Journal of Spatial Science, vol.49, no.1, pp.125-139, 2004 (Scopus)
Planning plays an important role in orderly services and use of resources. Such planning requires a correct set of spatial data, which should be properly integrated and shared. GIS technology may not only assist in the analysis and viewing of data, it helps also in decision making and planning. Saudi Arabia, as a dynamic, transitional country with rapid growth, adapts its planning methodology to the opportunities provided by GIS technology. Success depends on the quality and quantity of spatial information, as well as on its timely integration and data sharing (Çabuk, et al 2003). The main task of the project was to establish a graphical database for the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs using the original hardcopies of local and structural plans of Saudi Arabia, as well as the 1:10 000, 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 national base maps. This paper discusses in detail establishment of a digital database for planning applications in Saudi Arabia. For ensuring the usefulness, serviceability, versatility and efficiency of the system, some user applications were developed to provide office connectivity between agencies across Saudi Arabia. The main purpose of the GIS applications is data integration, organization and data sharing. This paper presents the fundamental principles of implementing a GIS application and establishing office connectivity between agencies as a planning infrastructure. The main goal of performing the project is to provide the geographic data to be shared between agencies, with responsibility for planning studies. The system, which is presented in this paper will essentially be used for computerization of planning studies in Saudi Arabia. Developing GIS-aided and intranet-based application program is an essential way to achieve this aim. © 2004, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.