The Gazetteer of Scotland making use of population data to represent Web Based Geographical Information for Scotland
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Ngeh, Julius A
This paper aimed to examine how the Gazetteer for Scotland can make use of historical and current population information for Scotland by applying GIS techniques and the World Wide Web to facilitate the access, use and better understanding of this information by its users. Analyses of the feedback questionnaire from previous studies (Parnaby, 2001; Chojnacki, 2002) and a newly designed questionnaire (see Ngeh, 2007) were used to assess the value of population information on the Gazetteer to its potential users. The previous questionnaire provided useful feedback that formed the basis for this study. Literature from previous work carried out on the Gazetteer and the value of the World Wide Web (WWW) for geographical information was reviewed. Population data was obtained from the period of the first census in 1801 (Boyle and Dorling, 2004) to 1881 using Structured Query Language (SQL) query enhanced by ‘Regular Expressions’ feature developed. These data was then processed in Microsoft Excel and later loaded on to the Oracle database for further processing and analyses. Using the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and Practical Extraction and Report Language (Perl) scripts, the data was retrieved through SQL queries and presented on the web browser in a user friendly graphical and text format to be accessed by users via the internet. The historical and current population information put online on this study is expected to be of value to Gazetteer users with keen interest to know the past and present geographical information for Scotland.