GIS News


Jul 2013 | Comments Off on GIS


New Zealand opens up mapping information to developers

Mapping information showing the locations of publicly accessible land across New Zealand has been released by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission (NZWAC) to enable researchers, government agencies and app developers embark on their own mapping projects.

The mapping information released includes locations of public reserves, conservation land, Crown land, legal roads, marginal strips and esplanade strips. Developers wanting to use the information can plug into the map feed on the Commission’s website, on the new GIS Data page.

G8 leaders sign Open Data Charter

Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, USA and UK met at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit 17-18 June. They signed an Open Data Charter, putting open data fi rmly at the forefront of international efforts to drive economic growth and use transparency to improve accountability.

The Open Data Charter sets out 5 strategic principles that all G8 members will act on. These include an expectation that all government data will be published openly by default, alongside principles to increase the quality, quantity and re-use of the data that is released.

G8 members have also identifi ed 14 high-value areas – from education to transport, and from health to crime and justice – from which they will release data. These will help unlock the economic potential of open data, support innovation and provide greater accountability.

Spatial Planning Bill could soon become law in South Africa

According to minutes circulated, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill (B14B-2012) was endorsed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), paving the way for municipalities to become the primary regulators of land use. Once in force, the Bill is expected to transform South Africa’s spatial planning and land use management systems so that they promote social and economic inclusion, provide for the sustainable and effi cient use of land and redress spatial inequity.

Authorities allow Google Street View into Israel

After months of consultations with Israeli security offi cials, Google has launched its popular Street View service in the country’s three largest cities. The new Street View provides images of ordinary life, contested areas and religious sites in the Holy Land. Due to security issues, areas around several sensitive sites, such as the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, are blurred out.

WWF and Thailand government launch TREEMAPS

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) and WWF-Thailand formally launched on June 6th the joint project, TREEMAPS – Tracking Reductions in Carbon Emissions through Enhanced Monitoring and Project Support – which aims to establish Thailand’s fi rst forest carbon basemap and monitoring system, as well as establishing a sub-national REDD+ project. TREEMAPS’ overriding objective is for Thailand to develop the capacity at the national level – and, in one region, at the sub-national level – to measure and monitor change in forest carbon and to take advantage of the full range of emerging forest carbon fi nancing and benefi t opportunities. Data will be collected from three sources: satellite imagery, on-theground surveys and through the use of groundbreaking LiDAR technology.

WB to conduct mapping of renewable energy sources

The government of Pakistan has requested the support of the World Bank and the Renewable Energy Resource Mapping Initiative of Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) to help improve the country’s knowledge and awareness of solar, wind and biomass energy resources. According to the World Bank, the project, approved last month, would be launched in the second half of 2013 and would focus on resource mapping and spatial planning, including ground-based data collection, data analysis, GIS mapping, strategic environmental assessment, and policy integration.

ROLTA India to establish National NAVTEX Network

Rolta India has bagged a contract from a subordinate offi ce under the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Government of India that provides general aids to marine navigation along the Indian coast to set up ‘National NAVTEX Network’. Rolta will establish NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) network which will offer improved safety and security for maritime traffi c in coastal waters of India. It will also be able to provide coverage upto 250 nautical miles (460 km) from the Indian coast line and will transmit maritime navigational and metrological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent marine safety information to ships at sea in Indian waters.

Survey of India to share expertise with Thailand

Survey of India is all set to share its expertise in surveying and urban mapping with geo-informatics experts from Thailand in the coming months. An MoU was signed between the Survey of India and Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency of Thailand, as part of ‘Indo- Thai Geo Spatial Cooperation’ initiative during PM’s recent visit to Thailand. According to the agreement, the SoI will map a town measuring about 100 square kilometer to demonstrate its expertise in urban survey and mapping. The treaty will allow fi ve experts from the GISTDA to visit the Indian Institute of Surveying and Mapping (IISM) which is the SoI’s training wing. Training will be imparted every year until the expertise is transferred. http://articles.timesofi

Astrium’s Cloud Services will support Landgate

Landgate (Western Australia’s Land Information Authority) has contracted through Geospatial Intelligence Pty Ltd, an Astrium Services’ reseller, the SPOTMaps coverage of Western Australia (2.6 million km²) with multi-year hosting and streaming. Landgate intends to use SPOTMaps imagery as the base level dataset for SLICP, a platform that allows multiple government agencies to share spatial information for environmental mapping, cadastre, infrastructure, engineering, agricultural and emergency services.

Uttarakhand government, ignored NRSA report

Accusing the Uttarakhand government in India of sleeping over a report of National Remote Sensing Agency, noted environmentalist and Magsaysay awardee Chandi Prasad Bhatt said had the government taken the report seriously “destruction in and around Kedarnath shrine would have been much less horrific”. “The scale of destruction at the Himalayan shrine could have been far less if the state government had paid adequate attention to the report of National Remote Sensing Agency, whose scientists had identifi ed the natural calamity prone areas of Uttarakhand and neighbouring Himachal Pradesh way back in 2001,” the Magsasay awardee said. The report, termed as ‘Hazard Zonation Mapping’, was prepared by arond 100 distinguished scientists from country’s leading research institutes at the initiative of the Indian government and was submitted to the state government in 2001.

MoEF releases draft policy on forest clearances

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), India has released a draft policy on inspection, verifi cation, monitoring and overall procedure relating to the grant of forest clearances. The draft policy envisages establishment of an independent, remote-sensing, satellite-based monitoring system to detect encroachment and unauthorised changes in the approved land use plan, illegal mining on forest land after expiry of the approver under the Forest (Conservation) Act and the progress of concurrent/fi nal reclamation/rehabilitation of mined-out area in mining project. Besides, it will detect damage to fl ora and fauna in the adjoining forests and maintenance of minimum ecological fl ow in hydel/irrigation and river valley projects.

NGO maps out indigenous community territories in Indonesia

A group of NGOs — the JKPP; the community and ecological-based Society for Legal Reform (HuMa); Sawit Watch; the Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA); the Consortium in Support of a Community Forest System (KpSHK); and the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) — established a website to document and track land confl icts in Indonesia. As of now, around 222 reports of land confl icts have been documented on the Geodata website.

Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: USGS seeking more volunteers

The mapping crowd-sourcing program, known as The National Map Corps (TNMCorps), encourages citizens to collect structures data by adding new features and/or correcting existing data within The National Map database. Structures being mapped in the project include schools, hospitals, post offi ces, police stations and other important public buildings. The 16 recently added states needing help with structures are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming, bringing the total number of states available for updating to 35. The fi nal release of states by the end of the year will open up the entire country for volunteer structures enhancement. Preliminary results of the effort have been very promising. As part of the project pilot, The National Map Corps had 143 volunteers who improved data for more than 6,400 structures in Colorado. The quality of the volunteer data collected met the USGS standards for position, attribution, and completeness.

In China, ‘Danger Maps’ highlight pollution, toxic waste, abuse, other risks

As pollution concerns rise in China, Liu Chunlei is boosting environmental awareness among the nation’s 564 million Internet users with help from the charitable arm of Alibaba Group Holding. Danger Maps, a website Liu started last year, allows people to look up sites such as toxic-waste treatment facilities, oil refi neries and power plants. Liu has plotted about 6,000 pollution sources based on government data and user input on Baidu Map, China’s equivalent of Google Maps. Inspired by “crowd-mapping” efforts in Kenya and Japan, the site taps the knowledge of China’s masses to draw attention to environmental risks in a nation where public information is often scattered and incomplete. Now, Liu is expanding his site by letting users add information to maps with other themes such as missing people and child abuse.

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