Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: An elegant ceremony marked the inaugural of Map Asia 2010 and ISG conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today while recognising the significance of geospatial technology for development and vowing to raise the profile of geospatial industry in the Asian continent.
Inaugurating the 9th annual Asian Conference and Exhibition on Geospatial Information Technology and Applications, Minister YB Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, set the tone of the conference saying that Malaysia is moving towards spatially enabled governance and building spatially enabled society. “Today, we are witnessing an increasing use of geospatial technologies at local government level. Many local bodies are generating spatial data in silos resulting in duplication of data. We need connected systems to remove such redundancies and focus on public service delivery mechanisms. This can be achieved by building efficient standards and interoperability mechanisms to integrate location information and associated data. The rapid development and deployment of open technologies, ICT , mobile based devices and Web 2.0 technologies and geotagged social networking sites are helping in quick penetration of geospatial technologies, increasing the efficiency of local governments, he argued.”
Highlighting various initiatives taken by Malaysian government in the past few years, the minister remarked that Malaysia is now moving towards being a spatially enabled government and spatially enabled society. “Many government agencies like JUPEM, Dept of Agriculture, MACRES, Economic Planning Unit and many others have long been using these technologies. NALIS was developed in 1997. In 2002, MACGDI was established to replace NALIS. MACGDI became a platform for geospatial data sharing among government agencies and today, Malaysian SDI is on par with those of many other countries in the region. It is now important to encourage data sharing not only among government agencies but also in private sector.
The minister then made a mention of several enterprise level projects currently being undertaken by various government departments – LASIS by the government of Sarawak, GeoSys by the Dept of Mineral and Geosciences, an integrated, centralised and web-based project, AGRIS for soil, rainfall and landuse information, the procurement of mobile GIS software that enables quick data collection and easy data management.
Stressing that achieving a balance between development and environment is high on the agenda for Malaysia, he said technology developments need policy push for improved geospatial data management in the country. He said government is actively working on creating a policy and legal framework to improve geospatial data management in the country and also provide a comprehensive data dissemination mechanism.
Earlier, Sr Hj. Saharuddin Saat, Deputy Chairman, ISG Steering Committee, welcomed the gathering. He said the coming together of two mega events – Map Asia 2010 and ISG – has helped in broadening the spectrum by bringing together professionals in surveying, cartography and geodesy on one hand and and government, industry and academicians on the other hand. This will facilitate knowledge sharing, policy discussion and help in evolve strategies to improve service delivery system across all agencies to enable a connected governemnt.
Remarking that this conference has become a comprehensive platform to bring a wide range of technologies and stakeholders together, Dr MP Narayanan, Chairman, GIS Development said the event aims to create and provide value and bring forward a collective approach to raise the profile of geospatial technologies in Asia. This apart, the conference helps in positioning geospatial industry an important stakeholder in geospatial value chain as it is the industry that develops the technologies and provides to the users.
Geospatial Excellence Awards and Geospatial World: The event marked the presentation of Geospatial Excellence awards to the exemplary use and application of geospatial technologies in the Asian continent. Minister Dato Embas also inaugurated Geospatial World, the new avatar of GIS Development magazine, the global geospatial magazine. The inaugural ended with a vote of thanks by Kavitha Seras, Regional Manager-Asia Pacific, GIS Development.
Source: Our Correspondent