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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some 60 Government entities are relying on Geographic Information System (GIS) and are reaping the benefits.
  • The software is helping the agencies to strengthen their business processes.
  • Provisions will also be made for the national GIS Centre, with adequate powers and authority to create, manage and maintain our geospatial information.

Director General in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Mrs. Sharon Crooks, is reporting that some 60 Government entities are relying on Geographic Information System (GIS), and are reaping the benefits.

The Director General, who represented portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, at the opening session of a GIS Business Forum, held at the Mona Visitor’s Lodge, on November 13, stated that the software, which allows for the visualization, questioning, analyzing, interpreting, and understanding of data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends is helping the agencies to strengthen their business processes.

“Through the exploit of geospatial technology, GIS technologies have been used to create fundamental datasets and applications in health, land administration, climate change, security, and natural resources management,” she said.

“Based on the collaborative work among the Ministry, and other Ministries, departments, and agencies, GIS technologies have been used to strengthen the core business processes and functions in entities such as the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, the National Water Commission, the National Land Agency, and recently, the Child Development Agency,” Mrs. Crooks noted.

The Director General told the forum that Jamaica is currently in the process of formulating the legislative framework to govern the national spatial data infrastructure.

“This will ensure that the island spatial reference data products and services are made available and accessible to all. Provisions will also be made for the national GIS Centre, with adequate powers and authority to create, manage and maintain our geospatial information,” she added.

The Director General disclosed to the forum, which was geared at providing GIS information to the insurance sector, that the Ministry recently finalized an agreement with the Mona Geoinformatics Institute to provide current satellite imagery for the entire island, as well as inshore areas.

She challenged the business officials to use the technology to increase their competitive edge, noting that it can deliver benefits that exceed those of other competing products.

“We see the banking industry, for instance, employing GIS to target market segments in order to gain competitive advantage. Armed with detailed customer information, they have become more successful in designing products and services that best fit their customers’ needs. The insurance sector also has a strong geographic component, such as managing the addresses of policyholders,” Mrs. Crooks said.