GIS in foreign nationals management: spatial analysis of distribution and socio-economic impacts of immigration in Nairobi
Due to increasing globalization trends, migration has increasingly become a key element in national and international deliberations. Mapping of immigrant issues has also gained prominence in many parts of the world, with several agencies taking the cue. In Kenya the management of foreigners or aliens is one of the core functions of the Department of Immigration Services with the mandate of enhancing security and socio-economic development through policy and management strategies targeting immigrant populations. Currently the practice within the department, and periodic censuses have generated immigration data, and lately emigration data, though a number of potential datasets still remain unexploited due to inadequate use of available technology. Such sources include data on visas and work permits, border-post data and passenger surveys at international airports Through a review of related literature, this study showcased the great interest that other countries have on the numbers of foreigners they host, where they live, what they do and what sort of services they need or offer. It further demonstrated the relationship between migration and geospatial technology and its successful application. The study adopted a methodology involving a spatial approach in the use of location information to enable tracking, visualizing, analyzing and management of alien activities. This involved the geo-coding of immigrant residential addresses and linking with their respective attributes to enable input, storage, manipulation and analysis using appropriate spreadsheet and GIS software. The results were then presented in the form of various maps, charts, figures and tables representing various themes according to the objectives of the study. In conclusion, it emerged that migration and development are related and create impact in various perspectives and proportions. Geospatial technology is such a revolutionizing application that has great potential for organizing, manipulating and analyzing such migration information and can enable the department to use a variety of maps and documents to interpret immigrant activities, including major patterns of migration; changing environmental preferences and settlement patterns.