All information on land will be available at the touch of a button, Lands minister Amos Kimunya has said.Kenyan's will in future know who owns what land, its location and other features from computer data. He said that, with the Geographic Information Model System (GIS) technology, land dealings in Nairobi would become simple.

The minister made the remarks at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, in Juja after he opened a seminar. The one-day event discussed the results of a study into starting the Spatial Data Framework in Nairobi. The pilot project, undertaken for the Kenya Institute of Survey and Mapping by the Japanese International Corporation Agency, will roll out in other parts of the country, with Mombasa as the next stop.

The long-term goal, the minister said, is to make the country's entire map available in digital format. The GIS allows one to input, retrieve, process, analyse and output geographically referenced data that support decision-making to plan and manage natural resources and the environment. Kimunya described GIS as crucial for development, and added that about 80 per cent of the information would be used in planning and decision-making at all levels.

Japanese ambassador Saturo Miyamura said that currently, many areas' data on land and population was poorly maintained, maps and statistics outdated, information inaccurate and its sharing limited."I hope the Government will then use the study's results ... for better planning and decision-making in Nairobi city. This should subsequently translate into time and cost saving and improve productivity," he said. JICA's Yoshiaki Kano said investors need not travel physically to assess an area's topography, as they could do it using GIS data. "I see better days for Nairobi residents through the efficient management of services offered by the council, (such as) adequate sanitation, efficient liquid and solid waste management and proper counteractive measures," he said.