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Qatar expresses pride in GIS practices

Doha, Qatar: “Events like Map Middle East 2011 are an important platform to highlight the importance of geospatial technologies in various areas of development and bringing the geospatial community together.” With this note of Eng. Ali Abdulla Al Abdulla, Assistant Undersecretary for Planning Affairs, Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning, State of Qatar, Map Middle East 2011, the conference-cum-exhibition organised by GIS Development got off to a start in Doha, State of Qatar. H. E. Shk. Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Minister of Municipality & Urban Planning, State of Qatar, inaugurated the event, being held during April 17-19.

In his speech, Eng. Ali Abdulla stated, “Qatar has made ground-breaking strides in utilising GIS country-wide and its practices have been sought after by several countries. Our GIS setup is well sought after because its basic elements are well founded and are evolving with new technologies and trends.” “Since its inception twenty years ago, Qatar has adopted five elements that led to its success: establishing the Centre for GIS (CGIS), common standards, data sharing, inter-agency coordination and nationwide digital mapping programme,” he added.

About CGIS, Eng. Ali Abdulla said, “CGIS updates and provides Qatar’s digital topographic base map and geodetic network. It has adopted the latest GNSS technologies and makes its data available. It also maintains the high speed network (GISnet) which makes GIS data available to users. The high speed network (GISnet) links over 60 agencies using GIS. CGIS also interconnects the distributed spatial databases throughout Qatar, allowing every user, in every agency, immediate access to all publicly available GIS data in the country.” Eng. Ali Abdulla added that interconnection of data is a great saving of time and money, something that other countries aspire to achieve.

According to Eng. Ali Abdulla, some of the nationwide digital mapping programmes are high resolution coloured ortho imagery and satellite imagery, 3D city models of urban areas, highly accurate topographic vector maps, high precision digital elevation models and colour oblique 4-directional aerial photography.

Eng. Ali Abdulla stressed that nationwide GIS is essential in national planning, decision making, security and emergency response, resource management and business development. CGIS is the hub of all of this. He cited projects which heavily rely on geospatial technologies: Qatar’s National Vision 2030, Qatar National Development Framework (QNDF), The Qatar National Master Plan Project (QNMP), Qatar Area Referencing System (QARS), and Transportation Master Plan of Qatar (TMPQ).

Earlier, Sanjay Kumar, CEO, GIS Development, said that geospatial information and technology is at frontier of overall information technology. He appreciated visionary action of State of Qatar which set up CGIS in 1990s. Addressing the business aspect, he stated that today’s geospatial industry is pegged at approximately USD 50-60 billion and geospatial contents own majority of the share.

Talking about geospatial practices in the State of Qatar, Sanjay Kumar stated that the country is the third largest gas resource zone in the world. “In addition, there are several projects where geospatial technology is at the core. For example, here are multi-billion dollar highway projects which include Doha expressway and Qatar Bahrain Highway, Doha metro, railway system and Doha airport (which will be ready by 2015) and port development works,” he added. He stressed that the amount of geospatial work in infrastructure development, management and planning is enormous in the State of Qatar.

 

Source: Our correspondent