Dr Alias Abdul Rahman
Department of Geoinformatics
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor
At the moment, GIS community (users, system developers, and policy makers) in Malaysia are experiencing some kind of pressures to deliver and to make sure that all project implementations are really beneficial to the people and environment. The technology is there but why at the end of the day they fail to provide the anticipated information? Every authority in this GIS business has to deliver useful information and has to make sure that all the proposed applications really work and are worth- spending. We want to hear more success stories right from national to local authority level. In my opinion GIS in Malaysia could be brought to greater heights if we have the right and clear policy at national level.
I have seen GIS applications or projects initiated by government agencies were duplicative in nature and this certainly has to be avoided. In this regard I would like to suggest that Malaysia should have one central body whose job is to coordinate and consolidate all national GIS policies. It would be wise for me to think placing this central body in the Department of Prime Minister. Actually, GIS in Malaysia needs good “friend” who has the power and able to synergize GIS things accordingly. A powerful directive from the top office could eventually change the way we do, handle, and manage GIS in Malaysia.
Today, GIS applications in Malaysia need good and reliable data sets. Our national mapping agency, JUPEM is in the process of supplying more digital data to the users and customers, and this is good trend indeed. It has huge amount of digital data and very reliable and accurate too. Recent disasters like flash flood in Selangor and in KL city certainly require good and accurate terrain heights (i.e. DTM datasets). Fast and less-labour data sources like LIDAR or SAR seem the most preferred source. Many GIS applications could be developed out of these relatively new data type as discussed in the pages of this issue.
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