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Shaping The Future
Blog #1

Shaping The Future

Read time 8 mins
27 April 2020
By Eng. Maryam Al-Muhairi Director of GIS Center
Shaping The Future 27 April 2020
The uses of digital maps and geospatial information are rapidly increasing in both public and private sectors of the Emirate of Dubai

At the same pace, the government’s interest in advancing geospatial information systems is increasing believing in their importance in data analysis, production of multiple alternatives and in providing different planning scenarios, which enables decision-makers taking the right decision in the right time, hence, achieving maximum levels of effectiveness and economic and moral feasibilities. 

It is expected that a number of recent technological development trends will have an effective impact during the next few years. It is also expected that this development will provide many opportunities to achieve the government strategies in building the smart city and Dubai Digital Twin. In addition, it creates opportunities for the public and private sectors in remote business management, not only in times of crisis, but rather through sustainable plans to save time and effort, eliminating congestion, and traffic jams. On the other hand, it is expected that these trends will create challenges, which overcoming them remains a necessity  to realize the desired benefits and to ensure reaching the highest range of geospatial information value during the next three years.
Moreover, we expect that the GIS Center’s role in data management and geospatial information provision will be more significantly recognized and assured through smart applications based on the analytical capabilities that will be available in these systems during the next three years. Also, through continuously performing its vital role in bridging the gaps between departments, coordinating interoperability and providing services and consultations in several fields to the geospatial information community. Even more, the Center will provide reliable and up-to-date geospatial information frameworks, which will be essential in ensuring that users have access to reliable geographic information that meets decision-makers' needs.

It is also predicted that the GPS feature found in many devices that are used in the daily life, sensors of data data collection, and geospatial data processing and storage systems will bring more challenges. These challenges in addition to, the increasing use of geospatial information on a daily basis will raise the need for policy frameworks and laws that eliminate concerns about privacy violations. The Center will work in coordination and cooperation with partners to update and develop policies, laws and standards for geospatial data exchange to maintain this development over the coming years. Moreover, the growth in the volume of data, collected and availed through the use of spatially enabled devices by departments, organizations and individuals, which will continue to spread to an extent that makes location positioning a standard specification in most appliances and household equipment, requires the Center to develop solutions to find the most relevant information from this contentiously growing data. 

Building and developing large systems  capable of processing  structured and unstructured data, and which could relied on in the management and analysis of geospatial information using new techniques developed to process the vast amount of raw data that is generated by increasing number of geospatial sensors,  will become vital. These systems are vital for eliminating any confusion and ambiguity around the Big Data that will be available in the coming years, so that we become able to identify the correct information at once, without any time delay, and reach an effective decision based on this information.​

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Since the volume of data produced is considerably very large and benefiting from it is imperative, the Center will work on linking information on the web, where the distribution of data as interlinked data (IoT data) during the next three years will be necessary. In fact, with the availability of correlated data, an opportunity will be provided to integrate the data with other parts of the data on the web and to place it in its context as a valuable addition to the existing information. The Center will also take advantage of Semantic Technologies in the dissemination and understanding of data and find an automatic description that can handle data, which will allow knowledge sharing and reuse. The value of real data will appear when linked to other data sources available to the partners. The center’s platform will be an important and supportive framework for the web that links data from many geospatial database sources. As a result of the emergency conditions the world is currently living due to the Corona pandemic, it is expected that we will see an increasing need for environmental geospatial information to monitor and develop the ecosystem during the coming years. The use of accurate environmental spatial information in this way will constitute great opportunities to develop the necessary infrastructure to collect, manage and analyze information, and at the same time will bring technical and administrative challenges in the field of geospatial data systems. To meet the requirements of providing geospatial data and information in a timely manner and based on a specific standard and forms that suit the stakeholder’s devices and systems, the Center will work on switching from two-dimensional (2D) geospatial data to three-dimensional (3D) geospatial data, and possibly to four-dimensional geospatial data (4D) to build Dubai Digital Twin. The integration of external three-dimensional data, internal administrative systems data and underground utility lines’ data to create integrated models, and the development of technologies and data models to exploit this potential, will be a strategic objective of the GIS Center. Archiving real-time geospatial data is also likely to become an increasingly important technology in data management over the coming years, so the Center will work on developing capabilities and resources to make it possible. During the coming years, managing, updating and providing services mentioned above, require the use of an "electronic cloud" - hosted at the Center or hosted elsewhere- which can provide ways to host and service huge amount of data, for several stakeholders without the need of each stakeholder for the related investment costs required to acquire the technologies needed to accomplish that independently. Reliance on the electronic cloud requires the availability of infrastructure, platforms, software and work force to work in the field of geospatial data management and development of applications and solutions to meet the requirements of users. Users often want to receive reliable information at the right time, achieving this and in light of the increase in the volume of available data, the Center will work on availing capabilities of automatic extraction of accurate results that are sent directly to the end users according to the standards and forms that suits their devices and systems. ​
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