The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) is set to launch the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) system shortly as part of a national initiative for effective decision-making.
The system is based on amassing available geographic data scattered with many government organisations and making use of this data to enhance the accessibility, communication and use of geospatial data to support a wide variety of decisions at all levels of society.
The NSDI will be a platform that maintains an updated spatial database intended to create a common environment where all stakeholders and the public can corporate with each other, access relevant data as well as contribute in providing relevant data for others to use.
The NSDI platform is expected to benefit decision makers, especially in the areas of natural resources management, flood mitigation, environmental restoration, land use assessments and disaster recovery.
The NSDI could contribute in solving major agricultural issues such as whole-farm planning and natural resource management. Sri Lanka faces a host of environmental problems such as land degradation, pollution, poor management of water resources, loss of biological diversity, coastal erosion, increasing scarcity of water for agriculture and improper water disposal polluting agricultural land, etc.
The NSDI could also enable land use planning for sustainable utilization and management of land resources. Maintaining a common platform with essential data about lands can contribute immensely in protecting them and avoiding land-use conflicts.
Also, the NSDI will provide reliable data on the country’s archaeological sites, their boundaries, entrance restrictions and buffer zones, etc. to ensure smooth management of our heritage sites.
Further, the portal can be utilized to retrieve data about the disaster risk of a certain land prior to construction. Through the NSDI, one can access the necessary disaster-related data and take initiatives to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards.
Meanwhile, a country’s physical planning involves planning of major towns and cities, infrastructure development and administration of all the lands and resources. The NSDI could take physical planning a step forward since it consists of real-time data, which are accessible at any time.
The ICTA said building of digital infrastructure is its most invested key strategy towards creating a knowledge-based society through digitally empowered citizens.