Lagos set to launch N3.1b digital mapping project
Earlier, the Lagos State government had announced that its digital mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) project had reached 75 per cent completion. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola made the claim, while addressing stakeholders.
The governor said: “This is an infrastructure which will determine how efficiently we can clear refuse and recycle them in the state, provide good roads and water, and make us more responsive to the peopleÕs general needs as a government.
“The road to where we have come today is a continuation from the past administration. What we are doing today, is to mark the beginning of the final step of this project,” he said.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, said that the use of GIS would revolutionise the process of data acquisition, processing, storage dissemination and use of the GIS in digital format for planning and decision-making.
“The Lagos State government commenced the comprehensive digital survey and mapping of the whole state which will result in the establishment of enterprise GIS, to provide various developmental activities in both the rural areas and other major towns in the state,” he said.
Monsurudeen Durowoju, the special adviser to the governor on Mapping and GIS, had added that the success of the project so far has been as a result of the governorÕs determination and the challenge given to him and other stakeholders in the industry on the need for the mapping and the establishment of the GIS in the state.
The governor also added that, with the technology, people in Lagos will be located wherever they are, for government to know their problems and plan well to proffer solutions that would be tailored to their peculiar needs.
The project, which is expected to solve all mismanagement cases on land issues in the state, was conceived to ensure effective use and application of geospatial information in the stateÕs development plan and the mega city initiative.
Primarily, the purpose of the project is to produce orthophotos, digital maps and GIS database for the whole state for the implementation of various development programmes in the rural areas as well as in the capital and other major towns. This will serve as a veritable tool for orderly development control mechanism for the state.
The project has six broad technical modules namely; acquisition of digital aerial imageries and establishment of geodetic control; establishment of geoidal parameters and active Global Positioning System and reference station with Continuous Operating Reference Station; digital mapping, Digital Terrain Model and orthophoto maps; enterprise GIS, bathymetry chart; and provision of information and communication technology infrastructure, education and training.
The state government awarded the project to four contractors, including Interspatial (modules one, three and four); Lordsfield Limited (module two); UNILAG Consortium (hydrographical surveys) and AAC Consulting (training and equipment supply).
Speaking on the challenge of the project, Olajugba said that it is multidisciplinary and as result, his firm had to invite others to join it in executing the project.
Those who are working on the project with Lordsfield, according to him, are the UNILAG Geodesy Group (UGG), a collection of researchers and retired professors; and Network Geomatics, which brought in Geoqinetic.
Olajugba said that the module 2A involved the geoidal parameters by going to the field to take measurements on which calculations would be done, noting that since the earth was not a flat surface, the parameters were very useful.
For the module 2B, he said that Lordsfield worked with Geoqinetic, using the Leica equipment for very sharp and qualitative end products, noting that the module had a coverage range of 30 kilometres, adding that the company would carry out the networking of the entire state in order to extend the coverage to every part of Lagos.
He, however, commended the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, for recognising the need to have spatial information in digital format for use by the different agencies of government, businesses and individuals from the comfort of their offices.
He said, “Digital maps can be used for security surveillance, transportation planning, land administration, to determine the depth of all water bodies in order to plan for water transportation etc.
“Our company handled the initial digitisation of the Office of the Surveyor-General of Lagos State as well as the charting office. Building on the experience in Lagos, Lordsfield was able to bid for the mapping of Akwa Ibom State, the result of which we are eagerly awaiting.
“We have invested heavily in our human resource and equipment to be able to handle the Lagos project, and we have travelled all over the world to countries where they are implementing the same type of project in order to learn about how they are doing it in order to improve what we have here.”
The plan by the Lagos State Government to provide a fully digital mapping and enterprise Geographical Information System has received the support and commendation of stakeholders, who noted that the exercise would put the state on the path of true development.
Reacting to the inauguration of the project, which was broken into seven components, the President of Nigerian Institution Surveyors, Dr. Sola Atilola, said the project was the best for the nation, noting that there could not be good development without mapping.
According to him, mapping must precede any sustainable development and necessary preparation must be made for such development.
The project has the following components; Determination of Geoid Model and establishment of Continuous Operating Reference Station and Orthophoto; Contour Lines and Digital (vector) Mapping; Geodetic Control and Digital Aerial Photo Acquisition; GIS Database and Enterprise GIS; supply of equipment and training and public enlightenment/education; and Bathymetry Survey of Lagos lagoons and creeks;.