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RP next hotbed for GIS deployment

Posted on: February 25, 2009

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 14:47:00 10/09/2008

Filed Under: Technology (general), Software, Government

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is expected to become the next hotbed for geographical information systems (GIS) deployment, as the market is predicted to grow to $1 billion several years from now.

“The use of geographic information systems (GIS) ushers innovation on how organizations, enterprises and the government do business with increased productivity and efficiency,” said David MaGuire, chief Scientist and director of Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), as he stressed that GIS tools are increasingly being adopted locally.

ESRI is the local partner Geodata Systems Technologies Inc.

GIS, as defined by MaGuire, is a computer system for handling information about where things are located and the relationship between this information.

Based on maps, GIS tools offer layers of information that contain establishment location, natural resources, population as well as people’s movement and behavior.

“It’s about maps but it’s more than maps. It’s about how we do analysis, visualizations, decision making and management based on different types of data,” MaGuire said during the 8th Philippine ESRI GIS User Conference.

According to Geodata president Albert Morales, GIS systems are used by the country’s government agencies, local government units and some commercial businesses in the media, food chain, real-estate and telecommunications industries.

At present, 70 percent of Geodata’s clients are government units, including the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Manila Fire Department, Manila units of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Manila Water and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

One example of GIS deployment in government is PNP’s ongoing eCrime data system, which maps the crime locations in Manila.

“Most of the GIS users are in the government because they are involved in real property permits, zoning plans and land use plans. For businesses, adoption is increasing as they realize that GIS can help them identify places where people congregate, which offer potential locations for them to put up businesses,” said Morales.

Morales said that Geodata is starting to put GIS data on the Web in preparation to making this data available online for free in the future.

During the GIS user conference, the PNP provided a demo of how they used the GIS to plot specific crime locations and crime-type recorded in San Juan, Manila.

With the increasing use of GIS in the country, MaGuire said there remains a challenge to increase the level of awareness among people about the technology’s benefits as well as good data for infrastructure.

Morales added that funding is another challenge for GIS deployment in the country.


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