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Indonesian law mandates single reference for official maps

Indonesia: Despite funding shortages, a new law obliges government institutions to use a single source for geographical mapping as its policy reference.

National Coordinating Agency for Land Survey and Mapping (Bakosurtanal) head Asep Karsidi said the 2011 Geo-spatial Information Law stipulated that government institutions should refer to Bakosurtanal for official geographical information.

According to Asep, Bakosurtanal had made 306 basic maps of Indonesian geography, scaled 1:250,000. The maps cover coastlines, rivers, roads, natural contours, cities and regions, mountains, borders of administrations and land coverage.

“They must be the single reference for government departments that make specialized maps for what they are handling. For example, the Forestry Ministry made a map of forest fires in Indonesia,” he said on Tuesday.

He underscored the importance of a single reference because many institutions currently neglected it, he said. “Some institutions base their specialised maps on American-made maps. This is unacceptable, because Bakosurtanal is the singular reference in Indonesia,” he said. Additionally, once a department completed a specialized map, their map could not be overlaid with the basic map because the basic map was not produced by Bakosurtanal. “The results would be poorly integrated. The country’s basic map from Bakosurtanal is the most accurate. A specialized map should refer to us,” Asep added.

Source: Jakarta Post