Singapore spatial challenge receives international recognition

By Clarice Africa 23 Jul 2014

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has been selected from more than 400,000 organisations worldwide to win a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award at the annual Esri User Conference in San Diego, California.

Presented yesterday by Jack Dangermond, the Founder and President of global mapping giant Esri, the SAG award recognises the SLA for their world-leading Spatial Challenge initiative – an annual competition that encourages the innovative use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in Singapore’s schools.

Supported by the Ministry of Education and Esri Singapore, the Spatial Challenge gives students hands-on experience with GIS technology – enabling them to create dynamic smart maps of information to support decision-making.

Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramotedham said since launching the Spatial Challenge in 2008, SLA has helped ensure thousands of students incorporate geographic thinking into their daily lives.

“SLA is one of the most progressive users of GIS technology in the world – and their Spatial Challenge initiative has seen Singapore students develop smart solutions that address real-world challenges,” said Mr Pramotedham.

“For example as part of the Spatial Challenge, one group of students developed a project called EasyMove@SG – which allows mobility-impaired people to locate disability facilities and get to destinations with greater ease.

“The Solarium Garden City is another project born from the initiative, which uses GIS technology to propose how Singapore could benefit from the broader use of solar power.

“OneStopSG is a mobile app developed by a group of students to promote local attractions, which enables users to better plan their trips and activities around Singapore.

“The SAG award is global recognition of SLA’s efforts to ensure Singapore’s youth actively develop solutions that make a real difference to the community.

“With the Spatial Challenge, SLA has certainly set the benchmark for other government agencies around the world looking to promote geographic thinking amongst their students.”

Mr Vincent Hoong, Chief Executive of SLA, said SLA is honoured to receive this award.

“The Spatial Challenge is a key plank in our efforts to prepare our students for a future where the use of geospatial information science and technology will be pervasive and part of daily life,” said Mr Hoong.

The Esri International User Conference – which runs from 14 – 18 July – is regarded as the world’s premier spatial event, attracting more than 16,000 GIS professionals from around the globe. 

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