• : Ms Word, Ms Word Format
  • : 10 Pages
  • : nil
  • : 1-5 Chapters
  • Click to DOWNLOAD Materials




A Geographical Information System (GIS) is a computer system for processing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analysing and displaying data related to positions on the surface of the earth. It is then presented cartographically, graphically or as a report. GIS applications are very wide and are used in all human activities. It is used for election monitoring, marketing studies, telecommunications, location of restaurants, museums and hospitals; in tracking trucks traffic; in establishing maps of animal population density by species or maps of vegetation coverage change; in locating forests, rivers, mountains; in determining soil compositions, etc.

In order to ensure effective elections, governments are increasingly using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for fostering several operations, ranging from redirecting to campaigning to the Election Day itself. GIS as a platform can be used to map applications, engage citizens, ensure transparency, and enhance policy making. GIS empowers the government to effectively carry out important democratic processes. Techno Brain has developed a GIS solution for facilitating the electoral process for local governments. This solution helps to bring in efficacy and accuracy at every step by providing easy access to information, registering voters and managing voter data, determining optimal polling locations, coordinating and managing the citizens, and delivering election results. In addition, the solution ensures that easy access to information leads to a higher turnout. With a unique analytical and fair system, Techno Brain ensures that biases are avoided, data is not misused, and elections happen peacefully.

Benefits of GIS for Electoral Process include:

  1. Generates constituency maps to visualise the physical locations of polling stations, physical features, major towns, and roads
  2. Assists electoral bodies to realise their mandates in voter education, voter registration, and to plan and monitor the distribution of electoral materials
  • Allocates funding across the constituencies and ensures significant financial benefits
  1. Generates voting lists and coordinates campaign events
  2. Enables citizens and media to effectively participate in the electoral process
  3. Provides information to voters on the polling place locations and ensures a smooth and peaceful election day
  • Analyses election results better and produces reports in real time
  • Gives a more accurate account of voter turnout and tracks voting irregularities


Problem statement

According to Okonjo (2004), it is a common knowledge that the elections conducted in Nigeria from 2007-2015 faced various challenges ranging from ballot stuffing, manipulation of result sheets, illegal creation of polling units and a host of others. Electoral bodies in Nigeria had deployed technology in the management of electoral processes. The areas where technology can improve electoral process include but not restricted to the following: delimitation of constituencies, voter registration, voting which include accreditation, balloting, sorting, counting and transmission of results.


Geographic information system based approach to election monitoring in Nigeria

GIS based electoral system provides efficient database and also be useful to enhance officials to conduct and manage elections. The methodology employed in this research involves conversion of analogue map into digital map (through the process of scanning), georeferencing and digitizing, updating the study road map using Google Earth image. Other processes includes: Plotting of coordinate points, Geo-database creation and queries generations. GIS based mapping is one of the best techniques of depicting spatial data, the location the polling unit was depicted.

Democracy in Nigeria, especially the conduct of elections, has always been characterized by pessimism, uncertainty and fears for the safety of people’s lives and properties; this is as a result of conflict ridden situations, which have historically featured in all elections conducted in Nigeria since the 1950s. Hence, issues surrounding the electioneering processes potentially relate to violence and violations of the rights of individuals. Thus, rather than serve as a means and a process of exercising legitimate political rights, elections in Nigeria have since independence, turned out to be a serious political liability; causing serious political turmoil and threatening the survival of corporate Nigeria (Abbass, 2008). The use of GIS in elections can cover the whole elections cycle from boundary demarcations (polling units and area mapping) to the elections results transmission including results management and citizen participation. This research however focuses on the pre-election monitoring stage. GIS can enhance the accessibility of information from the boundaries to the location of polling stations thereby contributing to confidence in the electioneering process.

Ojiako, Fashina, Igbokwe and Enedah, (2016) concluded that GIS based mapping is one of the best techniques of depicting spatial data, the location the polling unit was depicted and it was noticed that there are no polling units located at around/within Ngozika and Udoka Housing units. GIS based electoral system can provide efficient database for officials, and will be useful to enhance officials to conduct, manage and monitor election. It will also enhance geographic visualization of electoral dynamics and electoral demography. GIS based electoral system will provide efficient database and also be useful to enhance officials to conduct and manage elections. GIS based mapping is one of the best techniques of depicting spatial data, the locations the polling unit was depicted.


