Journal Article An Internet-Based GIS Platform Providing Data for Visualization and Spatial Analysis of Urbanization in Major Asian and African Cities

Gong, Hao  ,  Simwanda, Matamyo  ,  Murayama, Yuji

Rapid urbanization in developing countries has been observed to be relatively high in the last two decades, especially in the Asian and African regions. Although many researchers have made efforts to improve the understanding of the urbanization trends of various cities in Asia and Africa, the absence of platforms where local stakeholders can visualize and obtain processed urbanization data for their specific needs or analysis, still remains a gap. In this paper, we present an Internet-based GIS platform called MEGA-WEB. The Platform was developed in view of the urban planning and management challenges in developing countries of Asia and Africa due to the limited availability of data resources, effective tools, and proficiency in data analysis. MEGA-WEB provides online access, visualization, spatial analysis, and data sharing services following a mashup framework of the MEGA-WEB Geo Web Services (GWS), with the third-party map services using HTML5/JavaScript techniques. Through the integration of GIS, remote sensing, geo-modelling, and Internet GIS, several indicators for analyzing urbanization are provided in MEGA-WEB to give diverse perspectives on the urbanization of not only the physical land surface condition, but also the relationships of population, energy use, and the environment. The design, architecture, system functions, and uses of MEGA-WEB are discussed in the paper. The MEGA-WEB project is aimed at contributing to sustainable urban development in developing countries of Asia and Africa.

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