral result is location that includes the distance from the DUN area to other prominent places. So it is best if the shortest distance of the path can be analyzed. The best solution is using ArcView in order to make analysis of the shortest network path which allows the analysis such as distance analysis to be performed. The data needed in this process are the DUN area and the prominent places. The DUN area will be selected as origin input while the prominent places as destination. The analysis which requiring at least two points in recognizing origin and destination will be performed.
EFFECT OF USING GIS APPLICATION FOR ELECTION
GIS application slowly gained recognition in many field including Election. Even though the application is not widely known to be used in this field, it is proved to provide a better analysis than what is done previously. The effect includes:
1. Un-bias electoral boundaries. This will ease all parties which previously are in conflict because of this sensitive issue
2. Information storage of voters, demography, parties and their candidates. This information all will stored in one integrated database allowing analysis to be performed.
3. A better analysis of election can be performed. Using the application of GIS that famous for being great with it ability in collecting, storing and analyzing, a great analysis will be born.
4. A peaceful and better election day will happened.
GIS APPLICATION IN FUTURE
As the GIS is slowly gain recognition, for sure it will do better in the future. The Commission of Election starting to realize that using GIS can help them much during election. For future, GIS will help:
1. Storing all demography information that really can help in analysis process
2. For sure, national election will be in peace as nobody can complaint the fair and great election,
3. Analyze better than before. Before, the descriptive numerical analysis is done. Then, the analysis start to integrate the attributes and spatial data forming a visually display. In future, who knows the analysis will climb another step displaying the output in 3D mode navigate directly using GPS to the exact location of analysis.
Previously, a boring descriptive analysis displaying a numerical analysis without any interactive medium is performed. Nowadays, using GIS application people even in the rural area can understand the analysis as well. As the spatial data is also important, it is really a waste for it not to be included in the analysis. Also in data management, GIS doing far better then any management tools existed that just provide attributes data only. Meanwhile, GIS can manage both spatial and attributes data causing all the data can be manage in a short time easily. The stored data desired to be displayed, use GIS application as a medium in viewing it better in a map.GIS also can collaborate with political science in researching the related electoral factor that just taking in account the attributes data before. Now the study can be done integrately using both spatial and attributes data. In conclusion, the ability of GIS in performing many tasks greatly is a hope for better election in the future. As GIS application kept improving day by day, it can help election to keep doing better by times. Let walk together towards a better future. No more boring analysis which make us sleepy in their first ten minutes of bubbling. No more conflict which make us afraid to even go to the voting center. Peace.
Posted by lahnahar at 20:10:00