Bhutan, March 23, 2015: Bhutan’s National Land Commission (NLC) secretary, Pema Chewan, recently told media while the commission is yet to draft a data sharing policy, ‘by 2017, the government will offer access to geospatial data through its geo-portal’. He, however, added that to define who will have access to what level of geospatial data, a data sharing policy is a must.
“Without a policy, we can’t say what kind of data will be freely accessible to whom,” he said. “We’ve to consider the sensitivity of information.” This issue was discussed during a recent project-opening seminar in Thimphu. The land commission with technical assistance from the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) has already begun the process of gathering data for the seven districts in the southern belt.
Although there are various data with different ministries and agencies today, it is not available through one source. Bhutan aims to set up a geo-portal to bring together the geospatial data of the country on one platform. On completion of the project in 2017, all data will be available on the web-based geo portal.
NLC also announced its plans to launch a 64-page Atlas of Bhutan. The Nye Atlas will have details on the number of stupas, choteons, hot springs and other cultural properties. It is expected to help protect cultural properties during construction activities.