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Geostatistics Portal as a tool for statistical data dissemination


  1. Use of GIS technology in public statistics

GIS technology (Geographical Information System) used in both censuses, namely the Agricultural Census 2010 and the Population and Housing Census 2011 facilitates dissemination of georeferenced statistical information via the Geostatistics Portal.

  1. Geostatistics Portal – the purpose and target audience

The Geostatistics Portal is the result of two projects:

  • The Geostatistics Portal and the Analytical Microdata Base – AMB, established during the implementation of the National Agricultural Census 2010 (PSR 2010) and the National Census of Population and Housing 2011 (NSP 2011) and the Local Data Bank (BDL)
  • The Geostatistics portal - Phase II, implemented within Axis 7 of the Innovative Economy Operational Programme (PO IG).

The Geostatistics Portal is a tool for interactive cartographic presentation and publication of aggregated statistical information resulting from various types of spatial analyses, including data acquired in censuses, presented on maps. It is designed to collect, present and provide information to a wide audience, including public administration, entrepreneurs, individual users and research institutions. The comprehensive solution is tailored to European standards, and all data, by way of processing, is presented in depersonalised form, preservingstatistical confidentiality.

The Geostatistics Portal is a very helpful tool in making strategic decisions at every management level. The project contributes to the construction of a complete and consistent e-Administration system, supporting the development of entrepreneurship by facilitating access to current information on the socio-economic situation of the country, and is therefore strategic for the public and the national economy. The phenomena presented on the Portal will facilitate monitoring of a given area, performing analyses, simulations and forecasts, estimation of various risks and risk prevention development.

  1. Functionalities and data scope of the Geostatistics Portal

The Portal is a tool for interactive cartographic presentation and dissemination of data obtained in censuses.

The results of the censuses were processed in the Analytical Microdata Base (ABM) which with the appropriate IT tools generates different types of data sets and statistics in the form of tables and multidimensional cubes.

With the implemented toolsusers can analyse the processed data in the form of the OLAP cubes and a dedicated application facilitates the managing of census products. In addition, the system has interfaces for transferring data to internal and external users, namely Eurostat (Eurofarm, Census Hub). ABM consists of the following subsystems: data processing, information analysis, data sharing, needs and products management, quality monitoring, information security, management and administration, and metadata of the ABM system. Based on the statistical knowledge, operations on data sets are carried out in ABM aimed at summarising and describing the data, data mining in search of connections, structures, systems, factors and clusters, as well as testing statistical hypotheses and generalising results. Using the appropriate IT tools, various types of data sets and statistics are generated in the form of tables, statistical measurements and graphics.

In ABM aggregates were also prepared for the needs of the Geostatistics Portal which were replicated on  the Portal database.

The Portal operates on two levels: for internal users (official statistics) and external users, and the scope of the data presented is defined by means of the appropriate roles and authorizations. Internal users have access to both microdata and aggregated data, while external users to aggregated data published preserving statistical confidentiality.

The intuitive interface of the Geostatistics Portal allows users quick and easy access to output statistical information. The Portal users can choose a thematic phenomenon from a drop-down list or find the topic using a search engine. Data is presented using such methods of cartographic presentation as choropleth maps and various type of diagram maps. The users can set their own visualisation parameters for the thematic phenomena for a choropleth map, such as:

  • measure,
  • aggregation level (territorial division unit),
  • number of intervals,
  • classification method,
  • colour scale,
  • transparency and visibility of borders of territorial division units and their labels.

For each type of diagram map the following parameters can be set:

  • measure,
  • aggregation level (territorial division unit),
  • symbolism and diagram colours,
  • in addition, for diagram maps scaled by intervals: number of classes and classification method.

For the selected thematic phenomenon, statistics in the form of tables and histograms are also available.

In addition, the user has access to basic tools such as object identification, selection of objects on the map, locality search engine, address search engine (available for internal users) and attribute-spatial search engine. The Portal facilitates printing a selected area of the map or exporting it to a selected format. This solution is open to other external sites from which spatial data can be accessed using the WMS service.

In addition to the possibility of using ready-made spatial analyses, the internal user can, within the Geostatistics Portal, edit his/her own thematic maps based on any feature of the data model, using dynamic spatial analyses, namely linear analyses, distance analyses or object buffering.

Since 2015 the Portal users can perform advanced geostatistical analyses on the basis of available data, as well as use a number of additional functions. Each user can prepare a thematic map tailored to individual needs based on their own data loaded to the Portal, using the available schema.

The Portal also offers the possibility of creating spatial queries in real time. This service involves obtaining statistics for a selected area of the country. The user can select an area himself by marking it with the cursor on the screen, and then send the query to the database associated with the selected thematic scope.

