JIS News

The National Spatial Data Management Branch (NSDMB) is staging a slew of activities to mark Geography Awareness Week from November 9 to 19, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Navigating the New Normal’.

The week of celebrations, which involves collaboration with the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ), kicks off on Tuesday (November 9) with the staging of the 11th GIS Business Executive Forum.

“The focus of the forum is really to expose to the business sector the potential with respect to the use and application of geospatial technologies,” said Acting Principal Director of the NSDMB, Simone Lloyd, at a JIS Think Tank on Monday (November 8).

He noted that major players, who have been using geospatial technologies to drive their business processes, “will also share their learning experience, how it is they have grown, how it is that they have benefited, and how it is that other businesses can benefit from said technologies”.

Ms., Lloyd said that viewers and participants will also hear from international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software and training, Esri, on the provision of solutions for governments and businesses to navigate changes brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19, and how the company can do the same locally.

The GIS Business Executive Forum will also feature a panel discussion with representatives from Mona Geoinformatics Institute, RealDecoy Global Services, Spatial Innovision Limited, the Digicel Group and the Jamaica National Group and is open to the public.

To register, persons are advised to visit http://www.licj.org.jm/ or watch on the NSDMD/LICJ YouTube channel.

“Persons can join us on Microsoft Teams and YouTube, and we want them to submit questions to these various entities,” said Acting Senior GIS Manager with the NSDMB, Nadisha Poyser.

“So, we are asking persons to log on, join us and participate in the panel discussion,” she added.

Activities continue on November 12, with the Eighth GIS Technical Seminar where entries that use geospatial technologies heavily in their operations will share the work that they have been doing.

That will be followed by the annual Geography Awareness Week Thanksgiving Service on November 14 at the Eastwood Park New Testament Church of God, St. Andrew, which will be streamed on the NSDMD/LICJ YouTube channel.

The series of activities culminate on November 17 with the virtual staging of the 19th National GIS Day Exposition to mark International Geographic Information System (GIS) Day.

 The event will feature myriad activities for secondary and tertiary students and teachers, and government agencies.

“On that day, we are happy that we will be having a Geo-Talks session that will invite persons who are in the field to speak to the participants and tell the path that they took from high school to university to becoming a GIS professional,” Ms. Lloyd told JIS News.

Registered participants will also be engaged in a series of competitions and activities that will require them to think spatially and critically and creatively. These include a Spatial App competition, a virtual Treasure Hunt, and the GIS Bee Competition.

Winners of NSDMB competitions, that required prior submissions, will be announced during the Expo.

“We have three other competitions that the students are participating in, and these are the jingle, poster and essay competitions. We have received registrations and submissions from quite a number of schools across Jamaica for these competitions. In addition, we have the map competition, which is open to Government of Jamaica organisations. They are required to create a map based on the guidelines we advertised, and the winner of this competition will receive a DJI Mini Mavic drone,” detailed Ms. Poyser.

Winners of other competitions will receive tablets courtesy of the National Housing Trust (NHT), which is sponsoring the week of activities along with the National Land Agency and the RealDecoy Global Services.

The NSDMB is a Branch of the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change.

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