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Document Management through Georeferencing Processes

Available online at:


http://pt.scribd.com/doc/170493100/document-management-through-georeferencing-processes

Vitor Vieira Vasconcelos 1


1

PhD. Student in Geology, Master in Geography, Specialist in Soils and Environment, Bachelor in Philosophy, Bachelor Student in Geography, Tc. Informatics, Tc. Environment, e-mail: vitor.v.v@gmail.com

Paper originally published in Portuguese, at:

VASCONCELOS, V.V. Controle de Protocolo Georreferenciado. Cincia da Informao, v. 40, n. 3, p. 460-467, set./dez., 2011. Available at: http://revista.ibict.br/cienciadainformacao/index.php/ciinf/article/view/1860/1441

Document Management through Georeferencing Processes

Vitor Vieira Vasconcelos


PhD student in Geology at Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, MG, Brazil. Consultant of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Legislative Power of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. E-mail: vitor.vasconcelos@almg.gov.br ________________________________________

INTRODUCTION Computational systems for document management are important to search for documents and processes in government institutions. With such systems, it is possible to find the sector where the process is, and also to analyze the proceedings of the process to date, besides the elapsed time in each sector (BRASIL, 2003, p. 5 and 7; MARTINS; OLIVEIRA, 2006, p. 107-112). Some government sectors use processes that deal explicitly with territorial activities. This is the case of agencies that deal with environment, agriculture, agrarian reform, land tenure, among other activities. In these institutions, each document process usually refers to a specific region, regarding some activity, irregularity, research, undertaking, and others. However, the current process management systems do not record the location to which each process refers. This is an important gap of archival metadata (PICONI; RICARTE, 2009), but it is not always diagnosed because the documentation services do not have a feedback interaction with the post-documentation activities (VIEIRA, 2009, p. 3). In addition, most of the current process management systems only store the sector address, without detailing to which technicians within the sector the documents are being given. The goal of this report is to propose the use of georeferenced information for better managing the process in government agencies that work with a territorial approach. The aim is not at replacing the current documentation systems, but at allowing these systems to incorporate georeferenced databases and their products.

Abstract
A prototype is presented for documentation control, using georeferencing attributes for each process. The system was built using logic programming, database operations and a geographic information system. The use of the system resulted in a better management, with efficiency improvements in the activities performed. Through the discussion on the reported case, the spatialization and specialization strategies for professional knowledge were evaluated. In conclusion, the possibilities of integrating the geoprocessing technologies in the government documentation systems are discussed. Key-words Documentation control, Geographic Information Systems, Information Systems, Geoprocessing.

Controle de protocolo georreferenciado Resumo


Apresenta-se um prottipo de sistema de protocolo que incorpora o georreferenciamento (especificidade espacial) de cada processo. O sistema foi desenvolvido conciliando programao lgica, operaes de banco de dados e vinculao com sistema de informao geogrfica. O sistema proporcionou melhor planejamento gerencial, com ganhos de eficincia nas atividades executadas. A partir do caso apresentado, discute-se sobre as estratgias espacializao e especializao do conhecimento profissional. Tambm so apresentadas as possibilidades de integrao das tecnologias de geoprocessamento aos sistemas pblicos de protocolo. Palavras-chave Protocolo. Sistemas de informao geogrfica. Sistemas de informao. Geoprocessamento. ________________________________

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The present work was elaborated in the Regional Office of Montes Claros, at Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovveis IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), in Brazil. The area of operation of this office covers the Northern and Northwestern Minas Gerais State (Brazil), which is approximately 35% of the territory of the state. We express our acknowledgement to all the employees of this office that helped into the development of this work. METHODOLOGY In brief, the structure of documentation management presented here consists of an Excel (MICROSOFT, 2003) worksheet, which exports its data through geographical relational key to the work environment of ArcGis (ESRI, 2008). In the ArcGis, the data may be analyzed and represented through Geographical Information Systems GIS conventional tools. The Excel worksheet was divided in several spreadsheets. The basic spreadsheet, denominated Control, receives the primary data. Each line of this spreadsheet represents a process, and each column stores the following data: Process Number, Subject, Date of Arrival in Office, Degree of Urgency, Responsible Employee, Municipality, Locality, Geographical Coordinates (optional), Notes. The degrees of urgency change from 1 to 3, in an increasing priority scale. Some subjects already have a predefined degree of urgency. For example, this is the case of processes attending the Federal Police, Judges and Public Prosecutors, which have the default degree of urgency as 3. The environmental permits were identified, primarily, as degree 2. It is also possible to manually choose the degree of urgency for each process. Within the category Responsible Employee, the options are: A) Choosing the name of the responsible employee for the process;

