The UAE has been at the forefront for the adoption and effective utilization of GIS technology as a critical tool support the rapid economic development and expansion of the country’s cities, infrastructure and population over the past 25 years. A newly created Federal Geospatial Information Center (FGIC) was established through Law No. 5 in 2019 and among other duties is now responsible for the development and oversight of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The purpose of the UAE-NSDI program is to better coordinate and leverage government investment in geospatial data and applications, establish the institutional, technical elements and governance processes that are needed to support more effective data sharing and utilization across government and society, and provide the strategy and roadmap of specific actions that need to be carried out to implement all dimensions of this program.
The first activity of the NSDI involves a Study and Design Phase initiated in December 2020. The FGIC has commissioned a team led by the GPC-GIS company to support this 21-month effort, inclusive of an extensive requirements analysis involving over 40 key stakeholder organizations, a comprehensive inventory and assessment of existing geospatial data sources across the country, the development of a wide variety of standards, guidelines and procedures, and a program design defining the overall institutional and technical framework for the UAE NSDI. The effort also includes the development of a detailed roadmap for the implementation of priority components of the program design.
The Federal Geographic Information Center and GPC have configured a team of local and international experts with the specific complementary skillsets and experience needed to address all dimensions of this project. The members of the GPC team include internationally recognized experts that have played key roles in the implementation of SDI in the European Union, Australasia, USA and internationally. The GPC Group network of geospatial technology professionals has been at the forefront of GIS and SDI development for over 25 years, having been involved in over 30 SDI efforts at national, sub-national, regional levels and inclusive of research consortia and international organizations. The team is also collaborating with Esri who are implementing an “Initial System Capability (ISC)” GIS platform to support the project and to provide an initial foundation for NSDI that will be extended and refined in the future.