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Information as an Economic Resource: A Response from GeoInformation Perspective


Formulating national policies for the management of geographical information; ... The lack of national geographic information strategy ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Information as an Economic Resource: A Response from GeoInformation Perspective

Information as an Economic Resource A Response
from Geo-Information Perspective
  • Peter AdeniyiAddis Ababa25 April 2005

Moubaraks Proposals to optimize potential
  • Sensitizing African decision makers to the value
    and utility of studies based on geographic
    information systems
  • Formulating national policies for the management
    of geographical information
  • Strengthening local capacities in the area of
    geographical information systems
  • Improving access to geographical information
  • Conducting studies on the use of geographical
    information systems in policy formulation

Focus of the Geo-Information Perspective Paper
  • Explain briefly Geographic Information and its
    economic significance
  • Provide an overview of the status of geographic
    information in Africa
  • Examine the issue of Geo-Information Policy

Geographic Information and its economic

What is Geographic Information?
  • Information that identifies the geographic
    location and characteristics of natural or
    man-made features and boundaries, in, on or above
    the earth
  • Synonyms geo-information, geospatial
    information, spatial data or geospatial data
  • Consists of locational information and attribute
  • Traditionally, a map is a typical Geographic

A Typical Geographic Information - Box
  • A large map of small region, depicting its land
    forms, drainage, vegetation, settlement patterns
    roads, geology, or a host of other detailed
    distributions, make available the knowledge of
    the relationships necessary to plan and carry on
    many works intelligently. The ecological
    complexities of the environment require maps for
    their study. The building of a road, a house, a
    flood-control system, or almost any other
    constructive endeavour requires prior mapping.
  • Smaller maps of larger areas showing things such
    as flood plan hazards, soil erosion, land use,
    population character, climates, income, and so
    on, are indispensable to understanding the
    problems and potentialities of an area. Maps of
    the whole earth indicate generalization and
    relationships of broad earth patterns with which
    we may intelligently consider the course of past,
    present, and future events.

Economic Significance of Geographic Information
  • Africas economy primarily resource based
  • Resources are fixed in space
  • Cannot be conserved and exploited without the
    spatial component of the information
  • Need also location of co-inputs for exploitation,
    processing and delivery to markets
  • Location of labour inputs
  • Location of markets and other inputs
  • Routes between these locations

Economic Significance
  • Another major activity in Africas economic
    development is tourism
  • Information for promotion and management of
    tourism must include the geo component
  • Location of tourist attractions and routes to and
    between them

Economic Significance
  • Other economic activities include manufacturing,
    real estate development, general commerce
  • Manufacturing information on planning zones,
    markets, inputs, demographics, etc
  • Commerce targeted advertising, general
    navigation, etc
  • Real estate and land market planning zones,
    value information, demographics, etc

Economic Significance
  • General referencing framework for integrating
    large numbers of different data sets from many
    application fields
  • Though we can present some of the information
    with text, voice or statistical tables, they are
    more intelligently communicated with
    geoinformation tools and techniques

Levels of GIS Application
  • Operational GIS applications are concerned with
    managing facilities and assets
  • Management (or tactical) GIS applications are
    concerned with distributing resources to gain
    competitive advantage
  • Strategic GIS applications are concerned with the
    creation and implementation of an organizations
    strategic business plan

Status of Geographic Information in Africa

Geoinformation Infrastructure
Importance of GI
  • 80 of all human decisions
  • Everything that happens, happens somewhere
  • Resources in their natural state are anchored to
    a place
  • We have to get there
  • We have to move the products to market
  • Spatial distribution of suitable conditions,
    factors, etc
  • Service delivery, voting patterns, inter- and
    intra-zonal interactions,
  • Should investments in ICT reflect this ratio?

Mapping Infrastructure
  • Geoinformation content is expensive to create and
  • ICT requires operational utility infrastructure
  • GI in addition also needs mapping infrastructure
  • Geodetic reference framework, base maps,
    satellite receiving stations
  • Maintained by national mapping agencies

Need Spatial Data Infrastructure
  • Need to maximize returns from available GI
  • Put in place policies, resources and structures
    to make spatial information available to decision
    makers and the community
  • When they need it
  • Where they need it
  • In a form they can use it (almost) immediately
  • Concept of Spatial Data Infrastructure

SDI Defined
  • The SDI provides a basis for spatial data
    discovery, evaluation, and application for users
    and providers within all levels of government,
    the commercial sector, the non-profit sector,
    academia and by citizens in general.
  • The SDI Cookbook
  • The technology, policies, standards, and
    institutional arrangements necessary to acquire,
    process, store, distribute, and improve the
    utilization of geospatial datafrom many
    different sources and for a wide group of
    potential users
  • US Exec Order 12906

Overview of the Status of Geographic Information
in Africa
  • Tremendous progress in the field of Information
    and Communication Technologies, exemplified by
    wide spread of Internet services and the use of
    mobile phones
  • Progress in GI has not kept pace with ICT
  • Except in few countries, e.g. South Africa
  • Inadequate Core geographic data sets and thematic
    data sets

Factors responsible for Slow Progress
  • The lack of national geographic information
  • The mandates of most public organizations at all
    levels of government are fundamentally defective
  • Public organizations slow to adopt contemporary
    technology for resource and environmental data
    acquisition, analysis and management
  • The organizations that were established to
    acquire and provide core fundamental data have
    largely been unable to meet the data demands of
    other user organizations

Slow Progress
  • Coordination within and among organizations is
    very weak
  • Overbearing power of the National Governments
    over resources
  • Inadequate involvement of the community
  • Lack of accountability, transparency, commitment
    and opportunity to experiment and to learn from

Geoinformation Policy Implementation

Concluding Comment on Geoinformation Policy
  • Two broad approaches for policy implementation
  • The programmed implementation
  • A well specified plan with a clearly defined
  • Unambiguous lines of responsibility
  • Limited participation with tightly coupled
    institution and minimal discretion
  • Adaptive implementation
  • Allows people to learn by doing rather than
    mechanically following a set of guidelines which
    may not make a lot of sense for particular
  • Recommended for Africa

  • Africa needs to invest more in ICTs to compete in
    the information economy
  • We need to spread the investment and direct more
    towards GI
  • Effort should be increased in GI infrastructures
    to get maximum benefits from available from the