UAE: A delegation from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), US, recently visited the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) for a one-day knowledge sharing seminar on the Centre’s national mapping strategy, the practices of the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) Community Members and water resources conservation.
On spotlight was ADSIC’s Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI) Program, which is gaining international prominence as a model for SDI implementation.
Comprised of GIS graduate and undergraduate students and professors, the American delegates were in Abu Dhabi as part of an international tour to Germany, UAE, and Japan aimed at studying advanced SDI and mapping capabilities. The group had an audience with ADSIC and the AD-SDI Community, which provided overviews of their activities and major initiatives to the visitors.
ADSIC began the workshop with an overview of the center’s strategy and the activities of Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure program. Abdulkarim Al Raeisi, Executive Director of ADSIC, explained the AD-SDI program and its role in spatially enabling government services for government bodies and departments, businesses, and citizens. He also reviewed the key social, economic and environmental benefits of spatial data as stated in the AD-SDI initiative.
ADSIC also invited other government and private entities to present their GIS -related practices. Al Ain City Municipality discussed its use of GIS Mapping for Municipal Planning and Public Works, while Environment Agency Abu Dhabi talked about the role of digital mapping in Water Conservation. Bayanat for Mapping & Surveying Services also explained Topographical Basemapping in the UAE. In addition, representatives from local municipalities showcased a variety of GIS-related practices.
The Penn State delegates commended the pioneering use of GIS and digital mapping in Abu Dhabi and in turn, delivered their own presentations on ‘Topo Map Design Research’ and ‘Data Visualization and Online Education.’
“The Penn State delegates gained valuable insights on how the Abu Dhabi government and private sectors are tapping digital mapping technology to plan for growth, protect the environment and manage critical resources. The local participants on the other hand gained valuable insights on how the US is improving GIS technologies and practices in relevant domains. This forum is part of a series of workshops and seminars organized by ADSIC in collaboration with AD-SDI stakeholder entities to foster international collaboration and spatial thinking. The goal is to develop a world-class spatial data infrastructure that empowers government and society with open access to spatial information and spatially enabled e-government services,” said H.E. Rashed Al Mansoori, Director General,ADSIC.
The AD-SDI Program is a geospatial information infrastructure that shares tools and methods for enhancing planning, decision-making and operations among government agencies and other stakeholders. It is administered within ADSCI’s e-Government program, a critical component of the government services optimization strategy included in Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030. AD-SDI currently includes over 50 actively participating organizations.