The Malta Independent 6 December 2021, Monday

PA to embark on a €7 million project to transport Malta’s spatial data infrastructure

Thursday, 9 February 2017, 11:47 Last update: about 6 years ago

Malta will soon embark on a €7 million project which will seek to develop and implement a national spatial data infrastructure which will bring Malta to the forefront of geo-spatial technology. The project which is being spearheaded by the Planning Authority will see Malta replace its basemap and produce one which will reflect the realities of today and therefore ensuring that the underlying infrastructure and capacity is available in order to deliver information and analysis as required both at a national and international level.

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The project, which is being part-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund, will also see the creation of a strategic approach to spatial data and the creation of critical base datasets. Legislatively, the project will also ensure that Malta not only meets its obligations but will introduce the concept of free exchange of data and cost-sharing across governmental entities through a secure structure.

Professor Saviour Formosa, a consultant for the Authority who conceptualised the project said “that due to the various national/EU data creation processes, Malta is committed to upgrade the national’s spatial data capacity. Presently, each organisation has its own data capacity system, which is not compatible with that of other entities resulting in a process that is neither integrated nor sufficiently procedurally coherent”. He added “that here we are moving into territory which requires a mental shift in terms of exchange and access to data as well as infrastructure. Malta has a limited data resource and the exchange of data against a monetary aspect is limiting progress and creating obstacles to progress, particularly when data is already paid for by the same government, which is why all Ministries and their respective entities are partners in this project.”

The SIntegraM project will ensure that Malta has the necessary infrastructure and future preparedness in terms of aerial, terrestrial and marine technologies so as to reduce its reliance on foreign entities. The infrastructure and range of systems, equipment, analytical and dissemination tools will also be geared to enable inter-governmental data dissemination, knowledge gain and an integrated approach towards information foresight.

Planning Authority Project leader Ashley Hili explained the benefits of SIntegraM when she stated that “once completed the project, will enable government entities to formulate evidence-based policy-making, take more integrated decisions, empower them with real-time data enabling incident and accident control and adopt an analytical approach through predictive modelling for multi-scale planning and scenario building.”

The project which is being carried out in close collaboration with a number of partners, including all ministries, will enable the implementation of an integrated process where the interface between government, citizens and the business community would be one where updated information which is reliable and verifiable will be available in real time. 

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