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An archipelago embraces g-tech

The world’s biggest archipelago and the fourth most populous country, and a nation blessed with abundant natural resources and diverse flora and fauna, Indonesia has its eyes firmly set on the future with ambitious targets of socio-economic growth. A key tool in development planning is the utilization of geospatial information and technology, as was asserted by the country’s policy makers at the recently concluded Asia Geospatial Forum in its capital city, Jakarta. Not limiting the use of geo-information to itself in development planning, the government is also encouraging public participation in development monitoring and reporting and the use of geospatial technology and social networking. No less than the President’s office is involved in the process. The public can apprise the President of the current status of development activities from across the country simply by using smartphone combined with GPS capabilities.

The country has achieved another milestone in the geospatial arena recently by approving the Geospatial Information Act, possibly one of the very few countries in the world to have stipulations for geospatial at the Executive level. Geospatial Information Act, or Law No. 4/2011 on Geospatial Information, is expected to serve as an umbrella in geospatial information industry encompassing the following activities: the collection of geospatial data and information; the processing and analysis of geospatial data and information; the maintenance and preservation of geospatial data and information; the diffusion of geospatial data and information; and the use of geospatial data and information.

While the nation does not shy away from admitting the challenges in utilization of geospatial data, there is no doubt that it holds immense opportunities for geospatial technology given its aggressive land and marine development plans and projects, growing spatial awareness among decision makers and support of the Geospatial Information Act .