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B’desh capital to go digital

A digital map of Dhaka City through aerial photography will be available from early next year and it aims to help utility agencies better coordinate their work and take up disaster management schemes.

Speakers at a seminar held recently also said that currently there is no uniform map of Dhaka City, forcing the utility agencies to use different maps. It leads to problems in implementing infrastructure projects and waste of resources.

The map will, however, leave out defence locations like cantonments for national security.

Bangladesh government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been working on an urban information management system for Dhaka City since 2002.

“One of the core objectives of this study is to produce 1:5,000 scale digital topographic maps and basic data for GIS of Dhaka metropolitan city,” said Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Matsushiro Horiguchi.

He was speaking at the seminar on urban information management for greater Dhaka City at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

Muhammad Shafiqul Islam, surveyor general of Bangladesh, highlighted the key features of the study. “So far aerial photographs of 960 square kilometres of Dhaka City and its surrounding area have been taken. As many as 122 topographic map sheets at 1:5,000 scale are being prepared covering 581 square kilometres area,” he said.

The seminar, however, was told that erasing defence locations from the film-based aerial photographs might end up highlighting them.

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) can use the maps for tax assessment and collection, garbage and waste collection, maintenance of disposal system and controlling encroachment.

The police department can use them for crime record maintenance. Tourism department, different intelligence departments such as National Security Intelligence, Directorate General of Forces Intelligence and Criminal Investigation Department, Fire Brigade and Civil Defence, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Authority can all benefit from these maps.

Japanese GIS experts Kazumi Suwabe and Shigeru Ono also presented two technical papers elaborating on the development of thematic mapping system.

The printed maps are expected to be available for public use in the beginning of next year and can be accessed at www.iscgm.org/ index.htm in the next two months.