Home Articles UAE – Ajman Municipality: Building future with GIS

UAE – Ajman Municipality: Building future with GIS

UAE – Ajman Municipality: Building future with GIS

The vision of Ajman Municipality and Planning Department is to build the future of the emirate of Ajman by promoting its environment, infrastructure and services in accordance with the highest global standards using the national resources while observing the values and traditions.

GIS in Ajman Municipality was started in year 2006. However, the GIS Division was officially established in 2007 under the Planning and Survey Department. The mission of the department is to provide state-of-the-art geospatial services to various departments in the municipality and in private companies. Today, GIS in Ajman is used in many applications mainly in urban planning and cadastral applications. A complete data base of 60, 000 land parcels in Ajman has been completed and is updated on regular basis.

Projects like Ajman Base Map, Ajman Explorer website, Lands Information System, Locate your land service, Ajman EMap Application, land ownership application and many more were completed successfully by the municipality and the planning department which have enhanced the integrated development of the emirate. The objective of the municipality is to design and develop various services in compliance with standards of excellence and electronic transformation to meet the needs and expectations of their clients.

The municipality also aims to develop and construct an infrastructure to meet the needs of sustainable development and cater for future growth of population and increasing construction projects in the emirate. Preservation of architectural characteristics and building heritage in the emirate is also one of the objectives of the municipality.

The Ajman municipality was recognised for its work with the "Excellence of GIS Implementation Award" in 2008 and the "Geospatial Excellence Award" in 2009.

The GIS division at the municipality plans to establish a centralised GIS data base system which will be accessible by all government and private departments in Ajman. The municipality is also working towards making GIS a valuable tool to a wide range of public and private establishments in Ajman emirate.

Interview

Rashed Al-Kaabi
Head – GIS
Ajman Municipality & Planning Department.
Utilisation of technology
GIS is used in many applications in Ajman mainly in urban planning and cadastral applications. A complete data base of all the land parcels has been created depicting all information and maps related to them. The base map project for Ajman was initiated in 2007 and now we have plenty of data of layers, plenty of maps that we are using in several applications in different departments in Ajman Municipatiliy. The information is shared with many government & private departments.

Source of data
Usually, we create our own data through aerial survey. We also do agreements with private companies who are specialised in such type of projects.

Use of cadastral maps
Let me give an example. In Ajman and UAE, government grants free land to the citizens of emirate to build houses. Every couple of months, a new list is announced and it is a challenge for a place like Ajman to find empty land. With the help of our land information maps, we were able to find 7000 land parcels that were not owned by any one. Before GIS, no one could do this.

On SDI initiatives
When we started GIS in 2007, we provided other departments with maps but our main focus was on the municipality as we were part of it. In September 2009, we started the enterprise GIS project. We are creating centralised GIS data base which will be shared by all government departments. For this, we will also build our intranet portal that will include map and all information we have. We will use this infrastructure so that every government department can access GIS data with other departments. This will increase the coordination between all the departments.

Enterprise GIS
We expect to minimise the time needed by a customer to complete application such as NOC application which needs information shared by government departments and municipality. But after the implementation of the enterprise GIS when all layers related to a department will be overlaid on one map, this would not take so long. It will also increase the coordination between all the departments. For example, information about traffic accidents is collected by police department but the municipality usually needs to do the analysis of the traffic accidents.

Municipality needs to know the places where accidents are occurring frequently. The municipality will study and try to find out the reasons for the accidents that have occurred at a certain place. If there is something wrong with the design of the road, then the municipality will take measures to reduce accidents.

Future plans
Our aim is to build more applications and something specific for the public. We plan to provide a site which gives all the information about real estate, land parcels etc. We plan to update our data and conduct more aerial surveys on regular basis for which we will be buying satellite images every six months. We also plan to conduct a complete base map project to update all the layers every three years.