(Data West Research Agency definition: see GIS glossary
.) To develop a GIS, an organized approach should be taken to obtain a successful system, and includes the following phases:
a) geographic information needs assessment (an analysis of operations that will determine exactly how the GIS should be designed in order for it to be fully utilized in everyday routines);
b) analyze existing systems and create detailed GIS design (an analysis to summarize varying aspects of how the GIS will operate including database design, software design, hardware design, application design, and personnel and management design);
c) implementation plan (provides a detailed program of steps for the development of the GIS including scheduling, management requirements, budget, equipment and personnel resources);
d) initiate implementation plan, prototype, create land base and install system (include system acquisition and installation, training users in GIS system software and the operating system, and prototype project to allow for modification based on testing under operational conditions);
e) data conversion of other records (the organization's records and hard copy maps including the land base are integrated into the GIS over an extended period of time);
f) technical support (insures that the user has access to GIS professionals to resolve day-to-day hardware and software problems and questions).