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Begin to be drawn the first “brush strokes” to map between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama

Bogotá, Colombia, 09 February 2015.- In the period 09-13 February representatives of geographic institutes of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama and cartography experts will participate in the first workshop to build the Map of the Andean Countries Northern Latin America at the 1: 250,000. The meeting will be in the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) in Bogota, Colombia.

The northern Andean Latin America, formed by Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama, will feature its own high resolution digital integrated map. On a scale 1: 25,000, the so-called "Integrated Map Andean North" will consist of four thematic covers: villages and urban areas; administrative boundaries; roads; rivers and water bodies, which will allow to understand the environmental and social aspects of the region, and manage jointly transnational issues such as climate change and natural resources and strengthen the economic, social and environmental cooperation.

To start drawing the first "lines" of this map, representatives of geographic institutes of these countries participate in the first workshop between 9 and 13 February at the premises of the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) in Bogota. The workshop installed by Juan Antonio Nieto Escalante, Director General of IGAC, is led by experts and delegated from the Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) , the US Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Center for Geographic Information of Spain (CNIG) and GeoSUR.

During this week, subjects will be defined as: the status of mapping and geospatial data for each country; international borders, symbols, source images and formats; integration of the river basin cover; data on roads, place names and locations. Also, the main inconsistencies about the lack of data in each country and the experience of the Integrated Mesoamerica Map will be addressed, and defined the seat and the date of the second workshop.

The Integrated Map Andean North will be certified by the official producers of geographic information of each country and will have access mechanisms in the GeoSUR portal to facilitate the application of spatial information, useful for planning of infrastructure, spatial planning and adaptation changes climate.

"With this map, we better understand the cultural realities of each country, thereby making decisions more righteousness and wisdom. Also be an element for planning at the local, regional, national or international levels. An appropriate cartographic representation allows us to understand, interpret and evaluate the reality of the environment, and thus analyze and evaluate the complex interactions between man and nature, "mentioned Juan Antonio Nieto Escalante, director general of IGAC.

Colombian mapping, key to decision making

According to Nieto Escalante, Colombia increasingly becomes more aware that without mapping drawn up technically, it is difficult to foster development. "In the Development Plan which has just been delivered to the discussion of Congress, expands the range of action with the authorization to develop the National Geographic Portal, as unified technology platform for the management of official geographic information of the country, for which it is completed the first stage corresponding to the development of portal prototype."

Currently, the IGAC has three major commitments in cartographic material. First, the adoption of the National Cartography Plan you want to Colombia in 2018 counts with a total coverage of the country by applying the different scales to meet the needs of public and private entities; currently, 40% of the country has maps at 1: 25,000 and 20% at 1: 10,000.

Another commitment of the Institute will be to decentralize the cartographic production, ie, the maps could be developed not only in Bogota, but also in other regions of the country. "It started with a project in Pasto, by which we will cover the needs of the Pacific region," mentioned Nieto Escalante. Finally, the director of the IGAC is committed to maintain the cutting edge in technology and in the development of Spatial Data Infrastructure of Colombia (ICDE).

These new challenges are in addition to various products made by IGAC in production and integration of cartography, as the topographic base maps at 1: 500,000, of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the land cover at the 1: 100,000 and the Conflict of Land Use.

Source: IGAC