Singapore’s single point of truth for key services information05/12/2011
After forming in the 1980s as the result of a government department merger, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) – the nation’s statutory body responsible for land resource optimisation – is now taking the lead in the implementation and management of a new networked government project.
Working in partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the SLA is currently helping drive Singapore’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) via the Singapore Geospatial Collaborative Environment (SG-SPACE) initiative.
The primary goal of SG-SPACE is to unlock the potential of public sector geospatial data – and allow it to be more widely used – while facilitating the introduction of innovative services by public agencies, businesses and communities.
One of the most successful developments stemming from the SG-SPACE initiative is OneMap – a single point of reference that features Singapore’s most in-demand map-based information and services.
Built on Web 2.0 technologies, OneMap is a user-friendly application that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
It leverages Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to bring together a wide range of public sector data, including information on land and community development, transportation, education, sports and more.
The diverse datasets are then visualised onto a single dynamic mapping platform, helping citizens make well-informed decisions relating to important day-to-day activities.
As a result, the SLA and its partners have combined internal and external data sources to create an array of innovative applications and services on their own public-facing websites.
These apps drive citizens to OneMap, allowing them to use the platform to search for information on a variety of things – traffic disruptions, historical property sales prices, hospital and school locations, commercial real estate opportunities, local retail promotions – even bird watching hotpots.
One app that’s proven particularly popular is SchoolQuery, which lets users find out whether their homes are within two kilometres of a school. Another is Space2Lease, which highlights SLA and Housing & Development Board properties available for lease.
The main challenge the SLA faced when creating OneMap was sourcing accurate, authoritative data – a common problem for many organisations trying to establish NSDIs in their respective countries.
To reduce duplication and help produce a reliable information service, the SLA asked each organisation involved in OneMap to share its own data – with security and confidentiality guidelines established.
Now, as more agencies realise the benefits, value and potential of the initiative, the selection of services available on OneMap will continue to grow.
And in a nation as compact as Singapore, making best use of land resources and public services is essential to ensuring sustainable growth and development.