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Haiti’s geographic data underutilised: IGN France

France: The IGN France International presented the results of its preliminary study for the rehabilitation of Haiti’s geographic reference information. The results highlighted that the geographic data acquired in the emergency situation following the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in January of 2010 have unfortunately not been able to be put to optimal use.

France financed the preliminary study. It aims to operationally rehabilitate the Haitian National Centre of Geo-Spatial Information (CNIGS) and to reconstruct the country’s geographic reference information. Following the earthquake, IGN France immediately provided the CNIGS with the data from an aerial campaign completed in 2002. This orthophoto was quickly dispatched to all of the organisations that arrived to help the country of Haiti.

However, despite abundant information (during the weeks following January 10th, 2010, the Haitian territory was more highly observed than is usual with any other part of the world, resulting in high and very high resolution satellite images, aerial acquisitions or simply the data acquired by field surveys), the data acquired in the emergency situation during this catastrophe were not able to be put to optimal use.

This particular context led to the completion of a preliminary study for the functional rehabilitation of the CNIGS and the reconstruction of the geographic reference information. This study addressed the following components:

-An overview and a diagnosis of the existing completed via a series of interviews of the main stakeholders and users of geographic information in Haiti (available data, collection of requirements, use of data, potential applications, etc.)
– The completion of a prototype for a topographic database, a map at a scale of 1:25,000 over the Croix des bouquets area and at 1:10,000 over the urban area, and the implementation of a core station within the CNIGS
– A series of recommendations based on the experience acquired during the completion of the prototype that take the needs expressed in phase 1 into account, in order to extend this operation to the entire Haitian territory and to provide Haiti with a geographic reference database that is homogenous and perfectly qualified on which a number of operations related to the country’s reconstruction could rely. The finalised recommendations concern the country’s geodetic infrastructure, the acquisition of source data for the construction of the reference database, the structuring of the associated databases, their cartographic representation as well as the organisation that must be implemented within the CNIGS in order to ensure the production and maintenance of this reference database.

Source: IGN France International