Doha, State of Qatar: “Building infrastructure for the gathering, processing and use of geospatial information is as important as the building of roads, electricity, water, telecommunication networks or other such amenities,” said Mansoor Al Malki, Director of IT Department, Qatar Statistics Authority as he stressed upon the importance of spatial data infrastructures. Malki was speaking in the session on ‘SDI for Good Governance’ on the second and final day of the Middle East Geospatial Forum 2012.
The presentation further informed about the second high level forum on GGIM to be held at Qatar next year where the country will highlight its world class nationwide GIS setup. Malki also informed that the country is looking at promoting geospatial awareness at all levels with initiatives like establishing an Arab geospatial team for the Arab countries under Al-Khawarezmi committee, starting specialised degree and post-graduate courses in geospatial information through Qatar University, adding geospatial information subject in school curriculum and initiating a student geospatial project and mapping competition.
Kees de Zeeuw, Director, Kadaster International, in his presentation titled ‘SDI for people-profit-planet,’ described the correlation between sustainable development, good governance and spatial data infrastructure. de Zeeuw went on to highlight the Netherlands’ initiatives towards promoting e-governance and thus paving the way for a spatially enabled society.
Steven Ramage, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Open Geospatial Consortium, talked about the importance of geospatial standards and the OGC’s role in enabling technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Ramage also revealed the OGC’s plans to setup an OGC Middle East Forum.
The second plenary of the day on ‘Geospatial Technologies and Applications’ had four presentations, based on the latest innovations in the field of geospatial technologies and applications. The first presentation by Major Aref Ibrahim, Ministry of Interior (MOI), State of Qatar highlighted some of the latest GIS initiatives in the MOI. The presentation talked about the NJM system which is based on latest GIS technology integrated with MOI data centre and related GIS data sources. NJM, the Arabic abbreviation for Unified Criminal System is an integrated data system that has been designed for receiving complaints reported to police stations by individuals.
Neil Gyte, Enterprise Geo Lead – Emerging Markets, Google gave an overview of the current GIS trends and the future of enterprise GIS. Taking the example of the dramatically increasing sale of smart phones over desktop and laptops, he highlighted how there has been a major shift in both consumer and enterprise computing.
The presentation on ‘Terrestrial Laser Scan Application in Urban Planning’ by Dr. Khaled El Nabbout, National Delegate Commission 3, International Federation of Surveyors, showed how the application of terrestrial laser scan technology in different sectors has increased over the last decade. Using live demonstration of a 360 degree view taken using laser scan technology, the presenter aptly highlighted the major strengths and weaknesses of the technology in the field of urban planning.
Addressing the gathering in his closing address, Abhishek Kotangale, Regional Manager – Middle East and North Africa, Geospatial Media and Communications said that the forum had aptly displayed how geospatial technology is speeding up the development process in the Middle East. He also thanked the sponsors, speakers and attendees for their support in making the conference successful.
Organised by Geospatial Media and Communications in association with the Centre for GIS, MMUP, State of Qatar, the Middle East Geospatial Forum witnessed the participation of close to 1000 visitors and delegates from about 20 countries around the world. The forum had participation from the private and government sector as well as various industries such as defence, municipalities, military survey agencies, civil aviation authorities, electricity and water authorities, planning and land departments, construction companies, contractors and surveyors.
Source: Our Correspondent