Photo - Lai Chee Siew, CEO, Esri Malaysia.
Global mapping giant Esri has presented a global Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems [GIS] (SAG) award to The Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia's (JUPEM's) Defence Geospatial Division [BGSP] for its innovative use of smart mapping technology.
Esri president and founder Jack Dangermond presented the award in San Diego to officials from BGSP for using advanced GIS technology in the project, called uGeo for Defence, to support the Malaysian Armed Forces' (MAF) mission-critical operations.
Brigadier General Hj. Abu Sufian bin Ahmad said that under the multi-year uGeo for Defence program roadmap, BGSP rolled out GIS technology to support MAF with seamless access to accurate and authoritative geospatial data on demand - anytime, anywhere.
Before uGeo for Defence, soldiers and decision makers at MAF had to rely on topographic maps produced hardcopy, which allowed for limited information analysis capabilities, said the Brigadier General, adding: "It is an honour for us to receive the SAG Award, as GIS technology is essential to ensure that we meet the real need of our stakeholders rather than their perceived needs."
"Having uGeo for Defence roadmap in place allows us to plan and equip MAF officers with geospatial foundation information that can help them make decisions that are timely, relevant, consistent, and objective," he said.
"Once the technology was rolled-out, decision makers at MAF were able to make more informed choices because they were equipped with the capability to fuse operational data to uncover hidden patterns, trends and relationships that would have otherwise remain buried if they used hardcopy maps and static digital maps," he said
Rescue and search operations
"In fact, the technology contributed immensely in responding to the Lahad Datu standoff in Sabah last year and planning the search and rescue operations for the Malaysian Airlines flights MH370 and MH17 tragedies."
Esri Malaysia chief executive officer Lai Chee Siew said that while BGSP and MAF have just started to realise the benefits of GIS technology.
Lai said uGeo for Defence program offered the infrastructure to deal with geospatial data from across multiple business systems then visually represent the results on a dynamic map, which allowed users to add operational layers to identify and solve problems more efficiently than before.
"When managers make a decision that is driven by the most up-to-date data, they can be confident they have made the best possible choice under the circumstances - which is incredibly important when it comes to defence and national security," he said.
"The quality of decisions are then reflected on substantial improvements in MAF's productivity and operations," he added.
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