B) Choosing the status Without Dispatch i.e., the process is still waiting to be designated to a responsible technician; C) Choosing the status Monitoring. The processes with this status are not in the responsibility of any specific employee. They are processes that demand a periodical in site monitoring, such as the surveillance of pendent obligations in the environmental licensing process. The purpose of geographically visualizing these processes is that the employees that are eventually nearby can also monitor the location. The spreadsheet denominated Auxiliary receives data from the Control spreadsheet and put them in distinct columns, to allow representation in the GIS. In this reported case, the following columns were created: all processes, processes without dispatch, processes with dispatch, processes that require in site surveillance, and also a column for the processes of each employee, and one more column for the processes that require in site surveillance for each employee. The content cells have the following function: =IF(logic_test;value_if_true;value_if_false) `If a process represented in the line of the Control spreadsheet has an attribute suitable for a column of the Auxiliary spreadsheet, the function fills the cell with the name of the municipality referred by the process. For instance:
=IF(Control!$F16='Auxiliary'!B$1;Control!$G16;"")

Where: Control!$F16 represents the name of the technician responsible for the process in the Control spreadsheet; Auxiliary'!B$1 represents the title of the column in the Auxiliary spreadsheet, where the names of technicians are displaced; and Control!$G16 represents the name of the municipality.

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The spreadsheet denominated ByMunicipality represents, in each line, the summary of the information regarding each municipality, aggregating the data from the Auxiliary spreadsheet. Each line represents a municipality, specifying in the two initial columns the name and the official identification code given by Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica IBGE (code used as primary key for database operation). In order to count the number of processes for each municipality, the following function is used: =COUNT.IF(Interval;Criteria) With the following implementation: =COUNT.IF(Auxiliary!G:G;B5) Where: Auxiliary!G:G represents the column of the Auxiliary spreadsheet in which the function counts how many times a municipality is referred. B5 represents the name of that particular municipality Using this function, each cell will receive a number stating how many times the name of a municipality is repeated in a specific column of the Auxiliary spreadsheet. For instance, cells from the column Processes_requiring_in_site_surveilance will inform how many processes require in site surveillance for each municipality. Simple functions are used for combinations in the ByMunicipality spreadsheet, e.g., the column Processes_with_dispatch stores the subtraction of the All_processes by the column of processes without dispatch, for each municipality. In order to calculate the highest degree of urgency for the processes of each municipality (in general cases and in particular cases of the subset of processes that require in site surveillance), the function =IF is used with three levels of recursion (for degrees of urgency 1, 2 and 3, respectively, used in this reported case), checking the degree of urgency for the municipality, through the function =COUNT.IF. The formula was implemented with the following code:

=IF(COUNT.IF('Auxiliary'!AC:AC;ByMunicipalit y!B7)>=1;3;IF(COUNT.IF(Auxiliary'!AB:AB;By Municipality!B7)>=1;2;IF(COUNT.IF('Auxiliary'! AA:AA;ByMunicipality!B7)>=1;1;"")) Where: 'Auxiliary'!AC:AC, Auxiliary'!AB:AB and 'Auxiliary'!AA:AA represent the columns of the Auxiliary spreadsheet, for the respective degrees of urgency 3, 2 and 1 (columns where the names of the municipalities are written); ByMunicipality!B7 represents the name of the municipality. The conjugation of functions =IF and =COUNT.IF was used since the installed suite was OFFICE 2003. For more modern versions of the OFFICE suite, the use of the intermediary spreadsheet (Auxiliary) may be avoided with the use of the function: =COUNT.IFS(Interval1;Criterion1;Interval2;Crit erion2;...) since the function =COUNT.IFS is able to count, directly from the Control spreadsheet, how many times a municipality is quoted while also meeting other criteria. Finally, in the ArcGis software, a Join relationship is created, linking ByMunicipality spreadsheet and the georeferenced database of municipalities. It is noteworthy that the relational functions among Excel worksheets and GIS databases were gradually improved through versions 9.0 to 9.3 of ArcGis. Therefore, in order to decrease the possibility of errors, it is advisable to use the latest version available of ArcGIS. In addition, in order to perform the relational operations, it is necessary to name the worksheet, the spreadsheet and the columns (first line of the spreadsheet) without using neither special characters nor blanks ( ). The table of dynamic joining between the Excel worksheet and the GIS database automatically provides data for a set of map layouts. The great advantage of a dynamic relationship is that, after each change in the data of the Control spreadsheet,

