Organizational Aspects of Geographical Information Systems

  • David W. Heath
Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 24)


This chapter addresses some of the important organizational issues which a geographical information system (GIS) in support of public and environmental health, especially at a Europe-wide level, will have to address. It looks at various issues of acquisition, sources, integration, project development and management, use and dissemination of data, as experienced by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Eurostat receives data mainly from the official statistical services of the 12 Community Member States and makes this data widely available, e.g., to policy services of the Commission of the European Communities. It is currently engaged in developing a GIS for its own use and for the services of the Commission: the GISCO project. The remarks made herein, however, mainly reflect experience in developing and managing harmonized data from the different Member States and in using very large databases for their processing, storage and dissemination. In particular, a search for fully appropriate, completely accurate data, to be made available in a form that is optimized to well-defined known problems, would be an illusory target for large multi-purpose international data collection.


Geographical Information System Data Owner Organizational Aspect Public Product Public Information Service 


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  1. Savolainen, K.M. (1990). European meta database on environment and health information sources. Paper presented at WHO Consultation on the Development of a Health and Environment GIS for the European Region, Bilthoven, 10–12 December 1990.Google Scholar
  2. Scholten, H.J. & P. Padding (1990). Working with GIS in a policy environment. Environ planning B Planning Design, 17: 405–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Heath
    • 1
  1. 1.Eurostat Statistical Office of the European CommunitiesBâtiment Jean MonnetLuxembourgLuxembourg

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