GIS News


Apr 2012 | No Comment


UNCS to develop multiscale geospatial datasets

The UN Cartographic Section (UNCS) is planning to develop global multi-scale geospatial datasets (or UNmap) for rapid map production and web mapping in support to the Security Council and the Secretariat including UN field missions. Currently, an interim version of UNmap in scales of 1:1 million, 1:5 million and 1:10 million are in the final stages of completion. These maps are being used as primary geo-databases for UNCS and UN field missions. The purpose of UNmap is to develop and maintain a spatial data infrastructure (integrated with the datasets of UN international boundaries and SALB as well as UN Gazetteer) for UN needs that will provide a single homogeneous dataset of global geospatial features of the world for any mapping purpose.

US agriculture department eyes cloud for geospatial data

The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), US, is considering using cloud-based web services to access geospatial data and imagery. The FSA is seeking ideas on how to use commercially available web-based services to provide a base layer for its geospatial information systems. As part of its IT modernisation programme, the FSA uses a thin-client model that leverages web services to access geospatial aerial imagery of farm boundaries that personnel use for farm-related programmes.

China maps SCS to reinforce territorial claims

China may step up its exploration of South China Sea to reinforce its territorial claims following announcement that geographical surveys of the area are underway. “By drawing a map, the country can reinforce its jurisdiction claim in the South China Sea, and further actions may follow, such as exploiting resources near the Nansha Islands.”, said Zhang Yunling, Director of the Institute for International Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. According to a report released by China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geo-information (NASMG) a working group jointly set up by 13 government agencies will continue geographical surveying of the South China Sea and draw a map of the sea or its islands to “declare China’s stance” on territorial issues.

The Strauss Center uses Esri technology

The Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program has implemented Esri technology to view how climate change impacts vulnerable populations in Africa. CCAPS created the dynamic mapping tool in partnership with AidData for use by researchers, policy makers, journalists, and citizens. Users can visualize any combination of CCAPS data on climate change, conflict, and aid on a map to discover how different forces overlap or intersect. The tool is already being used in the country of Malawi for a solution that tracks and reports on the country’s external funding.

Sites are bypassing Google maps

Websites that used to incorporate Google Maps into their own pages are considering other options, claiming the search giant is charging hefty licensing fees (sometimes run into six figures), according to a report published in The New York Times. Now they are embracing OpenStreetMap (OSM), a user-contributed map service. In October 2011, Google had announced that it would start charging fee from smaller sites that generated more than 25,000 map views each day over 90 days.

India uses satellite images to keep land records

Under the national land records modernisation programme, the Rajasthan state government in India initiated a land mapping project, using Electronic Total Station (ETS), aerial photographs and high resolution satellite images. Once the project is fully implemented, every data of the agriculture land will be digitised and made available online. Officials claim that once everything will be on public domain, the land scams and irregularities will reduce to a great extent.


GIS-based water network

monitoring service in Portugal Aguas de Cascais (AdC), a water utility body in Cascais, Portugal, selected a GISbased water network monitoring service provided by Israeli company TaKaDu. AdC is the fi rst water utility in Portugal to adopt such a solution. This web-based service allows the water utility body to detect leakage and network problems as they occur. The TaKaDu service analyses data received from existing meters and sensors already installed in the AdC network, and identifies inefficiencies or faults before they escalate.

Bhutan to update topo map

With technical and financial aid from Thailand, using GIS and remote sensing technology, the National Environment Commission (NEC) of Bhutan commissioned a project to update topographic mapping of the country. As part of this three-year project, Bhutan will have satellite imagery of every dzongkhag (an administrative and judicial district of Bhutan) by the end of 2012. The imagery will help authorities to assess the status of development works. The Thai government will fund about USD 9 million. In addition, a team of six experts from Thailand will train NEC officials on using GNSS, remote sensing and GIS.

USD 10 mn for Tajikistan cadastre

The World Bank (WB) announced USD 10 million fund as an aid to Tajikistan to support the projects of registering farmland and increasing energy conservation. The WB funding will help in expanding the restructuring of farmland holdings. It will also enable officials to give farmers certificates entitling them to use land, further development of the cadastre system and aid the formulation of various pilot projects for registering real estate. Completion of the agricultural project is scheduled for March 2015.

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