Although the list of topics for which the indicated statistics can be obtained is defined, there is an option to choose the characteristics according to which the user can filter and group results. For each query, the statistics are calculated individually on the basis of the units that meet the criteria set by the user and located in the selected area.

In order to fulfil the obligations included in the INSPIRE Directive, , the INSPIRE Service Subsystem was launched within the Geostatistics Portal. It consists of a metadata catalogue and other components - OGC/ISO network services. The subsystem provides access to data and metadata for two spatial data themes: statistical units and population distribution (demography), through discovery, view and download services.

The boundaries of statistical units (regions, voivodships, subregions, powiats, gminas, statistical regions and census enumeration areas) and demographic information related to these entities are made available via the Portal. In the project theme the distribution of population (demography) special attention should be paid to the data sets indicating the distribution of population in statistical units maller than gmina, i.e. in statistical regions, census enumeration areas, as well as in a kilometre grid (grid) with a cell size of 1 km2. All sets are available free of charge and without registration.

The Geostatistics Portal provides users with the possibility to obtain a wide cross-section view of the selected phenomena from the field of: demography, economy, and environment

On the basis of the results of the Agricultural Census 2010, choropleth maps and diagram maps grouped in 8 major topics can be generated, namely:

  • income,
  • economic activity,
  • income structure,
  • use of equipment,
  • sown area,
  • land use,
  • farm animals,
  • constant economic activity.

However, on the basis of data from the Population and Housing Census 2011, choropleth maps and diagram maps grouped in 8 main topics can be generated. Examples of the main topics for this data include:

  • economic activity,
  • buildings,
  • education,
  • households,
  • population by demographic characteristics,
  • dwellings,
  • families,
  • sources of maintenance.

The Geostatistics Portal allows creation of thematic maps based on data from the Local Data Bank (BDL). BDL is the Poland's biggest database with information on the socio-economic, demographic, social situation and the condition of the environment, describing voivodships, powiats and gminas as entities of the system of social and administrative organisation of the State, as well as regions, sub-regions and statistical localities comprising elements of the nomenclature of territorial units for statistical purposes. BDL provides constant, user-friendly access to current statistical information and facilitates the carrying out of multidimensional statistical analyses in regional and local configurations. In the Geostatistics Portal annual data and short-term data since 2009 are available. For this data all cartographic presentations available in the Portal can be generated (choropleth maps and diagram maps). The lowest level of detail of the data which is made available is the gmina level.

    4. The Geostatistics Portal mobile application

In response to the changing trends and requirements of the stakeholders of public statistics in the field of technological solutions, it has been made possible to use mobile devices to access the statistical data collected in the application and to visualise them on maps as part of the Geostatistics Portal. Using the mobile Geostatistics Portal is free of charge. It is available for the following platforms:

  • Android –app in Google Play,
  • Windows Phone – app in the Windows Store,
  • iOS – app in the Apple Store.

Thanks to the  Geostatistics Portal mobile application users can easily access the popular statistics in the indicated (e.g. current) location. The application provides the possibility to visualise the data from the Local Data Bank on cartograms in division by voivodships, powiats and gminas. It is also possible to get access to more detailed information about the population in grids with a cell size  of 1 km2. The users can also add maps from other services to their presentations.

   5. Visions for development

The Geostatistics Portal provides the possibility to present and share with stakeholders credible, reliable and independent high quality information. The services provided by the Geostatistics Portal offer a number of benefits to the recipients of statistical information. Presenting statistical data on maps greatly facilitates the perception of information. Statistical information, in addition to satisfying curiosity, is also supportive in making important decisions. The Portal’s modern functionality significantly improves the decision-making process and increases the range of available information and statistical metadata with spatial reference.

The Portal is a unique tool among the existing tools used for the publication of statistical data due to all its functions. The system responds to the diverse needs of customers and allows obtaining relevant information in short time.

It should be emphasised that the strength and uniqueness of the Portal results from the ability to perform spatial analysis on the individual data being only in the resources of official statistics.

In the future, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) plans to expand the Portal, which will aim at broadening the scope and availability of statistical information and methods of geostatistical analyses using the resources of official statistics. The target will be met by providing new or expanding the existing services of the Geostatistics Portal and taking into account the output information currently updated under the Programme of Statistical Surveys of Official Statistics. The Portal will present official statistical data and results of geostatistical analyses , necessary to the functioning of the state, local governments and communities. The information will be accessible in a convenient graphical form, accelerating the decision-making processes. The long-term aim will be to develop and present the results of censuses of the round 2020-2021. The project will be submitted to the Operational Programme Digital Poland within the framework of Specific objective 2.1 “High availability and quality of public e-services”. After the agreement is signed, the funds will be spent in the years 2017-2019.