Keep walking and you will reach somewhere

Keep walking and you will reach somewhere

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Hiromichi Maruyama
Hiromichi Maruyama
Secretrary General
International Steering Committee for Global Mapping
Email: [email protected]
ISCGM is a core body to promote Global Mapping Project, and its members are heads of 17 NMOs, two International Organizations and one University. Global Mapping Project provides NMOs with an opportunity to contribute to solving global environmental problems. Hiromichi Maruyama expresses his views on map culture

How do you see the role of Global Mapping Project as developing Map Culture throughout the world?
Global Mapping Project provides good opportunities to National Mapping Organizations (NMOs)to recognize various map cultures around the world, because it stimulates interactions among NMOs who are one of the key players to develop map culture in respective countries. Secondly, people become more conscious of their own map culture as a counteraction of seeking for consistent specifications which is one of the characteristics of the Global Map. Thus Global Mapping Project helps to develop diversity of map cultures in the world.

How many member countries does ISCGM have? What brings the countries to join ISCGM?
As of January 2005, NMOs from 137 countries/regions participate in Global Mapping Project. ISCGM is a core body to promote Global Mapping Project, and its members are heads or those with adequate qualification of 17 NMOs, two International Organizations and one University. Global Mapping Project provides NMOs with an opportunity to contribute to solving global environmental problems and attaining sustainable development. The project also provides them with great opportunities to link with other NMOs in the worlds and to get various information on new systems, technologies, and so on. For small countries it gives a good opportunity to make people in the world recognize their countries or organizations.

Throw light on the trend of using maps In different countries Globally.
The governments have been using maps as a base material on which various development plans are drawn or facilities are managed. Many countries have been treating maps (topographic maps) as confidential, but it seems such tendency will be reduced by the rapidly and widely spreading use of maps on the Internet. Maps make the lives of people more convenient, comfortable and interesting. Intenet will highlight such trend more clearly.

How significant is the development of Internet-based map sites around different regions of the world?
ISCGM plans to set up Web portal for Global map which makes it more accesible and more useful. Internet-based map sites provide map information for far more people around the world than ever before with far shorter time lag. This was demonstrated by the fact that various map sites were set up for providing geo-information on the recent unprecedent tsunami tragedy in Indian Ocean. It is, however, not so comfortable to use such map sites due to slow response resulting from power of present computers. The computer power should be improved for future Internet-based map sites. Another issue is digital divide. Many people enjoy accessing full amount of geo-information on the net while many other people have no access to the Internet or access it with very slow speed. It is urgent to reduce this unreasonable inequality.

What would be your suggestion to maps manufacturing companies about their effort in developing map-culture?
What I can say from my experience is that continuation gives you presents when you do not expect anything. Keep walking and you will reach somewhere.

How significant is the role of ISCGM in developing GSDI?
GSDI consists of various components. One of the most important components is framework data. Global Mapping Project is a project to develop framework data which most of people in the world can rely on.