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the linked spreadsheets are automatically updated in the GIS database and in the layout of the maps. After fulfilling the demands of the process and delivering it to other departments, the record of the process is moved from the Control spreadsheet to another one, denominated Assisted_Processes. The latter spreadsheet keeps record of old processes, for further analysis as well as for safety reasons, in case of eventual mistakes in record operations. A general meta-data spreadsheet was also created, indicating the date of the last updates referring to receiving and delivering processes by institutional or inter-institutional post service. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Figure 1 shows some maps generated by the system of document management through georeferencing processes. The standardized layout displays a set of maps in a way that the manager can easily compare the several categories of data. In cases when it becomes essential to use two categories of data on the same map, the secondary category is displayed as hatched. The categories represented use the range from cold colors (light blue) to warm colors (dark red / black) as variable. The representation of roads was useful for planning surveillance itineraries. Generating a map for each one of the technicians was also shown to be useful in order to plan their trip itineraries (Figure 2). The processes without dispatch are hatched, because this piece of information helps the management to dispatch the process for the technician who already has a demand to travel to that region. In addition to the standardized sets of maps, GIS database operation conducted by a skilled professional may allow more flexible analyses, by overlapping other layers of information and consulting other georeferenced data tables. These analyses may detect general patterns and trends in the distribution of processes regarding their specific characteristics. The strategy of dividing the team of technicians among delimitated regions in order to meet the

demands of the processes is a recurrent practice among government institutions that regularly perform fieldwork. Besides the obvious time saving in the technicians journeys, the technician that is responsible for a specific region accumulates experience on the distinct aspects of that region. Moreover, the technicians that are less available for long journeys may restrict their scope of action to the regions near the head office. Nonetheless, the regionalization of demands often faces problems because of the requirements of a reverse strategy: the tendency to train professionals who are specialized in a particular subject, and who would deal with this subject wherever it is demanded. The compatibility between the strategies of technical or regional specialization is controversial. On the one hand, the regionalization of responsibilities requires the technicians to constantly learn how to perform new activities that may be demanded within their spatial limits of actions. Through these experiences, they become technicians with a more comprehensive knowledge, which is valuable for fieldwork professionals. Thus, continuous learning is encouraged and some technicians are prevented from becoming lazy and preventing them from performing some specific routine tasks. However, certain activities are necessarily performed by professionals of one field of knowledge, sometimes even under the regulation of professional councils. The skill specialization allows a higher quality in assisting the processes. The specialization also often allows a faster fulfillment of the demands in some processes, particularly the ones requiring more technical analysis in the office. Furthermore, allocating the responsibility of each technician to a specific kind of activity also allows a better standardization to meet similar demands. This standardization is even more valuable in cases where information management is feasible using tables, databases and other information systems.

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FIGURE 1 Simulation of a set of maps generated using the system of document management through georeferencing processes. Location: Northern and Northwestern Regions of the State of Minas Gerais.

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FIGURE 2 Simulation of maps of processes distributed to each technician, overlaying the indication of processes without dispatch. Location: Northern and Northwestern Regions of the State of Minas Gerais.

Therefore, the combination among strategies of specialization versus the spatialization of activities should be balanced to each particular sector. In this conjunction, several factors must be taken into account, regarding the nature of the activities, as a well as the qualification, flexibility and motivation of the technical team. Among the possible alternatives, it is possible to set a generalist team and also a team of specialists. Another option is to establish a region for each one of the professionals, except for some specific activities, which would be assigned to certain members of the team, wherever they happen, even if the members have to travel outside of their designated regions. The effectiveness of these arrangements must be continuously evaluated throughout their implementation, allowing flexibility to new adjustments when practice shows that they are more suitable.

