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Fiji Time: 7:40 PM on Thursday 18 September

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Topographic update

Mary Johns
Thursday, November 25, 2010

FOR the last two years government has approved provisions in the budget to capture the Fiji Group via aerial photography.

Pemanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources Filimone Kau said the project supported the need to update topographic maps and data base for all mapping in Fiji.

"Admittedly most data and information kept at government ministries and departments known as Public Sector Information or PSI are stored and managed to support projects and initiatives," he said.

"Others are just collected only once or else irregularly with huge time span in between but they do cost a lot of money.

"Such high costs and efforts are excuses for charging, and adding value to the data itself."

However, Mr Kau said PSI could be argued as being paid for its capture by public funding through taxes.

"But will the public sector forego the charging issues when its public knowledge in Fiji and the world over that we cannot even curb piracy in movies," he said.

"What guarantee there is that PSI can be used by some including non-citizens of this country who do not pay taxes for commercial gains.

"I understand that some government ministries are charging transaction costs through agreement licenses but I guess the question remains is whether all geospatial experts should have access to any data and does standardisation only means compatibility without costs."

Meanwhile, Mr Kau said his ministry was now looking at reviving the Fiji Land Information Council.


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