Monday, June 06, 2005

Map of our World

Joe Holliday, Minister for Trade, Industry and Communications, last Friday opened a well-attended seminar on a new software system that is transforming the work of town planners in Gibraltar.

In official techno-speak, the Geographical Information Systems [GIS] project – known as Geo-Link - is concerned with “the management of data in a spatial context.” In plain English, it is a new software tool – customised to Gibraltar’s needs - that stores maps and data and allows the user to access a vast amount of information on the screen.

“What GIS does is it puts layers onto a base map and you can then choose which layers to have on or off,” said Paul Naughton-Rumbo, assistant town planner. “It’s like having transparencies on that base map.” Those ‘layers’ might, for example, include details on listed buildings, or information on planning applications.

Geo-Link does not make traditional paper maps and transparencies redundant, but it does simplify the planners’ work and enables them to “interrogate” data with greater speed and ease.

The software, which is being developed with EU funding alongside partners from Spain and Portugal, is currently being used by town planners and other associated government departments.

But the ultimate idea is to open it up to the private sector and the general public.
Thus in the long-term, a member of the public may be able to check pending planning applications simply by using a web-based version of GIS.

Related Article:

03 June 2005 - Geo-Link Project Geographical Information systems presentation

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