Electoral Mapping and Geographic Information System

Maps and other forms of graphics are important journalistic tools that enhance the communication of information. Despite the much time and effort required to prepare maps and the fact they occupy valuable text spaces, their continuous popularity and usage in the media can be justified. Gilmartin (2008) asserts that maps give the geographical background for news items and help readers to locate and understand the geographical implications of a story. Also, maps and other forms of graphics attract and hold reader’s attention, and also help them interpret the meaning of an event and increase message retention. The use of computer software and Geographical Information System (GIS) has greatly stimulated the increase of cartographic activities in recent years. This development has enhanced map design especially as there has been vast data availability. Despite the numerous advantages that automated cartography offers, Wellar (2009) decries the lack of awareness regarding its use to illustrate factual presentations in the mass media. This situation has been attributed to the absence of skilled personnel in most media houses (Gilmartin, 2008). Researchers in Nigeria have also agreed with this conclusion (Udoh, 2010). The internet has revolutionalised GIS which until recently was a specialized tool for scientists and related practitioners. The combination of GIS and the World Wide Web (WWW) have changed cartography making it possible for detailed maps to be generated from robust databases of spatial information that can be transmitted rapidly around the world (Harder,2008). One of the areas that have attracted interest in the Internet is application of GIS in mapping the electoral process. Mapping and spatial analysis improve the electoral process hence GIS is used to deliver critical information to stakeholders. Application areas include managing voter address data, locating polling stations and delivering election results. Some of the maps are not only conventional static maps used to display electoral information; they are also interactive hence attracting voter/ user participation. Onyekwelu, (2009) analyzed the strength of interactive electoral maps and stressed that media websites including television and newspaper websites used them to display and tract the election results. Also, because of its dynamic nature they can equally be used for projecting outcomes based on displayed census figures (Onyekwelu, 2009).


The role of GIS in government decision making on election monitoring

The potential for using any technology to support governmental decision making is driven by the match between the capabilities of the technology and the needs of its potential users. This section reviews the common requirements of governmental decision makers in developing countries and presents a brief overview of the capabilities of GIS and its role in governmental decision making. For a more detailed exploration of the pertinent capabilities of GIS in government decision making see Mennecke & West (2008). A vital role of government in both developed and developing nations is to foster economic development; that is, to encourage “a process which makes people … better off by increasing their command over goods and services and by increasing the choices open to them” (Elkan, 2005; p. 8). To do this, governments must foster and manage the interrelationships between business development (e.g., retail and service providers), industrial development (e.g., wholesale goods and service producers), and community development (factors supporting infrastructure and the quality of life) (Harman, 2010). A major difference between developed and developing countries is the degree to which existing institutions help to manage these interrelationships. In developed countries mature markets and bureaucracies play a large part in the management process. In many developing countries, however, decisions that might otherwise be handled by private sector organizations often default to institutions in the government sector. One trend in economic development for LDCs is an increasing reliance on developing private market solutions to economic problems (Elkans, 2005). Even though this approach removes the government from direct planning and control at the micro level it does not remove the burden of macro economic and policy analysis from government decision makers. To perform policy analyses effectively, however, LDCs need information about the economic and market conditions both within their country and at broader scales.

Mennecke & West, (2008) showed how GIS data has the inherent capability of serving as the basis for an integrated decision support system at the highest levels of government in these areas. The natural relationships created by the spatial elements of GIS data provide connectivity and a data organization schema that is not ordinarily available in conventional database management systems. Further, modern hardware and GIS software make this connectivity availability with relatively small investments in software and hardware. In combination, supporting a widespread national infrastructure of GIS data has benefits ranging from the individual project level to national policy making. This paper, on the other hand, highlighted restrictions on the ability to use GIS as a national level DSS due to data access, managerial, and political issues. The paper also, however, emphasized specific remedial steps to overcome these difficulties. It is appropriate to conclude by emphasizing that solutions to these problems are available and that we view the capabilities, opportunities, and contributions of GIS to be worth the effort necessary to ensure successful implementation. We hope that by surfacing these issues that awareness will be raised amongst information systems and other organizational researchers. This is truly a rich area for conducting research on the adoption and diffusion of GIS and other information technologies. Our model should be useful for highlighting many of the important variables that influence this process in LDCs.

Challenges in using GIS for crime control in Nigeria

Data is the most important components of GIS and is seriously lacking in Nigeria. Even the population census data is not comprehensive and updated. What one can get at the smallest unit is the local government population data. Many houses were not geo-referenced in relation to their location and socio-economic data. The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) is not doing much in providing housing addresses. The Nigerian Federal Survey is not proactive to this development. Imagine, most of the existing copies of the Nigeria 1:50,000 topographic map series, which is the most commonly used map in the country, were produced more than three decades ago (Uluocha 1997). The Nigeria space technology agencies are not doing much to ensure availability and accessibility of remotely sensed data. In spite of the launch of Nigeria-Sat2 and Nigeria-sat-X in 2011, the country is still faced with serious challenges in acquiring geospatial data. On the other hand, the police management information system is inefficient and has not embrace modern crime control techniques in data gathering process.The police in Nigeria do not record the spatial locations of crime scene which would have helped in spatial analysis and in the identification of hot spots and also do not have a biometric data base for criminal. Sometime even ex-convict could join the police since they can‟t conduct a background check on the intending recruits.

