Dominica is one step closer to realizing a vibrant geospatial data base community with the introduction of the Geonode technology.
Geonode is a platform for the management and publication of geospatial data. This new system will allow national ministries and agencies to populate, catalog, view, and share data on a central depository.
On Wednesday August 08th the Physical Planning Division in collaboration with the World Bank convened a consultative meeting with data collection practitioners at the Fort Young Hotel to discuss the technical challenges of geospatial management and data sharing in Dominica.
Minister responsible for Physical Planning, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Darroux welcomed the initiative saying that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases already established on the island have lacked management and information sharing.
Hon.Darroux is hopeful that this new Geonode platform will address that concern.
“One of Dominica’s shortcomings has been insufficient collaboration and data sharing due to a number of reasons mainly protective data policies, technological limitations and lack of capacity. All the GIS systems have been operating independently and data collection has been specific to the organizations needs. This situation has hindered the growth and development of a vibrant geospatial database community in Dominica”.
The minister highlighted further that other issues include the lack of awareness among departments and agencies about what geo-data bases exists, duplication of data collection efforts, outdated databases and the general under utilization of geospatial data in decision making.
The minister notes that this initiative to form an open source geospatial data management platform in Dominica is timely as it will facilitate increased data accessibility provide a central data depository and will allow for the management and sharing of geospatial data on the internet.
A number of international organizations have identified Dominica as one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to natural disasters.
The Minister is confident that this new system will better assist the island’s decisions makers in making decisions about reducing disaster risk.
“Because Geospatial data is recognized internationally as a critical component of disaster risk assessment and management practices, this management platform will provide the opportunity to manage the relevant geo databases in a central location making it more accessible to policy makers, practitioners and the wider population for informed and timely decision making” the minister noted.
The new data management platform is expected to support two strategic initiatives by Government to mainstream disaster risk reduction and adaption to climate change into development planning.