The Regional Planning Register

1. Preliminary remarks

Bavaria with its 7 districts reponsible for RPR
Bavaria with its 7 districts reponsible for RPR

The Bavarian State Planning Act contains the order “to register and to monitor the facts and developments with spatial impact” instructed to the regional planning authorities of Bavaria. To that purpose there is a regional information system available to regional monitoring in Bavaria, which consists two main components:

  • a data bank of statistical data referring to 2056 towns and villages
  • the Regional Planning Register 1 covering the whole area of 70.000 km2

The data bank is the basis for a comprehensive indicator catalogue and an automatic text processing programme. Besides there exist numerous programmes for regional analysis and regional forecasts. Important up-to-date information is offered to the public via leaflets and internet. The special programmes are used to make regional enquiries and aggregation of statistical data, also for preparing thematic maps (Arcview).

The Regional planning register is done by standardized criteria at the regional planning authorities of the seven districts of Bavaria. The guidelines for that are constituted by a working group. By this means it is able to carry out analysis for the whole Bavarian territory e.g. to search for large industrial settlement areas. The district offices and the big cities are able to retrieve information via intranet.

The main target of the regional information system is to systemize, connect, analyze and present information which corresponds with the wide variety of land use.

2.1 Definition and Targets

The digital Regional Planning Register (RPR) of a regional planning authority is a geographic-information-system (GIS) which allows to register, to save and to evaluate plans and measures with spatial impacts. This should give the best possible overview of the current status of land use and of the environmental situation as well as the distribution of intentions, plans and measures with spatial impacts in a planning area.

  • RPR is a basic principle for the coordination of special plans and projects with each other and for their adjustment to the target of regional planning.
  • RPR allows a conclusion by the regional planning authority whether there are other facts or applied competing planning opposed to a specific project in a concrete described area. Information can immediately be provided in case of the existence of such facts and plans that a denounced project can not to be realised at the provided place.
  • RPR represents the information basis for comments of the regional planning authority to municipal and special plans or approval procedures e.g. urban master plans.
  • RPR gives proof and survey over the distribution of facts with spatial impact to the regional planning authority about possibly touching public or other technical planning bodies from a new applied project and so having them included in an official plan-elaboration procedure.
  • RPR provides additional information, e.g. calculations of areas or the exposition of conflicts in land use to instruct the participants of procedures and for the decision making of the government.
  • RPR serves to public and private planning bodies for the preliminary research of alternatives in a very early phase of planning.

RPR has to be up-to-date to fulfil these targets. The regional planning authority saves the up-to-date information of RPR by signing in all facts becoming known as soon as possible. Thus the RPR systemises the duty of notification and the duty of disclosure in article 20 of the Bavarian State Planning Act.

2.2 Contents

RPR was done from the fifties to the nineties of the last century for the district governments manually. The official topographic map 1:25.000 was the basic sheets to sign in the regional planning facts and plans.

The application RIS-edit, developed during beginning nineties, took the place of the pencil and the heliographic print. RPR-edit contains features for recording und actualizing data and has its own user surface. So the user does not need special knowledge of the basic GIS and work could be done by same personal which in former times drew the signs manually. A further precondition was that the signatures of the digital RPR should be quite the same as the traditional signatures.

RPR contains elements in following thematic fields:

  • Administration
  • Masterplans at the vommunity level
  • Environment
  • Traffic and Telecommunication
  • Energy
  • Economics
  • Social Affairs and Health
  • Education and Culture
  • Leisure and Recreation

For every element a sign is available in two forms, existing and planned. Within the attribute data there is also a recording of planning stages.

The thematic fields are subdivided into three levels. The third level contains the signs to work with. RPR contains about 800 signs. These signs mark about 400.000 facts and projects all over Bavaria. A project can be e.g. a natural monument (point), a road (line) or an airport (area).

The technical attributes of the signs are hold in a data dictionary. This dictionary contains a description of the signs (point, line, area), design elements (e.g. width, colour) as well as technical parameters. The dictionary secures the uniformity of the RPR design in the seven regional planning authorities. Further on special regulations had been fixed in a manual  ( (PDF on external server) ) and support the uniformity of content and design.

