Thursday, May 26, 2011

Africa 'must embrace geospatial information'

A recommendations put forward by a meeting of the sub-committee on geo-information on the sidelines stated that African governments could become more sensitive to what their people really need by harnessing the wealth of available geospatial information, a meeting of scientists and policymakers has heard. Given that over 80 per cent of public and private planning and decision-making processes use geospatial data, governments of developing countries need to recognise and acknowledge the importance of GIS, geographic information systems. Africa, however is still poorly mapped, with much of the data unreliable or held commercially, according to Derek Clarke, chief director of South African mapping organisation National Geo-spatial Information. He attributed this to the lack of a methodological approach to the collection and maintenance of geospatial data .He added that any GIS technologies developed must be affordable and appropriate for the African context.

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