Dr Khalid Abdul Rahman Al-Haidan
Director, GIS Directorate
What is the vision of Central Informatics Organisation (CIO)-GIS Directorate?
CIO-GIS Directorate aims at concentrating efforts and working towards manifesting its future vision of enterprising geospatial data and hence achieve the mandate of generating basic and reusable, applications to solve realworld needs; provide geospatial support to organisations (government, public and private); perform as a hub to improve GIS technology by establishing technical standards and facilitate GIS education through ‘technology transfer’; serve as a leader in advancing GIS technology best practices; foster values of geospatial technology and data sharing and enterprise thereby, to encourage the development and usage of integrated service offerings, rather than functional silos. It is envisaged that by building centralised or ‘core’ GIS information and managing the Kingdom’s core geospatial data would lead to more efficient management and aid in achieving the government’s 2030 vision.
Can you let us know the status of efforts to build a spatial data infrastructure in Bahrain?
The GIS Directorate of CIO, in concordance of a government decree, implemented the nation-wide SDI called Bahrain Spatial Data Infrastructure. BSDI portal serves government organisations, private sector, academic institutions/ organisations and the public sector in the Kingdom. One of the objects of this project was to emphasize the concept of a single, consistent, accessible, government funded spatial data infrastructure as a basis for developing competitive, private sector, value adding services towards sustainable development.
The BSDI portal is as an innovative endeavour in conformance with the policies of the Government of Bahrain, in effectively recognising the significance of spatial information in planning, governance and provision of public services. BSDI portal has a GIS database of data layers containing important information including street centerlines, addresses, electricity and water transmission and distribution, telecommunications, gas and oil pipelines, sewerage and drainage. At present, more than twenty government and private authorities are benefitting from this portal.
The objectives to be achieved include: to make GIS available to improve the efficiency of ministries, public and private organisations; create Spatial Data Clearing House with a centralised data repository; direct and support the development of integrated GIS systems; define the priorities in the development of GIS databases and study and evaluate GIS development proposals; propose strategies and standards for GIS data exchange; reduce the cost of development of digital geospatial data; quick delivery of services; make geospatial data easily accessible for government and general public and eliminating duplication of effort in the development of geospatial layers.
How is CIO incorpo- rating GIS into vari- ous aspects of gov- ernance? Are you looking at moving towards providing g- governance?
Under the auspices of implementing a successful infrastructure of enterprise GIS and e-governance of geospatial data thereof, the CIO-GIS Directorate, as a primary stakeholder and custodian of geospatial database, is now incorporating spatial models into its base technology, enabling stakeholders from government, public and private sectors to use the geographic tools in its application. To facilitate exchange information, provide services and transact with citizens, businesses and other arms of government, a number of Web applications and services have been developed.
GIS Directorate provides the needed geo-information and geodata for e-government and easy accessibility and ease of use of geodata is the major target of BSDI to be achieved by 2030. Further, a stepwise approach is adopted by developing customer oriented GIS projects; data production – by generating digital thematic maps etc. and data distribution – by providing access to other stakeholders and finally building a close cooperation among the stakeholders involved in terms of data sharing.