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Philippines embarks on 'One Map' journey

27 August 2012

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The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) of Philippines is embarking on a multiagency project that seeks to establish a web portal where users can have 24/7 access to geo-spatial information generated by various public sector organisations.

The web portal, which is aptly called “The Philippine Geoportal”, is the realisation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It stems from the “One Map” principle which is one set of consistent, multiscale basemaps that can be used for thematic mapping by many users working on Philippine geospatial data.

Linda Papa, Deputy Administrator in NAMRIA told FutureGov that most of the wealth of information generated in various government agencies remains untapped or underutilised for decision making.

“Information which is visually presented gives decision makers heightened situational awareness and helps users have greater appreciation and understanding of their value. What we are doing with the Philippine Geoportal is that we are integrating data from relevant government agencies and organisations to make geospatial data more meaningful and relevant,” she says.

The project’s key stakeholders are the National Government Agencies (NGA), Local Government Units (LGU), the academe and the general public.

The stakeholders, especially those from NGA’s and LGUs shall prepare the inventory, metadata, and the actual data of their organisation worth deploying on the web; develop the thematic layers and attributes associated to their agency using the standard multi-scale base map; and set-up a training program for participating agencies and other potential users to facilitate data integration and fusion

To cite an example, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will add the national roads. LGUs will add the local roads, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) will add their thematic maps on forestry, mines and environment. Meanwhile, Baranggays (villages) will add addresses to every building footprint based on a standard and the Bureau of Internal Revenue will tag buildings and associate the establishments that have been tax mapped.

Papa reveals that since the project is still in its beta testing phase, the pilot area for the project will be in Metro Manila which would automatically make the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) a major stakeholder in the project.

“The project is progressing well as we certainly have the interest of our stakeholders and that there are no issues with regards to sharing of data.”

In order to keep the relationship with its stakeholders strong, NAMRIA is equipping them with resources such as the hardware, software and as well as the capacity building of each stakeholder’s technical staff.

The project is being funded through the e-Government fund and has a total budget of Php 600 million (USD 14 million) over a three-year implementation period.

“The Philippine government has really prioritised right now the acquisition of data for the whole country so this 2012 we have been provided with funds and support to pursue this project,” says Papa.

She adds that at present, the agency is considering using cloud computing, crowd sourcing and mobile applications on the second phase of the geo-portal.

Source : FutureGov

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