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Apr 2008 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS


“FLAIR Act” introduced in US House

A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning praise from MAPPS, the national association of private geospatial firms. The FLAIR Act authorizes the Department of the Interior to not only compile an inventory of Federal land ownership but also provides for conducting an inventory of current inventories to eliminate duplication and save tax dollars.

Dubai Municipality and Dubai Properties sign MoU to ease civic procedures

Dubai Municipality and Dubai Properties have recently signed an MoU to set up a frame work of coordination between them in order for the latter to avail municipal services in the easiest manner. It will facilitate easy provision of a variety of civic services to Dubai Properties including technical services in the fields of urban planning, landuse, surveying, regulation of contracting and consultancy professions, building license, geographical information and data, lab inspections for engineering materials, environment services etc. and other relevant services provided by the different organisational units within Dubai Municipality.

Islamabad rejects US offer for conducting geological survey

Government of Pakistan has rejected a proposal from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to help in conducting Pakistanís geological survey and preparation of maps. The ministry of defense has in a circular directed all departments not to accept such proposal from any foreign institution as it may be a security risk.

China cracks down on illegal online map services to protect state security

According to SBSM, the Chinese government is to crack down on illegal online map and geographical information websites due to security reasons. Eight departments, including the SBSM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security, said they would tighten supervision over online map and geographical information service websites. Amost 10,000 online map websites operated in China, most of them showing maps without approval, says Min Yiren, deputy director of the SBSM. Foreign organizations and individuals engaging in making and publishing online maps in China would also be stopped. The campaign would also target websites that made mistakes such as labeling Taiwan a “country”, wrongly drawing national boundaries, or omitting important islands including the South China Islands, Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Island, said Min. A hotline has been set up for the public to report illegal websites. The SBSM put 418 Chinese and world maps on its website for the public to check and download.

Government maps areas hit by malaria

The National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), using GIS has brought out the country’s first malaria map, to identify populations most at risk.The map first identified India’s 60 most malaria-endemic districts that report over 50% of the country’s malaria cases. Most of them are in north-eastern states, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Villages in these districts were then divided into low, medium, high and very high prevalence categories, using a simple mathematical model. According to NVBDCP director GPS Dhillon, “We have preparaed maps of all these 60 districts that also pinpoint the villages which need aggressive control and containment strategies immediately.”

Bhugol Bhusan award for Dr Nag

Dr Prithvish Nag, Director, NATMO has been recently awarded the BHUGOL BHUSHAN AWARD 2008 by The Deccan Geographical Society for ‘Outstanding accomplishments to date and noble example he has set for his peers and entire community in the field of Urban Land Use, Mapping and Remote Sensing Applicatios.’

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