Forum identifies national mapping initiatives in Asia Pacific

Forum identifies national mapping initiatives in Asia Pacific

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Hyderabad, India: Lack of manpower is a big challenge in India and Survey of India (SOI) is going for participation with different state agencies to address this, according to S. Subba Rao, Surveyor General, SOI. Rao was addressing the session, NMO Initiatives in Asia and Pacific, on the first day of NMO Industry Exchange Forum, as a pre-conference programme of Geospatial World Forum 2011, hosted by GIS Development.

Mapping initiatives in different countries were discussed over several sessions, starting with Asia Pacific region that was chaired by Prof. Fraser Taylor, President, ISCGM. At the outset, Rao shed light on the long history of the SOI and remarked that along with legacy, a mindset that makes data sharing a challenge has also been carried forward, however efforts are on to overcome it. He highlighted several initiatives of SOI; these include 1:00,000 mapping of the country which has to be completed in three years’ time, Indian coastal zone management and a coal mines project.

Initiatives by Nepal were discussed by Raja Ram Chhatkuli, Director General, Survey Department who observed that Nepal is a beautiful country but difficult to map, with its mountain terrain. He highlighted the activities of Survey Department as NMO including regulating, monitoring and co-ordinating mapping activities in the country, activities of the Department as national cadaster organisation including cadastral surveying activities and development of land information system and the role of the Department at NSDI. He remarked that national mapping in Nepal is undergoing technological transformation and this presents both risks and opportunities.

SMW Fernando, Surveyor General, Survey Department of Sri Lanka provided instances of ancient mapping and traditional cartography in the country where systematic mapping initiatives had begun in mid 18th century. Fernando informed about the One inch to One mile Map Series and also informed the audience that the entire country has been mapped at 1:50,000 and mapping the country at 1:10,000 scale has been initiated. He presented information about digital mapping products offered by Survey Department and shared that efforts are on to improve accuracy using ALOS – PRISM data at 2.5 metre resolution.

Nguyen Tuan Hung, Director General, Department of Surveys and Mapping, Vietnam shared information about surveying and mapping initiatives in his country where geospatial implementation is in initial stages. These pertain to building spatial database, spatial data management, providing surveying and mapping information to users, geodetic data, national network of co-ordinate control points, national network of leveling control points, topographic maps of different scales and several geospatial projects. Issues pertaining to national mapping in New Zealand were discussed by Geoff Howard, Chief Topographer, Land Information New Zealand. Issues to be addressed according to Geoff are use of positioning technology with non-authoritative data, addressing and measuring impact of government decision to ensure that agencies can respond appropriately, co-ordination of government agencies across departments, need for spatial enablement to be relevant to popular issues of the day and need to ensure building capacities in order to stay relevant. As a way forward, Geoff informed that New Zealand will leverage its innovation, build sustainable capability and provide easy access to dependable information through responsive programmes, engaged communities and closer collaboration across all sectors.

Dr. Asep Karsidi, Head, BAKOSURTANAL (National Coordinating Agency for Surveying and Mapping), Indonesia, discussed the role of Indonesia SDI in supporting the geospatial industry in Indonesia. The challenges highlighted by him included completion and updating of data and funding of data as well as low R&D spend on geospatial in national budget which is less than one percent of all research activities. The business model proposed by him included increasing private sector’s role in geospatial industry and shifting the government’s role from “rowing” to “steering.” Dr. Asep also stressed on the need for standardised base map completion for the entire country, integration of data among players and government law and regulation to facilitate sustainability of Ina – SDI implementation for supporting geospatial industry in order to support the development of geospatial industry business in Indonesia.

Industry perspective to the session was offered by Kaushik Chakraborty, Vice President Asia Pacific, Erdas who observed that the number one driver in mapping is change and the company has to address how to enable its customers to manage change. He observed that NMOs are driving the geospatial information value chain and in large scale mapping applications, the company has to ensure that its infrastructure gets it done quickly. Sharing the solutions offered by the company for NMOs to meet their production objectives, Kaushik highlighted the benefits of digital mapping for NMOs.

Source: Our Correspondent