Friday, August 24, 2012

The Philippine Geoportal - Philippines Online GIS Data Soon

The Filipinos are awaiting for the The Philippine Geoportal to be complete!
The Philippine GeoPortal: One Map, One Nation Project officially started recently with the formal organization of the various committees and meeting of all the various participants.

Present during the kick-off meeting were key officers of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority [NAMRIA] headed by its Administrator, Peter Tiangco, key officers of Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc. [GSTI] and the Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation, Inc.

Tiangco said "we now have to start working fast and hard" as he created five committees in NAMRIA while its co-partners, Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc. [GSTI] and the Chief Information Officers Forum Foundation, Inc. [CIOFFI] likewise created their own counterpart committees to make the project successful.

The five NAMRIA committees are: (1) Project Management Committee, (2) Data Buildup and Integration Committee, (3) Application Development and ICT Infrastructure Committee, (4) Training and Capability Building Committee, and (5) Policy Framework Formulation and Planning Committee.

Said NAMRIA committees are chaired by the following: Deputy Administrator Linda Papa - Project Management Committee; Benjamin Balais and Ofelia Castro - Data Buildup and Integration Committee; Magellan Azucena and Arlene Brillantes - Application Development and ICT Infrastructure Committee; Assistant Director Febrina Damaso and Concepcion Bringas - Training and Capability Building Committee; and Joselito T. Reasol and Commodore Amante R. Caluya - Policy Framework Formulation and Planning Committee.

Since the project requires the input and contribution of key government agencies, Tiangco said that at the agency level, the project is managed by a Project Steering Committee with the DENR as chair and NAMRIA as vice chairman. Key members of the Project Steering Committe are the Department of Agriculture [DA], Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH], Department of Transportation and Communication [DOTC], Department of Science and Technology [DOST], Department of Health [DoH], Department of Education [DEC], Commission on Higher Education [CHED], Department of Interior and Local government [DILG], Department of National Defense [DND] and the DOST/ICTO/NCC, as members. These departments represent the principal map producing organizations in the Philippines, Tiangco added.

In the private sector, Tiangco said NAMRIA will be assisted by GSTI and the CIOFFI in project implementation and more importantly, make it sustainable.

Tiangco said the output of the project is a one multi-scale framework Philippine map that will be officially used by all government agencies and private institutions who are using geospatial information in their governance and business.

On the technical side, NAMRIA has chosen Esri ArcGIS to serve as the platform of the Philippine GeoPortal: One Map, One Nation Project. GSTI Executive Vice President Francisca Nasol-Dayrit said NAMRIA will be provided with an enterprise-wide software wherein ArcGIS will be deployed in all NAMRIA hardware.

Specifically, the Philippine GeoPortal will be powered by ArcGIS Server and all its extensions, Image, 3D Analyst, Network Analyst, Spatial Analyst, Workflow Manager, Geostatistical Analyst and Schematics. Also, all NAMRIA desktops will likewise run ArcGIS and all its extension including ArcScan, Publisher, Maplex and Data Reviewer. Others: ArcGIS Engine Runtime Deployments and Extensions, Data Interoperability Extension, and Data Interoperability for Server.

Nasol-Dayrit said GSTI will also train 100 NAMRIA personnel until March 2012 under a trainor's training program as part of the effort to make the project sustainable. Likewise, "we will be training some 540 personnel on various GIS and GIS server courses between now until April 2012," said Nasol-Dayrit.

Since other government agencies will be populating the envisioned Philippine map, Nasol-Dayrit said GSTI will likewise assist NAMRIA in developing a geospatial database-driven cartographic design, a set of guidelines on data migration, and a manual on workflow management and data preparation with March 2012 as the deadline.

Data migration will not be an issue, Nasol-Dayrit said, since most of the participating government agencies are using Esri GIS technology. More importantly, ArcGIS's Data Interoperability eliminates barriers to data sharing regardless of any format. Specifically, ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension reads more than 100 spatial data formats, including GML, XML, WFS, Autodesk, DWG/DXF, MicroStation Design, MapInfo, MID/MIF and TAB, Oracle and Oracle Spatial, and Intergraph GeoMedia Warehouse, and export to more than 70 spatial data formats.

Nasol-Dayrit added that GSTI will also assist NAMRIA in the development of applications by preparing a system design document and a document containing the specifications for various functional requriements of the GeoPortal.

Aside from a single unified Philippine map, the project will also come out with a national GIS policy.

Cynthia Topacio, CIOFFI President, said the formulation of a national GIS policy will involve all stakeholders in geospatial data in both government and the private sector. The nationalal policy will include a statement of direction, rationale, goals and scenarios. In addition the national GIS policy will also set down a set of principles, guidelines, procedures and standards including the definition of the sturcutres, roles and responsibilities of every agency, the processes for decision-making and responses to issues, challenges and public concerns.

The national GIS policy will also address the role of participating agencies and stakeholders; data creation and sharing; optimization of data utilization; accountabilities; system/technical/data standards; data security and user access; training; data center operation; and most important, project sustainability in terms of financial, operation, technological and political.

Topacio explained that in the formulation of the national GIS policy, round table discussions will be held; pertinent laws, rules and regulations, guidelines will be identified; a manual on procedures and policy will be develop.

Specifically, Topacio said we be completing an implementation plan by February 2012 and a document containing legal policy, standards and protocols on sharing, access, security and pricing by June 2012.

SOURCE Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc

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