Picture: Excerpt of the manual
Fig. 2: Excerpt of the manual

2.3 Attribute Data

All elements of the RPR include attribute data, the most important are:

  • Identification number
  • Name of the owner or organization responsible
  • Number of correspondence (to switch over to other information systems)
  • Capacities (e.g. area, output of water sources)
  • Planning stages (e.g. intention of planning, planned, realized)
  • Community
  • Sheet of the topographic map
  • Origin of date
  • Original scale
  • Person responsible data recording

Recording of attribute data can be done parallel to digitizing geometric data or a in separate process. Thus discountinuous workflows can be handled.

Picture: Attribute data sheet
Fig. 3: Attribute data sheet

2.4 Hardware, Software Application

RPR is based on GIS software SICAD/open provided by SICAD Geomatics. Data recording is done by the geographic databank GDBX using the storage system Informix. RPR works at normal personal computers under windows. Digitizing units and plotters complete the hardware.

The application RIS-edit was developed by GUC, Munich. GUC also maintains the system in the seven regional planning authorities and in the ministry of economic affairs.

3a. The Regional Planning Register - Organisation - online


3a. Organisation

With the described hardware and software equipment during the last 15 years the content of the traditional RPR has been brought into the digital RPR. The goal of this laborious and lengthy transfer and the current actualization of the RPR was the support of regional planners and decision makers.

But also other people within the administration can draw advantages from RPR. For the support of these tasks access should be given to RPR from their working places

Cross-linking with local area networks in the planning authorities, needed for that, is final. For the equipment of these people, however the high-quality and expensive hardware and software could not be used, which had been needed for the digitization. In the year 1998 it succeeded to launch the system RIS-view using SICAD/open IMS (Internet map server) by GUC. Thus on client’s side only a browser is necessary to come to RPR.

An authority net was developed within the project Bavaria on-line, that came to meet the goal of a broad dispersion of the RPR in the administration. This Bavarian network connects the ministries, the seven district governments, the 96 counties and many further state and public agencies.

Within these surroundings the following multi-level concept was established:

  • RIS-view as an information tool in the ministries and the district governments,
  • opening of the RPR via the authority net for the county offices and the municipalities,
  • opening of the RPR for everyone, (postponed because of safety aspects!)

Picture Excerpt of the RPR - City of Passau
Fig. 4: Excerpt of the RPR - City of Passau

3b. The Regional Planning Register - Visualization - online



For the visualization of the RPR RIS-view offers the following functions:

  • decreasing, increasing and shifting of a screen picture
  • measurement of distances and surfaces
  • actual attribute data information
  • Support during the printout (high/landscape format, legend text, choice of scale)

The spatial access takes place in a small window with an overview map of Bavaria or numerically on the basis of the 2000 municipalities or 42.000 officially designated municipality parts. The thematic fields can be represented individually or in combination. The topic selection is made by a tree structure in its own small window.

The following raster backgrounds are available:

  • official topographic map of scale 1:25.000
  • official topographic map of scale 1:100.000
  • satellite photograph mosaic from recordings of the Indian system IRS1C/1D in natural colour representation with 5 m solution
  • coloured aerial (ortho) photographs with 40-cm-Pixel solution
  • official map of properties 1:5.000

4. Further Steps

The unification of the area planning land register (scale 1:25.000) with the statements and goals of regional plans (scale1:100.000), already begun. A new basic map for regional plans has been developed using the digital data from the geodetic survey. Regional plans finally can be worked out by the assistance of the GIS. This provides also the interconnectivity between text and map. On the other hand the signs of the regional plan will be within the RPR. Thus possible land use conflicts become easier recognizable.

Also country-wide analyses about various thematic questions are now possible. It is possible to produce thematic maps for Bavaria e.g. about the environmental potential with only very few mouse clicks. Thus RPR becomes really a new data source, which is very relevant in times of decreasing official statistics.

Mainly for safety reasons an accounting system will be established also within the authority net.

At last but not at least it is necessary to educate regional planners in working with the advanced tools of RPR as intersecting, buffering and merging. Thus the regional planning authorities will become a centre of competence in GIS.

Fig. 6: Excerpt of RPR - National parcs, nature parcs, nature protection areas near the border to the Czech Republic
Fig. 6: Excerpt of RPR - National parcs, nature parcs, nature protection areas near the border to the Czech Republic