20 February 2019

Mauritius: Government to Develop National Spatial Data Infrastructure

press release

Government is moving towards the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) to host all spatial data with the vast amount of data that grows exponentially each day. The NSDI is a platform for collecting, sharing and disseminating geospatial data which aims at facilitating access to information, free of charge, and providing a special tool for analysing, and determining solutions to the needs and requirements of national development objectives.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, at the opening of a three-day workshop on "Geospatial Data for Infrastructure" organised by the National Computer Board at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tower in Ebène.

Minister Sawmynaden explained the rationale of adopting such technologies in a modern world where information in the form of digital data has become the foundation on which governments, industries, and organisations base many of their decisions. He observed that as we reflect on the uses of geospatial data, one of the most significant growth areas in the broader world of data is the area of data visualisation. Whether rendering information in two or three dimensions, he said, geospatial data is the key to visualising data, which is why it has become one of the most sought after forms of data.

He further underlined that companies and institutions have come to the awareness that not only must they have access to the right data at the right time, they must also have access to analysis of the raw data to make correct decisions. As for Mauritius, he emphasised that in view of protecting the most important and sensitive biodiversity, effective and transparent spatial data for biodiversity conservation and land use planning is vital.

Moreover the Minister highlighted that a solution for preventing and resolving land use conflicts is for organisations to encourage early engagement in these development projects. This is what NSDI can help to achieve, he added. By mobilising an NSDI, it is possible to solve these spatial data issues, such as availability and transparency, for all involved parties, said Mr Sawmynaden.

In 2015, the Government embarked on the Open Data Initiatives to promote transparency; public service improvement; innovation and efficiency. Furthermore, in April 2018, the Open Data Portal was launched and to bring more value to the data, Government is now moving to geo-spatial data.

Workshop on "Geospatial Data for Infrastructure"

The workshop on "Geospatial Data for Infrastructure" aims to create awareness among high Government officials on geospatial data as infrastructure on which applications and services are built, and how these data produce revenue and opportunities. Another objective is to empower public IT professionals on geo-spatial data and in developing analytical dashboards for Open Data.

The resource person for the training, Mr. Tim Sutton, is a renowned Open Source advocate who has been much involved in Geospatial Data.

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