Standardising Auxiliary Data

Revision as of 20:26, 7 February 2014 by Laura (talk | contribs) (Version 6.0)

The country structure represents a gazetteer, or the political or administrative divisions within a country. In IMSMANG, the country structure allows a mine action programme to link mine action information to areas and report statistics such as number of hazards per province or district. So the country structure should be set up before beginning data entry.

Ideally, a mine action programme uses an official, countrywide country structure that ensures mine action information is compatible with other national datasets. Implementing an existing gazetteer requires two steps:

  • defining the levels of the country structure
  • defining the areas of the country structure


Define the Country Structure Levels

Defining the levels of the country structure includes defining the number of levels and the names of the levels. For example, a programme may wish to implement a four-level country structure, while another programme wants to use a five-level country structure. The figure below shows an example of each option.

Example Country Structures

Example Country Structures

Both the number of levels and the name of each level can be customised to match the programme’s existing country structure. Ideally, the country structure in IMSMANG, covers all levels of the existing country structure, from the country level down to a level that can be represented with a single point such as a town, city or village. If a programme has special areas or districts that are not consistent with the defined country structure levels, the programme can insert artificial or unofficial areas to keep the country structure consistent across the entire country.


Note.jpg To add, change, or remove country structure levels, you must have the Country Structure permission.

The country structure levels associated with the country structures are created using the Hierarchy Manager window.

The Hierarchy Manager window displays the names of any defined country structure levels. If no country structure levels are defined, the window does not display any levels. When the window initially displays, only the FieldTemplateIcon.png button and the Done button are available. The FieldViewIcon.png and EcksButton.png buttons become available after you select a country structure level. The EcksButton.png button will not become enabled if you select a country structure level that is not the lowest level.

Define the Country Structure

When defining the Country Structure areas, it may be desirable to add only the areas for the portions of the country affected by mines rather than the entire official country structure. This reduces the amount of data in IMSMANG to only that which is important, improving performance and usability when entering and searching for data.

IMSMANG provides several ways to add country structure areas. These include manually entering the information starting with the country and working down through each level or importing the data from an .XLS file using customised routines to import data automatically from an official gazetteer. To display a country structure area like a town or village on the map, it is necessary to add a geographic coordinate for the area. Typically, a single coordinate is sufficient for displaying an area on the map.

As with all data elements in IMSMANG, the country structure supports the incorporation of CDFs to augment predefined data fields. These fields can be used to collect and track information such as population, numbers of families and other socioeconomic and infrastructure information that is helpful in planning mine action activities.

  • For ease of access, it is recommended to associate IMSMANG locations with one level in the country structure, normally the lowest level such as town or village.
  • Setting the preferred map extent for each area allows users to zoom and centre the map automatically on the area from the main navigation window.
  • Adding alternative names for areas lets users incorporate official and unofficial names for areas as well as internationally recognized PCodes.

To add, change, or remove country structures, you must have the Country Structure permission. The country structure names displayed in the IMSMA Navigation window’s country structure pane are created using the Country Structure Manager window.

Define Other Auxiliary Data

In addition to establishing the Country Structure in IMSMANG, information managers can establish other auxiliary data, including data for:

  • Organisations
  • Places
  • Ordnance Classification
  • Cause Classification
  • Needs Classification
  • Assistance Classification

While this information is easily updated during operational use of IMSMANG, it is helpful to establish a baseline of information prior to proceeding with Data Entry Form template design and data entry. Many IMSMANG users already have a baseline set of information created for each of the auxiliary data types, either through the standard, predefined data available within IMSMANG or by migrating auxiliary data from a previous IMSMA version. Auxiliary data can also be augmented by creating CDFs to track additional information.

Cause, Needs, and Assistance

Three auxiliary data types in IMSMANG directly pertain to victim Assistance:

  • The Cause for someone having become a victim
  • The Needs that the victim is assessed to have
  • The Assistance that the victim has received

As with a programme's Country Structure, you can use the Hierarchy Manager to add sub-levels. Each of these Classifications (Cause, Needs, Assistance) may have up to ten levels.


IMSMANG provides the ability to track information about organisations participating in mine action. Organisations can be categorized by type and assigned “work areas” based on the country structure. To display organisations on the map, users can provide geospatial data for each organisation.

Additionally, IMSMANG supports the creation of parent-child relationships with organisations so that information managers can create hierarchies of organisations. For example, a mine clearance organisation may be responsible for several clearance teams within a country. As shown in the figure below, this relationship can be mapped by creating one organisation for the mine clearance organisation (NGO1) and one organisation for each team (TeamA, TeamB and TeamC), then specifying the parent organisation of each team as NGO1.

Example Hierarchy of Organisations

This kind of hierarchical relationship allows for complex searching and reporting on information such as how many square meters were cleared by each team and the total square meters that were cleared by the entire organisation.

IMSMANG also supports the tracking of competencies and accreditations for each organisation. The lists of specific competencies and accreditations can be managed in the Data Inventory Manager.

Note.jpg To view the list of organisations in the Organisation List Window, you must have read-only access to the Organisations permission. To add, change, or remove organisations, you must have read and write access to the Organisations permission.

Organisations are government, non-government, military, civilian, commercial, or non-profit groups who are responsible for performing activities on, monitoring ongoing activities on, or recording the existence of locations, lands, activities, and/or events.


IMSMANG offers the option to track information about specific places or infrastructure elements within a country that are relevant to mine action. These can be airports, water sources, hospitals, community centres, refugee camps or any other structures or buildings which designate a political, economic, social, and/or logistical value.

In IMSMANG, places can be linked to education activities to represent the location of the activity or they can be linked to other land areas and activities to represent the nearest medical facilities.

As with other IMSMANG data, places can be customised using CDFs and represented on the map by adding geospatial information.

Note.jpg To view the list of places in the Place List window, you must have read-only access to the Places permission. To add, change, or remove places, you must have read and write access to the Places permission.


Another type of auxiliary data available in IMSMANG is Ordnance Classification. This classification is used in Land, Activities and Accidents. IMSMANG includes more than 5,000 predefined ordnance types with the ability to create additional ordnance required for a mine action programme.

All ordnance is grouped according to categories and subcategories, which allows for detailed categorization of each device. For example, an explosive device may have a category of “Landmine” and a subcategory of “Antipersonnel.” In this way, IMSMANG provides the ability not only to search and report on types of ordnance but also on the specific characteristics of ordnance. This allows queries such as “how many landmines or bombs were cleared in a specific period?” or “how many anti-personnel mines were found?”.

Furthermore, programmes can limit which ordnance can be used within the system by making individual devices active or inactive. This facilitates rapid data entry by making available only the devices that are found locally to a programme.

  • Before beginning data entry, standardise the devices or types of devices available for use to ensure data consistency for reports.
  • When adding a device to the database, determine if the device already exists in the predefined dataset as there are more than 5,000 devices from the ORDATA ordnance catalogue already in the system.
Note.jpg To view ordnance in the Ordnance List window, you must have read-only access to the Ordnance permission. To add, change, or remove ordnance, you must have read and write access to the Ordnance permission.

Import Auxiliary Data

To import auxiliary data using an Excel spreadsheet, refer to Importing Auxiliary Data.

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