JIS News

The Portmore Master Map, the most advanced of its kind in Jamaica, has been unveiled in hard copy and digital format. Director of Surveys and Mapping at the National Land Agency (NLA), Trevor Shaw, unveiled the map at the recently held Friday Policy Forum hosted by the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), at its Old Hope Road campus.
The map, which should become available for purchase by the end of March, is Global Position System (GPS) compatible in its digital format, and is referred to as an ‘intelligent’ map, able to respond to different types of requests.
Produced with the assistance of low flying aircraft, satellite and lidar imagery, Mr. Shaw noted that the map was flexible. He also added that the NLA had the advantage of using information created by private surveyors.
The Director pointed out that the map was extremely comprehensive, even displaying residential lots, while at the same being capable of avoiding information overload, as it is presented in layers.The presentation of data comes in 10 discrete layers, he explained. These include parcels, roads, and street centreline, which provide vehicle tracking and street identification capabilities.
Other layers show drains, green areas, and special areas, which provide location of shopping areas, health centres, industrial facilities, school zones, utility areas and common parking areas.
The other discrete layers of the master map include swamps, annotation, topography, which provide contour and spot height information, and survey control, which is of specific interest to the surveying community.
“We can separate the roads from the parcel, from the drains, from the green areas, from the annotations.This is why we say that we are putting the map user in the kind of position where he can choose the information that suits him,” Mr. Shaw pointed out.
Elaborating on the versatility of the digital form of the map, he said that if a person lives at a certain address on Ebony Drive in Bridgeport, “we can tap into that parcel, do a link to the land valuation data base and come up with important information that would be of interest to people in real estate, surveyors, valuers, anybody who has an interest in that plot”, he informed.
The GPS compatible digital map is also able to assist with vehicle tracking and event mapping. “We can record in very precise terms down to the two to three metre level, the location of any event that takes place – a crime, an accident.The kind of maps that we’re producing will allow experts in those areas to locate those positions precisely, not in general terms, but precisely,” Mr. Shaw emphasized.
He told his audience that in the future, it is anticipated that new layers would be developed to include street furniture, such as fire hydrants, traffic lights, utility poles and other street objects.
It is also hoped that the Portmore Master Map will have a layer added to display demography, “which will show how the population is distributed across Portmore”, he added.

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