Nigeria: Govt Adopts GIS to Map Lagos

Computing

Lagos Geospatial information, previously in analogue form, has now been officially digitalised, following the formal unveiling last week of the state's Digital Mapping and Geographical Information System (GIS) project.

The comprehensive digital surveying and mapping of the entire state will apparently revolutionise the process of data acquisition, processing, storage, dissemination and use of spatial data in digital format for planning and decision making in the megacity.

Essentially, a GIS integrates hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analysing and displaying varying forms of geographically referenced information.

Science & Technology Commissioner, Kadri Hamzat, expressed elation over the completion of the project, saying that no fewer than two stakeholder conferences were held during the course of the project. According to Hamzat, GIS is utilised for enormous amount of infrastructural and geographical planning.

He said, "With GIS, you can map change to anticipate future needs. Specifically, a Police Commissioner ot the Inspector General of Police might use GIS to study how crime patterns change from month to month and at different locations to determine the deployment of officers.

"Also, when rain falls, with GIS it is possible to determine how it affects rivers and marsh lands. This is possible using location reference system such as longitude and latitude and perhaps elevation. Comparing the rainfall information with other informations, such location of marshes or wetlands across the landscape may show that certain wetlands will dry up and this inference can help to determine people's interaction with those marshes."

Special Adviser to the Governor on Digital Mapping/GIS, M. A. O. Durowoju, submitted that the project was probably the most comprehensive in the world. He listed the components to include: aerial photos and Light Detector and Ranging (LiDAR) covering the whole state at 1:4000; digital maps covering the entire state at 1/500 for urban areas and 1/1000 for rural areas; a composite GIS Database of Imagery, Digital Maps, Bathymatry Data, Geodetic Data, Transportation as well as Housing Data; and a Geodetic Framework for primary and secondary controls in three-dimensional mode.

Others are: Active GPS reference station referred to as Continuous Operating Reference Station (CORS) with a GEOID for Lagos State; GIS Application for Environmental Control and Monitoring, Land Registration and Management; a web-based Enterprise GIS; and a Navigator System.

Surveyor-General of the state, Oluremi Olatunbosun, disclosed that the venture experienced numerous challenges when it commenced about three years ago as, according to him, "lots of people were in doubt of the success of the project."

His words: "The GIS project is vital for the state's sustainable physical development as it provides the bedrock for the actualisation of government policies." Consultants to the project were: Interspatial Technologies, Unilag Consult, Lordfield Limited and A. A. C. Consulting.