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ICTA launches National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) in Sri Lanka

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Launch of NSDI website


The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), a highly awaited platform for geo spatial information in Sri Lanka, was ceremonially launched by the Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) recently at Trace Expert City. 

Former Telecommunication Ministry Secretary Wasantha Deshapriya
ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva
Surveyor General P.M.P. Udayakantha

Former Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry Secretary Wasantha Deshapriya, the pioneer in initiating NSDI in Sri Lanka, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.  Other distinguished invitees, including senior Government officials, industry leaders, academia, NGOs, INGOs, and media also dignified this launching ceremony.

The NSDI is a platform consisting of a website, a metadata catalogue and a geo-portal which facilitate accessing geospatial information for decision makers.  While the website provides the introduction to the NSDI and its services and governance structure, the metadata catalogue provides the background details about the geospatial data. The available geospatial data, which were scattered across many organisations, can be accessed through this geo-portal in a single window. At present, NSDI comprises with five use cases for Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Department of Agriculture, Urban Development Authority, Disaster Management Centre and Department of Archaeology, which demonstrate the dimensions of the platform in integrating different spatial applications into this portal. 

In his opening remarks ICTA Chairman Prof. Rohan Samarajiva emphasised the importance of having a proper governance structure to manage the NSDI so that users from both the Government and private sector can benefit. This is a platform that maintains a spatial database intended to create a common environment where all stakeholders and the public can corporate with each other, access relevant data, make timely decisions as well as contribute in providing relevant data for others to use. This will enable data sharing, avoid duplication in data collection, increase efficiency and collaboration among organisations.

Surveyor General P.M.P. Udayakantha in his keynote highlighted the importance of data interoperability and having updated information in the system. He mentioned crowd sourcing as an essential component for the successful establishment of the NSDI. 

Addressing the audience, Chief Guest Wasantha Deshapriya congratulated everyone involved in bringing NSDI to the current state and launch. “Being a public-funded platform, NSDI could be used to provide marvellous benefits to citizens of the country through sharing data and information among organisations.” 

The development of the Sri Lanka NSDI is a collaborative effort of many Government organisations, including the Survey Department of Sri Lanka, Disaster Management Centre, Department of Agriculture, Department of Wildlife, Department of Forest, Coast Conservation Department, Department of Census and Statistics, etc., facilitated by ICTA. NSDI can be accessed via https://nsdi.gov.lk.

Pix by Upul Abayasekera


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