Collaboration, integration, RoI underlying theme at Asia Geospatial Forum

Collaboration, integration, RoI underlying theme at Asia Geospatial Forum

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Convergence, integration and return on investment were the underlying theme at the 10th Asia Geospatial Forum 2013 which opened here on Tuesday. As speakers identified many areas of applications and spoke on the value of the geoinformation and technology, a prominent trend visible was it turning more and more solution centric with a clear vertical orientation.

The three-day forum, on its 10th edition here, has as its theme ‘Regional Response to Global Challenges and Opportunities’. Accordingly, the primary tone in the address of speakers were various issues posing grave challenges to the region, viz, disasters, environment challenges, climate problems like drought and floods, and sustainable development.

Delivering the inaugural address, Y.B. Dato Dr. James Dawos Mamit, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, gave the example of the haze problem in Malaysia where sharing of geospatial information between various countries could help solve problems faster. “With climate change and natural disasters as two of the primary concerns of governments across the countries, global cooperation on sharing of geoinformation and use of technology is needed,” he said. He also said geospatial technology has grown over time and has permeated across traditional sectors like agriculture, infrastructure and disaster management, to non-traditional ones like business analytics, social marketing, humanitarian aid etc. “Every day, a new data is leading to a new application. Geospatial has become a people’s technology, thanks to its integration in IT and mobile,” he added.

Earlier, giving example of the use and growth of geospatial technology in South Korea, Dr Do Tae-Ho, Deputy Minister for Housing & Land, Ministry of Land Infrastructure & Transport, said it was an integral part of government planning today and there was a high level of awareness about the technology’s effectiveness in his country. South Korea has been working on a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) since 1995 to facilitate sharing of data between ministries and making it open and available. A total of 76 systems and 25 organisations are part of this project, which is currently in its fourth stage and focuses on public disclosure and information convergence via a open geoportal. An investment of $284 million has been allocated for the project. South Korea has completed 2D cadastral system of the entire country and working on building a 3D cadastre system now.

Dr Do also revealed that South Korea has mapped all its underground facilities. “This was prompted after a big explosion in an underground gas pipeline in 1995 killing more than a hundred people. Following this, we took up this project, and integrated and mapped underground facilities of water supply, sewerage, electricity, gas, telecom, oil pipelines and heating lines,” said Dr Do. After this there has been no such accident in the entire country.

Lt. Kol. Ir. Hj. Abidin, Director of Planning, Coordination and Monitoring Division, Water Supply Dept, Malaysia, spoke on the benefits of geospatial technology in water supply and management. He said public-private partnerships as one of the effective project implementation methods and geospatial technology is one important technology to meet the upcoming water scarcity and opitmising project costs. Highlighting the importance of SCADA & GIS in water supply management, he added that the National Water Resource Study 2050 estimates RM 3.3 billion investment to ensure optimum water supply in Malaysia and geospatial will play a significant role in this.

Gerundio C. Madueno, Undersecretary, Policy, Planning and External Affairs Office, Department of Agrarian Reform, Philippines, said data from National Mapping & Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) is helping his department in accomplishing reforms in agriculture. The department is working with various others to create a comprehensive land-use model. He also revealed that the government is working on facilitating sharing and collaboration of data by various departments.

Source: Our Correspondent