The project

The goal of this work is to suggest a way to increase the use of the GIS in those countries where they are uncommon because of the lack of economical resources and technical skills, although they would be useful for improving the analysis of a territory and helping its management.
Many international organisations, which finance cooperation projects, assign part of their own funds to the natural disaster prevention. In fact, even though the problem afflicts a lot of different areas of the Earth, the poorest countries are more vulnerable to the catastrophic events. As a consequence, during the emergency the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations), the International Organizations and the Rescue Corps need to know the territory and the local availability of resources and infrastructures.
Accordingly, in this article three main actions are suggested to be included in the development and catastrophe prevention projects. These actions are to gather territorial and environmental data, to analyse and process them and to make them free and easily available. In this way it is possible to improve the management of the intervention and the coordination among the different subjects which operate on the field.
The web GIS we have developed refers to a particular Bolivia region, precisely to the Chuma municipality.
This municipality belongs to the La Paz Department, in the nord-west part of the nation end is included in the Munacas Province.


Bolivia is situated in the middle of South America. It has an estension of 1.098.581 square kilometers and its abitants are 8.274.325 or 8.857.870, according to different estimates. The capital is Sucre, while the government has place in La Paz. The most populated city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra with about 1,5 milions of abitants.
Bolivia is divided into nine Departments. Every Department is then divided in Provinces, for a total amount of 112 Provinces on the whole Country. Again, every Province contains many Municipalities which are subdivided in Cantones.

La Plaz Department

The La Paz Department of Bolivia comprises 133.985 square kilometres with a 2001 census population of 2.350.466 inhabitants. It is situated at the western border of Bolivia, sharing Lake Titicaca with Peru. It contains the mighty Cordillera Real that reaches altitudes of 6.6 kilometers. Northeast of the Cordillera Real are the Yungas, the steep eastern slopes of the Andes that make the transition to the Amazon basin. The department is divided into 20 provinces, and its capital is the city of La Paz, also the administrative capital of Bolivia.
Inside this Department is contained the Municipality of Chuma, characterised by the presence of big plateau and by a very cold climat (average temperature around 10 ░C). This is the most wet and raining zone of the Andes (650 millimeters of average annual rains). About the population (40% european and 60% autoctona) this zone is, also for the hard metereological situation in which it lies, one of the most poor and disadvantaged of the whole Country.

Technical aspects

About technical aspect, this application has been implemented in both languages (English and Italian) using Chamaleon, a specific programm to develop web GIS. The server web used is Apache. In the web GIS created are available the standard navigation (ricenter Map, zoom in, zoom out, zoom factor, span) and the interrogation functionalities to perform queries.