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E-Government, Government Data Management, Government GIS, Information Management, Open Government

Indonesia’s one map journey

Asep Karsidi, Chairman of the Indonesia’s Geospatial Information Agency (In Bahasa Indonesia: Badan Informasi Geospatial or BIG), updates FutureGov on the progress of its One Map journey, and shares his vision for a spatially enabled country.

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Indonesia is home to more than 238 million people spread out in approximately 17,508 islands making it the largest archipelagic country in the world. Additionally, it is also one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. In fact, more than 6,000 of its inhabited islands are frequently hit by earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, droughts, and landslides.

With a large collection of islands, all with varying cultural, geographic and economic differences, the Central Government is hard-pressed to make sure development goals are met and its intended outcomes achieved.

According to Karsidi, data should be properly leveraged by organisations so as to achieve the most effective results in their development programmes.

“Government organisations are committed to deliver good quality services to the people as such it is important that they are able to understand details on where the people are most vulnerable to risk, crime patterns, epidemic hotspots, and many more. These are issues that are best understood when authoritative data is displayed on a map.”

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), while it does not promise an immediate end to various societal challenges, is mission-critical for government leaders to confidently arrive at well-informed decisions meant to address issues in national and regional development.

The technology has proved itself in construction and management of various development and infrastructure projects; emergency measures against natural disasters; environmental protection policies; land use; the cadastral system; forestry, agricultural, land, and building tax; and statistics, marine affairs, and mineral resources management, among many others.

Indonesia’s NSDI journey

A few years ago, while many agencies, from both central and local governments, acknowledge and recognise the value of using geospatial information in decision making, all the efforts were fragmented. The lack of communication and coordination between agencies resulted in redundant efforts and volumes of duplicated data. Because of this, the government resolved to build a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

Through a loan provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), NTT, a Japanese-owned company worked in close partnership with BIG to implement the NSDI. Additionally, the two entities also sought the professional services of Esri, the world’s leading GIS Software Company.

“Esri helped us a lot in the development of our NSDI. In fact we used ArcGIS for Server and Esri Geoportal Server as its foundation. Because of this users are able to access data seamlessly,” comments Karsidi.

“By implementing an NSDI, we can help facilitate good governance in many agencies. It will support more efficient administration, especially in eliminating duplicate sets of the same data, thereby allowing agencies to reduce the cost of producing maps.”

To support the goals of the NSDI,BIG launched Ina-Geoportal, a user-friendly portal which aims to provide 24/7 online access to authoritative, consistent, relevant and updated multiscale basemaps that can be used for thematic mapping by various users.

To access the full screen version of the mapping tool, visit http://tanahair.net/home/.


At present, Karsidi says they are currently working on finishing the base map for the whole country. The base map includes several data layers such as roads, rivers and water bodies, buildings, and many more.

“In the next couple of months, BIG is hoping to cover 500 districts, 34 provinces and more than 50 government agencies and civil service organisations in its Ina-Geoportal.”

“Furthermore, we are also working to bring in OpenStreetMap, to promote a collaborative environment for the benefit of governments, private organisations and citizens.”

Spatial enablement through legislation

“Indonesia’s senior level decision makers are aware of what geospatial data can do for them and how it can improve their socio-economic programmes. In fact, Ina-Geoportal is always being used in cabinet meetings at the President’s Office,” says Karsidi.

“It has become part of the decision making culture in the government. Because this, the support for geospatial development in Indonesia is strong.”

Karsidi states that the highlight of Indonesia’s NSDI journey began with the establishment of the Geospatial Information Act on 21 April,2011.”

The passage of this act has three main advantages: increased access to reliable geospatial information, more effective delivery of geospatial information, and the ability to use that data throughout the country.

BIG’s vision is for geospatial data to be more easily acquired and created throughout the island nation through a strong foundational system. This legislation will support regional development planning for provincial governments, as well as manage natural resources, protect the environment, and mitigate natural hazards, ultimately contributing to the overall economic development of Indonesia,” he concludes.

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