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MIC's Geographic Information System (GIS)

Imagine you are a decision-maker in MIC, responsible for planning and coordinating the development of Mesaieed City. The information you need is on dozens of paper drawings, some twice the size of your desktop. Each drawing provides only one or two of the items of information you need, and different drawings are stored in different offices across the Mesaieed area. To coordinate with other QP departments and other companies, each one needs a complete set of drawings. The situation is becoming unmanageable - what to do?

Starting in 2002, MIC began implementing a Geographical Information System (GIS) that has transformed the working practices of MIC decision makers. Now, users have access to all the information needed, immediately, in their own office on their PC, and the facility to share this information with other users and stakeholders. The result is more accurate, more comprehensive information and consequently, better, faster decision-making.

What is GIS?

GIS consists of a database of geographic information, and online tools to view, query and
analyse the information. The database not only holds spatial (geographic) data – such as drawings, maps, charts – but also factual information about the features and structures on those drawings and maps. So, for example, you can display a map of part of the Mesaieed area; zoom in on a particular road; then click on the road on the map and view, on screen, when the road was built, when it was last resurfaced, how many accidents occurred on that road and when, etc.

This powerful tool is already being used to aid day-to-day business decision-making by MIC departments. Initially being used by the Business & Investors, Infrastructure and Mesaieed Port departments, and eventually all MIC departments will have access to GIS.

Who does it?

Maintaining and developing the functionality of GIS is a primary responsibility of the Business Systems Division of MIC’s Business and Investors Department. The GIS section comprises GIS specialists (analysts and technicians) who gather requirements from users and implement the optimum solutions to meet the business needs identified.

How does it work?

All GIS data is stored in a dedicated central database. Information comes both from current paper-based drawings, maps and datasheets (as numbers, dates, history, etc.) and is entered into the system with exact coordinates, measurements and dimensions. Different types of feature, utility or service such as roads, pipelines, drains, fences buildings, street lights and so on are classified in separate “layers” so that to create a single map or image you can select a background (such as a satellite photograph of the area) and then add all the different layers, one on top of the other. In this way you can show roads, pipelines, drains, fences, all the relevant information; but not clutter the map with unnecessary detail.

GISNet and Data Integration

MIC does not own all of the data that it needs in order to manage its business. As part of GISNet, MIC shares data with other key GIS “agencies” in Qatar (as shown in the diagram below). This high-speed link provides GISNet members access to all publicly available GIS data in the country with relevant information from all GIS government agencies and organizations in Qatar (such as KahraMaa and Qtel) who constantly update this database as developments take place.

In QP, geographic related data resides at a central database. Information in the GIS system can be easily updated even with frequent changes and easily managed in support of analysis and decision-making. As a result, MIC has access to data from all “agencies”, about their facilities and assets in the Mesaieed area.


A GIS system has the capability of producing very attractive and detailed maps. Example of maps that can be produced from GIS, are the Port Bathymetric and Community maps shown below as well as the MIC’s Industrial Area and Port.

The story so far

Successful implementation of GIS in MIC primarily focused on delivering GIS information and capability to support planning & decision-making. The key factors of this strategy were to:

        • Identify business areas and requirements for GIS.
        • Collect and enter up-to-date data into the system.
        • Establish links to other GIS databases.
        • Develop customized GIS applications
Business analysis, focused on GIS, has identified priority end users and detailed their user requirements.

The database of MIC information is now virtually complete. Much of the information comes from surveys carried out in the Industrial and Community Areas of Mesaieed. This information consists mainly of roads, buildings, manholes, reference marker points, footpaths, median and utilities.

GIS staff have also developed custom tools for retrieval and analysis of GIS data, which are helping the end-users increase their effectiveness and productivity.

Future developments

MIC has taken the initiative to use GIS as the main tool for planning and managing land development and utilization in Mesaieed. The data from the detailed master plans for the community, industrial and port areas are being made available in GIS and further applications will be developed to support other aspects of analysis and decision-making. Applications already planned include:

    • Utilities management
    • Environmental management and assessment
    • Nautical information system
    • Web mapping and map viewer interface with dynamic map representation
Also planned are links between GIS and other applications such as:
    • Land Allocation
    • Lease Management
    • Building Permit
    • Safe Work Permit
    • e-Maintenance
    • Security & Access Control
If you would like to find out more about MIC’s Geographical Information System, you can contact:

MIC GIS Centre at 4477-3204

or e-mail us at:

Copyright 2006 - MIC - All rights reserved