Building and developing the unified geo-spatial database to serve Saudi Arabia Census 2020
General Population and Housing Census relies on a number of fundamentals, one of which is mapping. Mapping is used in all stages of the census (Preparation and pre-census stage – enumeration stage -- and publication and post-census stage). Therefore, GASTAT started working on a clear methodology to build and develop digital mapping in accordance with standards covering all over Saudi Arabia (cities and rural areas). Digital mapping is accurate to the extent that it reaches the level of plots, where each plot has a unified and distinct number that is linked with the administrative structure of Saudi Arabia (administrative region- governorate- administrative center- city- and populated area). National address method, which is developed by Saudi Post, has been approved to be one of the main information layers of the geo-spatial database, which GASTAT build and develop inside the GIS environment to serve the census purposes during all its stages.
The geo-spatial database consists of many geographical layers, including:
- Saudi Arabia international boundaries layer
- Administrative regions boundaries layer
- Governorate boundaries layer
- Districts and cities layer
- Populated areas layer, it includes (cities- villages- farms- work locations- resources- and Bedouin areas)
- Postal code layer
- Plots layer
This step has fulfilled many objectives that can be summarized as follow:
- To change the method of buildings’ coding inside the blocks, sectors, and districts of cities, or the in accurate sketches into an integrated digital system on tablets to be used in the field.
- To unify the method of coding in cities and villages.
- To facilitate access to work areas especially areas with difficult topography.
- To divide the labour force during all census stages, while guaranteeing fair work distribution and comprehensiveness.
- To follow up and control all field works during the different census stages.
- To make all publication and analysis operations of census results available at different detailed levels, starting from a plot to administrative regions.
- To enable data linkage and exchange with GASTAT partners from different entities to increase the use of census results as it is the main reference of demographic data in Saudi Arabia.
GASTAT follows modern technical methods to manage the quality of basic map and periodically update it by using modern and high-resolution space photographers, and by using techniques that have the ability to manage and process big geographical databases.