Singapore: The second day of the annual conference of Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association was marked with several visionary talks apart from application, policy and economic issues.
Ng Saiu Yong, Director, Geospatial Division, SLA, Singapore SDI, spoke on the evolution of SG Space. In 1993, Land data hub was identified as data administrative initiative funded by Government. 50 information layers and 20GB data were archived. Over time, 17 agencies contributed 30,000 maps per year and now they export 50,000 maps sheets to 47 agencies. He then discussed the challenges faced which include the disparate GIS, no incremental data update, time lines of data, tedious and massive data. The solution SLA found was LandNet, which integrated data across disparate GIS, provided online access and used a cooperative model of funding. The advantages of this were that users could view data online, query search, schedule updates.
Yong went on to how SLA accomplished the further needs which were assimilation of a spatial data and a holistic framework in data governance. The whole-of-government institutional structure was adopted. Proliferation of GIT among non-conventional users and a strong technical expertise were required. User need assessment showed 83% need spatial data but only 35% were supported by GIS while only 40% of data was shared. There was a need to move from a data mesh architecture to a data hub. Vision of SG Space was to connect government, maximise public value and achieve whole of government efficiency by linking up data hubs in a People-Business-Land Data-Security mode.
Integrated and synergistic use of data was to be achieved. Main problems were grappling with data supply as data owners were wary of sharing and wanted to know what was the proposed use. Institutional framework was set up for SG SPACE with the Strategies of evolving data accessibility, data compatibility, clearing house and capacity building. Growth from 240 layers to 334 layers is projected. Spatial enablement of health, emergency services, transportation is planned. Education at school and junior colleges is planned to create capacity. SG Space is for govt only. One is for all. Beyond 2010 the aims are 334 layers, 200GB, self service download, online and web based access. Leadership, mindset of data sharing, motivation and incentives are key to the success of this effort.
Santiago Borrero, Secretary General, PAIGH, discussed the situation of SDIs in the Americas. According to him, regional SDI is difficult to advance as intra-country inequalities are growing but inter-country disparities are decreasing. He then talked about the objectives of PAIGH, which was set up in 1928 to deal with spatial information, geography, geophysics, anthropology and history. Commissions on cartography, geography, history and geophysics were created and workshops and projects undertaken. Territorial ordering, climate change and natural disaster mitigation are a few focus areas of PAIGH in the decade 2010-20. Problem of data access due to bad connectivity in Haiti shows the need for NGDI, core datasets, long term sustainability and budget for data creation and updating. He then introduced GEO SUR, a new initiative for SDI development in South America as a whole. He stressed on the need for capacity building as opposed to infrastructure. He concluded saying that Latin America is growing economically but is yet to get connected and become globally competitive.
Presenting his views on spatially enabled land administration, Stig Enemark, President, FIG, said land governance can lead to sustainable land use and good governance. Land administration has traditionally been multi-purpose cadastre or title or tenure style or taxation driven. This must transform to SDI which can lead to land management and spatially enabled govt. He quoted De Soto who said, “Civilised living is tied to formal property rights,” and said it is a long step from illegal to legal rights, informal to formal rights as about 70% of land is outside the formal system. As traditional cadastre fails to assign rights, Enemark felt that social tenure domain model is needed to solve the problem. Parties indicate who is the owner, spatial unit indicates where the parcel is and social tenure indicates what are the rights. According to him, the new challenges in this domain are climate change, disaster risk prevention and management.
Steven Ramage, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, OGC, talked on the concept of ‘Enabling Technologies’. He said, with interoperability, we can share maps on the web, deliver data over disparate systems and added that there are certain lightweight standards like GeoRSS, A-Spec, OpenGeoSMS, GeoPDF and KML. He opined that information should be relevant for cross-boundary information sharing and a community of practices has to be evolved. Use cases of ocean monitoring, water resources, LBS show the way. According to him, there is a need to shift from development to community support. He then discussed geospatial on the cloud and said sensor, feature and decision fusion has to be attempted. And to serve more clients, geoprocessing in the cloud will be needed. SDI good practices, community implementation and examples of use of standards are needed. It is important to bring local standards to global level and evolve enlightened law and policy. This will ultimately lead to SDI2.0, he concluded.
Source: Our Correspondent