CONCLUSIONS Based on the present results, it is possible to state that the spatialized management of process assignment, together with the analyses of the essential characteristic of these processes, are useful to: Increase the awareness of the general territorial action of the institution, as well as the awareness of the action of each technician; Better manage the dispatch of new processes to technicians who are already working near those places. Program travel itineraries and surveillance strategies including: o Greater efficiency in the number of processes assisted per journey; 465

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o Priority assistance to processes with a higher degree of urgency; o Monitoring localities that have a continuous demand for surveillance, by the technicians that are already traveling nearby; Possibility of a better specialization for each technician; territorial

spreadsheets. As an alternative to overcome this limitation, it is possible to copy the content of the Control spreadsheet to a new spreadsheet, edit the changes in this new spreadsheet and, then, transfer the changes to the original spreadsheet. Still in this respect, the control system through spreadsheets is efficient for departments, but only for a certain volume of process flow, and in a situation where there are only few authorized users to insert information in the spreadsheets. As the demand for the system increases in volume and complexity, it becomes feasible to move from spreadsheets to databases and specialized information systems. In this aspect, a robust system may allow access for users with a distinct access to the system (SILVA; MHLMANN, 2007, p. 7 e 8), via network or Internet (VIEIRA, 2009, p. 8). Furthermore, in the medium and long term, the proposed initiative just aims at an early experimentation. The main goal is that, in the future, the process and information management in governmental agencies would be able to efficientlyincorporate the specificities of geographical information. Such an incorporation would allow an interaction of the document databases with the National Infrastructure of Spatial Data (Infraestrutura nacional de dados espaciais Inde ) whose planning is the responsibility of the National Committee of Cartography (Comisso Nacional de Cartografia Concar). REFERENCES 1. BRASIL. Ministrio da Sade. SIPAR Sistema Integrado de Protocolo e Arquivo: curso bsico de protocolo. 2. ed. ampl., 3. reimpr. Srie A. Normas e Manuais Tcnicos. Braslia: Ministrio da Sade, 2003. 60 p. 2. ESRI. ArcGis 9.3. 2008. 3. EVANGELISTA, Douglas Marques; RESENDE. Flavio Rolim Pinheiro. Protocolo: soluo ou problema? Universidade de Braslia, UNB. Face - Faculdade de Economia, Administrao, Contabilidade e Cincia da

Possibility of monitoring the responsibility of each technician regarding the processes, and not only the department as a whole, anymore. Implementing the management of georeferenced processes, as every change in the protocol of document flow, requires restructuring the administrative procedures (EVANGELISTA; RESENDE, 2004, p. 5; MARTINS; OLIVEIRA, 2006, p. 115-116). Instead of a direct dispatch, the boss has to send the processes to an assistant who preliminarily analyzes the processes and then inserts the records in the Control spreadsheet. After that, the products, such as the tables and the maps of processes, are presented to the boss, who will dispatch the new processes. Maps are also used in during meetings in order to plan inspection schedules and their respective itineraries. After fulfilling the demands, the list of processes that are sent out of the department must be moved from Control to Answered_Processes spreadsheet. Among the limitations of this system, it must be noted that it is not possible to track the inverse path yet, that is, a query using the visual representation of the map, bringing information about an individual process in the Control spreadsheet to the user. Another limitation is the usual lack of geographic coordinates of the focused region in certain kinds of process. As the number of recorded processes increases, and if the processing capacity of the computers is low, the indirect calculation of the Excel worksheets may be significantly time consuming. In such a context, every new change in the Control spreadsheet will generate a recalculation of several parameters in the other

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Informao e Documentao. Curso de Arquivologia. Janeiro, 2004. Available at: http://www.cid.unb.br/M012/M0122011.ASP ?txtID_PRINCIPAL=240. Access in set. 2009. 4. MARTINS, Neire do Rssio; OLIVEIRA, Rozineide Aparecida de. Sistema Eletrnico de Gesto Arquivstica de Documentos: a experincia da Unicamp com processos. Arquivstica, Rio de Janeiro, v.2, n. 2, p 103-119, ago./dez. 2006. 5. MICROSOFT. EXCEL 2003. Microsoft Office 2003. 2003. 6. PICONNI, Andressa Cristiani; RICARTE, Ivan. O Uso de Metadados na Gesto Arquivstica de Documentos. IA875, FEEC, UNICAMP. Available at: http://calhau.dca.fee.unicamp.br/wiki/images/ 7/72/IA875_Andressa.pdf. Access in set. 2009. 7. SILVA, Alcides Vaz da, MHLMANN, Luiz Gustavo Galves. Sistema de Gerenciamento do Protocolo Geral da FAPERGS. X Seminrio Intermunicipal de Pesquisa; Universidade Luterana do Brasil Ulbra. Anais... Rio Grande do Sul, Guaba. 2007. 11p. 8. VIEIRA, Eleonora Milano Falco. Anlise da Informao em Sistemas Protocolares. Instituto I3G. Available at: <http://www.i3g.org.br/experienciadocente/p resencial/impactosocialdati/biblioteca/artigoele onora.pdf>. Access in: set. 2009.

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