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PM: How Geospatial Technology Will Help

Geospatial technology is becoming a more important discipline, nationally and internationally every day, says the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. This was the gist of his message while opening the Second
14 Nov 2015 12:11
PM: How Geospatial Technology Will Help
USP Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra (left) with Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama during National Geospatial Management Conference at Holiday Inn yesterday.

Geospatial technology is becoming a more important discipline, nationally and internationally every day, says the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
This was the gist of his message while opening the Second High Level Geospatial Information Management Conference at Holiday Inn Suva yesterday.
Mr Bainimarama said the large presence of participants demonstrated their willingness to address the issues and challenges the industry had yet to face.
He said he was confident that together, they could unite industry stakeholders in their quest to map Fiji’s way forward towards the development of more advanced geospatial technologies.
He said Suva was the centre of Fiji’s Geospatial Information Industry.
Geospatial technology refers to equipment used in visualisation, measurement, and analysis of earth’s features, typically involving systems like GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing), reports Google.
“Since the early 1990s we have been using geospatial information system (GIS) in a variety of different fields – including land administration, natural resources management, utilities asset management, disaster assessments and more recently, automobile GPS and web-based mapping systems,” he said.
Last year, he said, they launched the first national web mapping application, Sugar Web GIS mapping which showed state and private datasets overlaid with satellite imagery.
This mapping system, according to the Prime Minister, has become an invaluable decision-making tool for several Government Ministries.
He said they had also restored the role of the Geospatial Council, making it the main body of the national Geo-Spatial Industry.
“They are in the process of upgrading the co-ordinate system of their local Map Grid 1986 to enable safer air, land and sea navigation through the use of GPS.
“It will also give us a better understanding of the adverse effects of rising sea levels and help us develop strategies that can save lives of Fijians threatened by climate change.”
Mr Bainimarama said Government had remained committed to the widespread use of geospatial systems by acquiring technical expertise, establishing spatial data infrastructure and relevant software and introducing more user-friendly interfaces.
He said his counterpart from Australia, Malcolm Turnbull said – “The scarcest resource in the digital age is not access to capital or technology itself. The scarcest resource is imagination – disruptive, insurgent and radical imagination.”
The Prime Minister said he could not agree more.
Government, he said, had taken the first step by partnering research institutions, the private sector and academia to harness the potential of fundamental data sharing among consumers and developers of geospatial technology.
The Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said GIS would make their work easy because all reports, when completed, would be put in data and would be available by a press of a button.



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