Uso do QGIS no Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social do Uruguai (MIDES)


O Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social do Uruguai (MIDES, <> _, sigla em espanhol) é responsável pelas políticas sociais nacionais. O MIDES também é responsável pela coordenação - nos níveis setorial e territorial - da articulação, monitoramento, supervisão e avaliação de planos, programas e projetos, dentro das áreas de sua competência, visando à consolidação de uma política social progressivamente redistributiva.

A Divisão Nacional de Avaliação e Monitorização (DINEM ) é uma seção do MIDES que supervisiona a monitorização e avaliação de planos, programas, ações, dispositivos e projetos sociais em todo o território nacional. O DINEM também produz e gerencia as informações necessárias para melhorar o seu design e implementação.

O Departamento de Geografia do DINEM <> _ é responsável pela produção, gestão e análise de informação geográfica,

QGIS no Departamento de Geografia do DINEM

Desde a consolidação do Departamento de Geografia em 2012, tentamos incorporar software de código aberto para cumprir as nossas obrigações. Em particular, a gestão de um extenso trabalho de campo, consistindo na implementação anual de aproximadamente 40.000 visitas a agregados familiares socialmente vulneráveis em todo o país. O objetivo foi adequar uma base de dados georreferenciada completa de domicílios-alvo, a fim de melhorar a implementação de políticas sociais. Particularmente, os dados foram recolhidos para melhorar o âmbito dos programas de transferência monetária (» Asignaciones Familiares - Plano de Equidade «<> _ e ` «Tarjeta Uruguay Social» <> `_). O formulário de pesquisa aplicado contempla aspectos sociais, habitacionais e ambientais.

A logística para viabilizar tal trabalho de campo envolvendo o uso de pacotes estatísticos para gerir o banco de dados gerado, juntamente com um uso intensivo de GIS para organizar viagens de campo e georeferenciação de dados aliviados.

QGIS at work

QGIS at work: identifying houses on informal settlements to implement fieldwork

Although proprietary software was implemented when the working process started, the development of the tasks themselves gradually demanded it to be converted to open source software. As the process as a whole became more computerized -incorporating a workflow engine and a PostGIS geospatial database-, license requirements and benefits offered by free and open source software (FOSS) options encouraged us to make the change. In that way, as the QGIS project was refined (fewer bugs and more functionalities), we were able to satisfy our needs using QGIS. PostGIS associated tools allowed the workgroup to rapidly coordinate the tasks needed to viabilize daily field trips, together with subsequent analysis tasks on the same data fieldwork generated, shortly after it was relieved and digitized.

QGIS at work

QGIS at work: Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital and most populated city, overlayed with PostGIS layer showing to-do visits (mostly composed of socially vulnerable households, in the outskirts of the city)

In addition to information management and field work implementation, we constantly use QGIS typical geospatial tools to produce tematic cartography, and in spatial analysis tasks. This last, as much about the data that the fieldwork generates, as with other ministry programs information, and frequently even to aid interinstitutional projects. With «qgis2web» we were able to produce interactive maps, which have become the main way to communicate the results of such investigations. They allow human resources within other programs and agencies to easily and effectively manage higher amounts of information than with a collection of static maps, even when these resources are not used to reading spatial data.


QGIS has become a fundamental software to the Department of Geography at DINEM. It presents an excellent performance to work with heavy files and to interact with PostGIS and with our workflow engine. This allows us to have an excellent management of geographic data, which also makes for the production of basemaps and thematic cartographies of superior quality.

At the same time, extra features that are incorporated through plugins are of great value to us. For instance, the possibility of exporting «leaflet» map viewers, as well as incorporating high resolution satellite imagery directly into the GIS work area through “OpenLayers” to manually vectorize information, among others.

This variety of options is precisely what has allowed us to develop the specific and at the same time very different technical solutions that programs and agencies have been needing through past years.As mentioned in this article, we can state that QGIS meets the necessary requirements to be used in public administration as desktop GIS software. Also it has been a cornerstone in helping this institution to set up a web map, offering general population much information about social issues (SIG MIDES, OpenLayers based WEB GIS developed by the IT division).


Guillermo D’Angelo - Head of the Geography Department (DINEM-MIDES, Uruguay). Degree in Geography.

Richard Detomasi - Adviser in Spatial Analysis Section of Geography Department (DINEM-MIDES, Uruguay). Ph.D. student in Social Sciences, Population Studies. Magister in Contemporary Studies of Latin America. Degree in Anthropological Sciences.

Martín Hahn - Adviser in Spatial Analysis Section of Geography Department (DINEM-MIDES, Uruguay). Bach. currently coursing Geography Degree.

Despite the fact that the present article was written by the three above mentioned, there are more than a hundred people involved in the process described in it, so this work belongs mainly to them.