JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the Government is moving ahead with the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) policy.
  • Principal Director of the National Spatial Data Management Division of the Ministry, Rohan Richards, in an interview with JIS News, said the policy will create the framework to encourage and sustain the growth of the national geo informatics industry.
  • A GIS Business Executive Seminar, a technical seminar, and a GIS Day Exposition will also mark the observance.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the Government is moving ahead with the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) policy.

The document is in the final stages of consultations with Government entities and other stakeholders, after which it will be sent to Cabinet for review and approval.

Minister Vaz, who was addressing the official launch of Geography Awareness Week at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston today (May 4), said the policy will serve to ensure that the island’s geospatial data products and services are made available and accessible to all users, particularly Government agencies.

Geospatial data is information that identifies the geographic location of objects or features on earth such as roads, buildings and oceans.

Minister Vaz said development of the policy is out of a growing recognition that access to and the sharing of geospatial data among State entities are critical ingredients in the promotion of social, economic and physical development, and the protection of natural resources and the environment.

He said the move is also in line with the Government’s thrust to expand the country’s use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to gather data, plan, develop policies, and make decisions, in order to successfully manage available resources and improve the lives of citizens.

Principal Director of the National Spatial Data Management Division of the Ministry, Rohan Richards, in an interview with JIS News, said the policy will create the framework to encourage and sustain the growth of the national geo informatics industry.

Mr. Richards told JIS News that the policy includes proposals for the establishment of an institutional framework to govern geospatial information management nationally, as well as the development of spatial data legislation, in accordance with international best practices.

Meanwhile, Minister Vaz welcomed the launch of Geography Awareness Week, under the theme: ‘Geospatial Technlogies: Advancing Public Health Services’, which will run from November 9 to 16.

He expressed the hope that the early launch will help build momentum and generate public interest.

The week of activities, which will include the 14th annual observance of GIS Day on November 16, will focus on increasing awareness of the benefits of GIS technology to the health sector.

A GIS Business Executive Seminar, a technical seminar, and a GIS Day Exposition will also mark the observance.

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