|WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION||
|Explanation of the criteria for classification and numbering of components|| K55.3.05
|Explanation of the dates on the component's description|
ENVIRONMENTAL (WATER QUALITY) INFORMATION SOFTWARE - (RAISON/GEMS)
1. Purpose and Objectives
Although many agencies have water quality databases, they often have
limited ability to use data creatively (analysis, presentation, decision-
making) for management purposes, or to link these data to other types of
information (maps, imagery, etc.). Most water agencies have relatively
simple GIS requirements but have substantial analytical requirements. To meet these needs the Government of Canada's RAISON/GEMS software has been
made available under the WHO/WMO/UNESCO/UNEP GEMS/Water Programme.
The RAISON (Regional Analysis by Intelligent Systems ON a MicroComputer) software was originally developed to provide, in a single seamless package, the ability to:
- integrate diverse information (data, maps, graphs, pictures, etc.),
- carry out database and spreadsheet activities with seamless linkage
to internal modules for statistical (parametric and nonparametric)
and graphical analysis,
- display data as maps, graphs, etc. and,
- overlay graphical analyses directly onto maps and images.
Most water agencies require easily-accessed analytical functions with enough georeferencing capability to display maps showing sampling stations, to interrogate data and information by "clicking" onto screen icons of
sampling stations, and to display the results of numerical, statistical and
RAISON has an open architecture; it links to most commercial databases
and to full GIS systems such as SPANS, IDRISI, ARC/INFO, etc. for the
purpose of exchanging map files. In its DOS version, RAISON rastorizes map files. In its WINDOWS version, RAISON uses vector files. For water quality
In its advanced form (PC or UNIX), RAISON contains its own
macrolanguage which allows the User to customise the software, such as incorporating models etc. Advanced RAISON is designed as a modelling and decision-support platform, and contains an Expert System shell, neural network capabilities for database analysis, etc. To link water quality data with other types of information, RAISON supports development of comprehensive databases of social, economic, and physical data, including numeric, normative and pictoral information; both RAISON/GEMS and Advanced
RAISON are being used as general purpose Environmental Information and
Decision-Support Systems due to ease of operation, low cost, open architecture, high degree of flexibility, and limited training requirements. RAISON can be operated within local area networks.
Data can be input directly into RAISON or from most commercial database software or via ASCII files. Map files can be input from electronic databases and from most GIS systems. Maps and graphs, etc. can be scanned into RAISON.
Output may be to screen, hardcopy or networked to other computers.
5. Operational Requirements and Restrictions
Training for RAISON/GEMS is one week for computer literate persons; two weeks for those without significant computer experience. Advanced RAISON requires 2-3 weeks beyond the RAISON/GEMS level for those with significant computer experience
Minimum hardware configuration for RAISON/GEMS is: 386/486 IBM-
compatible PC with minimum of 4 MB RAM; minimum 80 MB Hard Drive; math-
coprocessor; VGA or SVGA monitor. Colour printer for output. Map input requires electronic map files, or access to (simple) GIS software.
6. Form of Presentation
Executable programs on diskette with documentation. RAISON/GEMS software is available in English and Spanish. Advanced RAISON is available in English only. Training manuals are in English, with a limited manual in Spanish.
7. Operational Experience
RAISON/GEMS has been installed world-wide under the GEMS/Water
Programme. Mexico uses RAISON/GEMS for management of national water quality database. RAISON is a unique software product that is not available
commercially. RAISON/GEMS was reviewed for GEMS/Water by an international
panel selected by UNEP and WHO.
8. Originator and Technical Support
RAISON was developed by the National Water Research Institute (Canada
Centre for Inland Waters) of Environment Canada. Environment Canada
maintains the software, carries out R&D in software and decision-support
technology, and provides client technical support on a cost-recovery basis.
UNEP & WHO Collaborating Centres for GEMS/Water, National Water
Research Institute, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, P.O. Box 5050,
Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6, CANADA
10. Conditions on Use
RAISON is the property of the Government of Canada. Use of RAISON is by license only. Environment Canada makes RAISON/GEMS available under license to non-profit Institutions on a not-for-profit basis. Single copy license fees currently are $US 1000. License fees are higher for commercial users and for profit-making Institutions (including those charging
overhead). Training costs are on basis of full cost recovery except when
participants are authorised to attend a GEMS/Water training programme. Advanced RAISON is only recommended for agencies with significant expertise
|(First entered:16 MAY 94||
Last updated: 14 DEC 1999)