Doha, Qatar: The last day of the 2013 Middle East Geospatial Forum saw geospatial experts from the industry, government organisations and academia highlight the role of geospatial technology as a major tool that plays a significant role in accelerating the growth of the Middle East region.
Mansoor Al Malki, Director of IT Department, Qatar Statistics Authority, in his presentation on advancing global geospatial information management, briefed the audience about the second high-level forum on GGIM that was held recently in Doha. He also said that Qatar’s nationwide GIS which was setup two decades ago can serve as model for other countries in the region. He also informed that Qatar is working as per the guidelines of GGIM to support the establishment of a UN-ESCWA regional centre for UN-GGIM.
Addressing the gathering in his presentation, Hossam Sayed, Manager of Solutions Engineering at Esri, explained how GIS is fast becoming a complete platform that helps connect and leverage existing investments. The new platform provides GIS across the entire organisation and thus helps streamline the overall functioning. He also said that such a platform can change an organisation by breaking down the barriers between workflows, disciplines and cultures. Besides, GIS as a platform also helps government by improving the efficiency of individuals and organisations, and creates a culture of collaboration and sharing.
Dr. Fethi Filali, Senior R&D Expert at Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre gave his presentation on how geospatial technology has been instrumental in developing the Masarak intelligent transport system. He explained how Masarak works by collecting real-time traffic data from various input sources like GPS devices in vehicles, smartphones, Bluetooth sensors etc and sends it to a unique platform for analysis and thus provides useful data for the intelligent transport system.
Dr. Oualid (Walid) Ben Ali, Founder and Director of the GIS Centre at University of Sharjah explained how the academia is playing a crucial role in creating geospatial professionals of the future. He also highlighted the challenge of capacity building in this field and how the schools and universities can be a starting point in order to tackle this challenge.
Dr. Yasir Mohieldeen, GIS and Spatial Analysis Scientist at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute gave an extremely informative presentation on the extremely important role of the organisation in preserving the country’s environment. Citing numerous examples from Qatar and neighbouring regions, he explained how geospatial technology can play a vital role in environment conservation and planning in time for the future.
Addressing the attendees in his closing address, Abhishek Kotangale, Regional Manager, Geospatial Media and Communications said that the forum had been extremely effective in bringing forth the crucial role of geospatial technology in the overall economic development of the Middle East region. He also thanked the sponsors, speakers and delegates for their support in making the conference successful. The award for best exhibitors was won by KAHRAMAA, Centre for GIS, Trimble and Mustafawi.
Organised by Geospatial Media and Communications in association with the Centre for GIS, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Qatar, the 2013 Middle East Geospatial Forum was attended by delegates from around the world. The event saw huge participation by the industry, government organisations as well as the academia.
Source: Our Correspondent