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Tracing GIS evolution

Phuoc Tran Vinh


Phuoc Tran Vinh
Director, Center for IT and GIS – DITAGIS
Vietnam National University, Hochiminh City, Vietnam
[email protected]

During the end of the 80s, GIS technology was imported in Vietnam via the projects sponsored by international agencies or developing countries. GIS and remote sensing technology was researched in universities and research institutes in the north. Many scientists and researchers approached GIS, they created solutions for spatial analysis of forest management. In the frame of these international GIS projects, a lot of Vietnamese researchers were trained in GIS by means of study tours to the country funding the project. Some GIS workshops were organized in Hanoi. Since 2000 GIS has been developed strongly. The trend is towards applying GIS and remote sensing for public administration.

Located in the south-east of Asia, Vietnam has a total land area of 331,000 sq. km and a population of over 80 million residents. It consists of 61 units, called province or city. They include Hanoi city (the capital of Vietnam), Haiphong, Danang, Hochiminh city (the biggest city in south Vietnam). It consists of 22 districts and 303 wards with over 6 million residents and about 2 million immigrants coming from northern, central and southern provinces.

Hochiminh has the biggest port and is the biggest center of civilization, trade, service, communication, science and technology in Vietnam. It is a key member of the focused industry zone of southern Vietnam and its GDP increases at the rate of over 12% a year. It contributes to the national budget about at the rate of 33% a year. This is a dynamic city with over 20 universities and number of public and private organisatons.

The development of the GIS applications in Vietnam can be divided into 3 periods:

Before 1995
During the end of the 80s, GIS technology was imported in Vietnam via the projects sponsored by international agencies or developing countries. GIS and remote sensing technology was researched in universities and research institutes in the north. Many scientists and researchers approached GIS, they created solutions for spatial analysis of forest management. In the frame of these international GIS projects, a lot of Vietnamese researchers were trained in the GIS by the means of study tours to the country funding the project. Some GIS workshops were also organized in Hanoi.