MITA & Esri User Conference
In February of this year, MITA on behalf of the national Government endorsed a new three-year agreement with Esri Inc which is the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping.
The agreement provides access to the full suite of ArcGIS software for twenty-four Government Agencies. GIS technology enables individuals, organisations, and governments to take a geographic approach to decision-making by understanding challenges in the context of location. Hidden patterns, trends, and relationships emerge when data is visualised and analysed on a map. This location intelligence provides unique insights that empower real-time understanding and transform decision-making through faster data sharing and fluid collaboration.
Earlier this month, MITA together with Esri hosted a User Conference which brought together all the GIS users from various Government Entities and Agencies for the first time. Attendees had the opportunity to expand their knowledge on the subject through the sharing of best practices from across the Government GIS community and the Esri team. Additionally, attendees learned about the latest software, tools, and techniques for spatial analysis, mapping, and data visualisation.
This conference aimed to strengthen the Government’s position in geospatial technology and services. Participants coming from different Government sectors had the opportunity to interact with different keynote speakers from Esri and local experts related to the applicability and usage of GIS technology within Governmental Entities.
During the conference, MITA CEO, Ing Emanuel Darmanin shared the Government’s vision for GIS and its partnership with Esri related to the applicability and usage of GIS technology. He stated that the conference’s aim was to serve as a platform for ongoing interaction, fostering the digital transformation journey through the promotion of government-wide digital policy, connectivity, shared platforms and services, and solutions to enhance coherence and efficiency.
On the other hand, Mr. Dean Angelides, Esri’s Corporate Director International, shared Esri’s vision for how GIS technology can be used to understand and solve some of the biggest challenges that the world faces.
Mr. Nick Land, Esri Business Development Manager, spoke about how integrated geospatial infrastructure is helping governments to better collaborate using shared, trusted data to focus on national challenges and priorities. Furthermore, Esri’s Deputy General Manager for the MEA region, Mr. Richard Budden presented an overview of the capabilities of the ArcGIS system available today.
During the conference, four local entities shared their success stories on how this technology was applied to their day-to-day work. The first best practice was from Transport Malta, who are using Esri technology to strengthen the harmonisation required between the Authority, key stakeholders, local councils, and the public.
On the other hand, the Planning Authority shared how they are using drone-captured imagery data, which is processed within their GIS, to manage and maintain the national base map. Their work was presented through a 3D application that supports digital measurements, 3D sketching, shadow analysis, line of sight, and view shed analysis of real-world features, all through a web-based interface.
Subsequently, the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage illustrated how they are using a GIS system to effectively record and monitor heritage features across the country. They configured and made available several internal GIS applications that enable the sharing of heritage data on a centralised hub, together with automated workflows for viewing and editing data efficiently.
Lastly, Ambjent Malta shared insights on their use of GIS to support environmental-focused asset management. Through mobile GIS apps they are supporting numerous workflows including tasking environmental rangers and inspectors in the field, capturing, and reporting Natura2000 site infringements. Ambjent Malta is also using GIS technology to support its conversion program of various public gardens in Floriana into an official recognised Malta Botanic Gardens (MBG), by enable the documentation of plant species to support garden management, research, and education. This is being augmented with archival media about the location of heritage material within the garden boundaries.
MITA together with national GIS stakeholders and Esri will continue its work towards strengthening the local GIS community and strive to identify new opportunities to use this transformative technology to bring value to the Government and its users. Ultimately, MITA aims to support the government in delivering higher-quality public services to citizens and businesses.