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Japan, RP ink pact for Mindanao topographic map

Sunday, February 7, 2010 [ ]

THE government of Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), has recently forged partnership with different government agencies for the implementation of Topographic Map for Peace and Development in Mindanao.

Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco) chairman Virgilio Leyretana Sr. said the new digitized map, which will be drawn with funding and technical support from Jica, will replace the decades-old topographic map of Mindanao.

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Leyretana said the project, to be jointly implemented by the National Mapping Resource Information Agency (Namria), Medco and Jica, aims to update and convert Mindanao topographic maps into digital vector data for Graphic Information System (GIS) technology applications.

For decades now, government bodies and donor groups have been referring to the Mindanao map made in the late 1950s as basis for geographic data needed in carrying out their programs and projects.

Leyretana said the map is based from the aerial photographs taken from 1947 to 1953 that are published in the country under the old numbering system used by then Defense Mapping Agency now called the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency of the United States.

He also said that Namria is now establishing the Philippine National Topographic Map Series, a new numbering system with coverage format of 15-by-15 per map sheet compliant to the Philippine Reference System of 1992.

This is the map series of updated topographic maps that will eventually replace the 50- to 60-year-old published maps in the country, said Leyretana.

He said the revision of the original maps had been proposed for years but due to financial constraints, the updating of topographic maps in Mindanao has not been fully realized.

“It’s about time to update our decades-old topographic map which serves as an indispensable tool in development planning,” he said.

“The Mindanao map updating project bodes well with the ongoing formulation of the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan which is also an updated framework plan that shall guide peace and development efforts in the island-region for the next 10 years,” the official added.

Leyretana also said the project would enhance effectiveness of future government projects and other development assistance by integrating geographic data with the available socio-economic and relevant indicators.

The project is also looking at establishing a common database in Mindanao that will facilitate the creation of a geographic data infrastructure accessible by the multi-sector stakeholders.

In this proposed system, Leyretana said a total of 205 topographic maps with a coverage format of 15-by-15 per map sheet will cover the entire Mindanao area. (Bong Garcia)


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