Availability and affordability of computer hardware is not very promising in Nigeria. Although, there is growing interest in the use of computer nowadays, quite a number of staff are still illiterate in the use of computer and even the educated one are indifferent to the use of modern technique(GIS) in crime control since such technologies are not available. Most police department doesn‟t have computer with which they can install GIS software to learn and control crime in Nigeria.

Availability and affordability of computer hardware is not very promising in Nigeria. Although, there is growing interest in the use of computer nowadays, quite a number of staff are still illiterate in the use of computer and even the educated one are indifferent to the use of modern technique(GIS) in crime control since such technologies are not available. Most police department doesn‟t have computer with which they can install GIS software to learn and control crime in Nigeria.

Training in the use of GIS software is not quite novel. This is due to insufficient number of professional couple with poor computer literacy and lack of commitment on the parts of crime agencies. What do you expect about the training on how to use the software?

In many parts of the world especially in Nigeria, the level of awareness in regard to the use of GIS technology is relatively low compared to advanced nations. Many officials, politicians, academicians and decision- makers in most government departments are unaware of what GIS does and what it could do. Therefore, this means that there is very low degree of adoption and implementation of the technology throughout the country.

Strategies to overcome obstacles in Nigeria

One way of approaching data problem is to make relevant organisationsvery functional and efficient. The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), National Population Commission, Nigerian Federal Survey and National Space Technology Agencies need to be proactive in providing enormous data for use not only in crime control related issues but also in all the facets of human endeavour. In the UK, the ordinance survey (OS) is the Great Britain‟s national mapping agency, providing the most accurate and up-to-date geographic data, relied on by government, business and individual. While the Royal Mail, is the UK‟s postal agency with over 350 years of operational history. Thus, royal mail suppliers the address in the database in the form of PAF (Postal Address File), OS simply attaches a GPS point to the address. Today, Britain has Ordinance Survey‟s Master Map Address Layer 2 database. This is the Britain‟s most complete, comprehensive and reliable national dataset of addresses and building and their precise locations. This is classical example of how institutions in Nigeria can work together towards a common goal. The Nigerian mapping agency supposed to be the equivalence UK‟s OS while NIPOST is the Nigerian equivalence of UK‟s Royal Mail. The data derived out of this can be used not only for the police but also banks, insurance company, utilities, emergency services and hospitals among others (Ajala 2013).

In Nigeria, GIS professionals (many of them trained outside the country) have not done enoughin selling their applications to decision makers, and even when the awareness is brought to the policy makers, there interest mostly on the financial gain rather than how it will be used to help the public. GIS higher education itself started in 1996 with pioneering efforts of the department of geography; University of Ibadan (Yusuf, 2004). To bridge this gap, placing GIS in a sustainability education is a key to unlocking this barrier. Thus, geospatial thinking can be incorporated in to sustainability curriculum (in primary, secondary and tertiary education) using GIS. The student can explore sustainability issues using GIS through spatial distribution, spatial interactions, spatial relationships, spatial comparisons and temporal relationships (Hwang, 2013). Therefore, professionals with vast experience and skills could be available to indulgecriminal investigations and other socioeconomic development related issues.



Okonjo, I.M. (2004): British Administration in Nigeria, 1900- 1950: A Nigerian view. New York. NOK Publisher

Ojiako J. C., Fashina O. P., Igbokwe E. C., Enedah, I. C. (2016). Geographic Information System Based Approach to Pre-Election Monitoring In Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, International Journal of Advanced Engineering, Management and Science (IJAEMS) (5)12, 4-7 

Mennecke, B.E., & West, L.A., (2008). Geographic Information Systems in Developing Countries: Opportunities and Options for Decision Support. Journal of Global Information Management 6(3), 14-15.

Elkan, W. (2005). An introduction to Development Economics, 2nd Ed. London, UK: Prentice-Hall.

Harman, K.A. (2010). The Role and Importance of Managing Information for Competitive Positioning in Economic Development. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Publishing Corp.

Onyekwelu, C. A. (2009) The Use Of Maps In Electronic News Transmission, A Case Study Of Nigerian Television Authority, M.Sc Thesis, Department Of Geography , University Of Lagos

Udoh, J (2010) Journalistic Maps and War coverage: The case of the Gulf Crises, International J. African Culture, Politics and Development, Vol. 5(1), 66 – 76

Harder, C. (2008) Serving Maps on the Internet: Geo Information on the WWW, ESRI Inc, New York

Gilmartin, P. (2008). The Design Of Journalistic Maps: Purposes, Parameters And Prospects; Cartographica, 22,1-18

Wellar, B. S. (2009) The Significance Of Automated Cartography to an Information Society, Cartographica, 22(4), 38-58

Ajala, I. (2013). National address gazeteer of Nigeria- An aid to national development and a100 million missed business opportunities for Nigerian postal agency & office of the surveyor general of Nigeria . Lagos, Nigeria.

Yusuf, R. (2013). GIS Higher education development in Nigeria: The Example of the GIS programme, The University of Ibadan. Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria.

Hwang, S. (2013). Placing GIS in sustainability education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply