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Entries in GIS (3)


Iraq Spatial Data Infrastructure (ISDI) Workshop Complete, National SDI on Horizon


In mid-February 2012, over 25 persons representing 13 national and regional government organizations assembled in Erbil in the north of Iraq for an intensive three-day exchange to explore concepts and ideas towards the establishment of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Iraq.  The workshop was conducted under the auspices of the Prime Minister Advisory Committee (PMAC), and supported by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS).  Staff from the GPC Group facilitated the workshop, bringing experience and insights regarding the implementation of GIS federations and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) in other countries and regions around the world.  The first day of the workshop focused on the principles of GIS and the application of the technology to a wide variety of sectors; the evolution of different levels and structures of GIS federations and ultimately into more formal and institutionalized national and regional SDI; and case studies from around the world to illustrate how the same basic principles have been applied in different contexts. 

During the second day, all the participating government organizations presented a summary of the work that they are already doing with GIS.  All participants were impressed with the interesting work being carried out by individual agencies, but even more eye-opening was the realization that cumulatively the stakeholder organizations have already build a broad array of data and applications, yet not all were fully aware of each other’s efforts.  A very engaging dialog among the attendees filled the afternoon with very energetic and enlightening discussions about the state of GIS development in Iraq, common challenges faced, and the potential for the future. Concluding the day’s proceedings, the GPC Group presented their experience in the planning, institutionalization, and strengthening phases of the Abu Dhabi Spatial Data Infrastructure that has been implemented by the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre.

The third and final day of the workshop started with a review of “lessons learned” in the implementation of GIS and SDI around the world.  This discussion focused primarily on the human and institutional factors that so often determine the success or failure of such efforts.  By mid-morning of the third day, all the workshop participants had a common understanding of GIS, SDI, the considerable efforts already underway in the country, and lessons learned.  This provided the foundation of a common understanding that was then applied to evaluating an approach and priorities for moving an Iraq SDI initiative forward.  Each activity “Track” was discussed, as well as the interdependencies between parallel tracks.  Feedback from the participants was recorded during these discussions. The final feedback from the participants was compiled into a final workplan that was be presented to the PMAC as a group recommendation for the way forward in development of the Iraq SDI. 

All the participants expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the breadth and relevance of the material covered in the workshop.  For most, this was the most in-depth exposure to all the technical, institutional and governance factors that must be addressed to achieve an effectively functioning SDI initiative. GPC was honored to have the opportunity to participate in this important meeting, and looked forward to seeing this initiative grow and evolve into a world class initiative while contributing significantly to the economic, social and environmental development of the country in the coming years and decades. 

Presentations in Arabic:

Presentations in English:


The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Announces GPC GIS as its Newest Business Member in the MENA Region

In the July/August 2011 edition of”the GIS professional” the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) announced GPC GIS as its newest business member in the MENA region (see: URISA is a nonprofit association of professionals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to solve challenges in state / provincial and local government agencies and departments; academia; the private sector and nonprofit organizations. URISA is considered to be the premier organization for the use and integration of geospatial information technology and services (GITS) to improve the quality of life in urban and regional environments. It is a multidisciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the geospatial data community come together to share concerns and ideas.

GPC GIS will leverage its URISA business membership to enhance its GITS Professional Development program which is aimed at growing sustainable communities in the MENA region through the promotion and application of geospatial information solutions. GPC GIS will infuse its extensive local knowledge with URISA’S internationally renowned training programs to grow GITS human capacity in the MENA region. This unique partnership will facilitate GITS professional advancement, GISP certification, and the training of new graduates and young professional in the field of GITS.

The GITS training programs resulting from the URISA-GPC GIS partnership will be delivered by URISA Certified instructors and will take on the format of short courses, workshops, conferences and seminars.

GPC GIS is excited to work with URISA in growing the GITS human capacity in the MENA region and is fervently looking forward to seeing you at one of its training events in the near future. See a listing of our training programs at:


Coordination of Spatial Data in Abu Dhabi is Contributing 230 Million Dhs Savings in Government Expenditures

H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Executive Council has confirmed that the Spatial Data Initiative (AD-SDI) launched in July 2007 has succeeded in achieving the desired objectives of facilitating geospatial data sharing between government entities and other concerned entities, providing coordinated access to current high quality geographical information, and advising on spatially-enabled e-Government services for Abu Dhabi Government customers be they citizens or businesses.

The AD-SDI initiative is a key pillar of the broader Abu Dhabi Government Services Modernization program being implemented under the wise council and direction of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Through its realisation location-aware customer-centric government services can be facilitated in the Abu Dhabi e-Government drive.

Commenting on Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) receiving a worldwide recognition award from global Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology leader ESRI in San Diego this past week, H.E. Al Bawardi said “The coordination efforts of this initiative have contributed to the proactive, comprehensive and informed planning and decision-making process, as well as to the implementation of an integrated approach that is increasing the government performance efficiency and streamlining the work of 40 public and semi-public sector organizations, including concerned entities in education and academia.”

He further added: “This initiative will contribute in saving approximately 230 million Dhs in government expenditures by avoiding duplication of effort, increasing staff performance, and by providing concerned beneficiaries with accurate information that ensures effective and successful decision making.

GIS technology currently provides a variety of computer tools that are used to gather, manage, share, and accurately verify geographical data, in addition to analyze and transform it to visual images. The GIS concept means more than simply developing maps on computers; it provides an information infrastructure platform to cluster various forms or themes of geographic data together, thus supporting a standardized all-inclusive decision-making process across many business sectors and on multiple levels.

Many government entities in Abu Dhabi have invested in GIS technology and enterprise database systems to meet their own needs. Through the AD-SDI initiative, ADSIC on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Government has succeeded in establishing the framework (policies, partnerships, standards, data, procedures, technologies, and the appropriate institutional capabilities) necessary to support geographic information sharing and to optimize benefits across the Emirate. It is upon the solid foundation of the AD-SDI that spatial or geographic information will optimally serve concerned decision makers in both the public and private sectors.