Geospatial information is recognised by the government of Sri Lanka as an essential resource that supports the economic, social and environmental interests of the nation. As such, there is great demand for accurate, up-to-date, relevant and accessible geospatial information at the various levels of governments to ensure the efficient delivery of many public services.
The goal of the NSDI is to provide and integrate geographically-referenced data produced by various government agencies and departments and make it easily accessible in a user-friendly online portal.
P.M.P Udayakantha, Senior Assistant Secretary and Senior Deputy Surveyor General at the Department of Survey, told FutureGov that they have recently established a steering committee composed of representatives from relevant government organisations tasked with the responsibility to draft the policies, procedures and data standards necessary to foster the efficient use, management and production of geospatial information.
“Once the policies are in place, we are looking at launching a geoportal so that citizens can easily access authoritative, consistent and updated maps online. By doing so, will enable people to discover, share and use geospatial information and services in ways never before possible,” he says.
While the NSDI is still in its initial stages, Udayakantha firmly believes they can achieve results quickly because the the government knows the value of investing in NSDI and the benefits they and citizens can derive from it.
“Furthermore, we are inspired by the journey undertaken by countries like Singapore, Malaysia and others you regularly feature in FutureGov.asia such as Philippines and Indonesia. Everyone has the same challenges, so by learning from their experience we are able make our lives easier and leapfrog.”
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