Topographic mapping in Fiji: Challenges and opportunities

Report
Topographic mapping in Fiji:
Challenges and opportunities
Conway Pene
2012 Pacific GIS&RS Conference
27-30 November 2012, Suva
Thoughts from the field
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A user .... and abuser... of topographic maps
In the field and in the office
On paper and on screen
About Fiji... but may be relevant to other
island countries
Why do we still use topographic maps?
• Doesn’t everyone uses Google Mud Earth?
Topographic maps in Fiji
• Series
– Updated every 10 years (well... almost)
– About 60 A1-size sheets
• Scale
– Published at 1:50,000
• Content
– 6 themes
•Vegetation
•Hydrography
•Terrain
•Survey
•Structures
•Transport
•Annotation
Topographic map production process
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Review – problems with existing maps
Plan – what do new maps need?
Fly – logistical challenges
Capture – sensors record images
Process – add spatial context to images
Digitise – interpret images; feature data
Map – cartographic design
Distribute – publish and print
Topographic map use process
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Buy map from lands department
Scan on desktop scanner – produce image
Geo-reference in GIS
Use as backdrop for operational data
Digitise features for spatial analysis
Challenge - scale
• Are current capture and production scales
suitable?
– Suitable for what?... Suitable for whom?
– Do we know who uses these maps and why?
• What scales do we work at?
– Hydrology, infrastructure, population – 1:5,000
– Agriculture, forestry – 1:10,000
– ????? at 1:50,000?
Challenge - content
• Topographic themes – how relevant?
– Do we need new ones?
• Labels – on the map, but no index
– Gazetteer –allow geocoding attribute data
• Imagery – image backdrops more useful
– Where to get imagery?
– But how to integrate?
Challenge - quality
• Topological accuracy of underlying spatial data
– Points, line polygons used to generate symbols
– More useful to GIS as raw spatial features
– BUT... need major topological improvement
• Attribute quality and consistency
– “the power of the map is from the table”
Opportunity – improve quality
• Printed index – find features more easily
– Name and x,y coordinates of all labelled features
– Start of a gazetteer?
• Gray-scale compatible colours
– Detail lost when printed/copied to black-white
Opportunity – digital publication
• Raw data – for GIS industry
– Analysis, value adding
• Digital end products
– Topo sheets in GeoPDF, GeoTIFF
– Directly from source vector layers and cartography
Opportunity – digital publication
• Map and data services
– www.fijitopo.gov.fj
– Web service – maintains cartographic standards
– Web services – access data without having data
• GPS integration
– Consumer GPS market
– Currently no good quality Fiji base maps
Opportunity – new backdrops
• Current – vegetation... Interpreted, outdated
• Other possibilities
– Imagery – obviously...
– Land cover – new categories, more detail
– Substrate – soils and geology
– Administration – hierarchy of boundaries, places
– Infrastructure – transport, pipes, cables, wireless
coverage
– Services...
Opportunity – collaboration
• User community
• What do end users want to see in their
topographic maps?
• What can end users contribute to the
topographic map?
Opportunity – multi-purpose map
• One map, many uses
• Beyond the topographic map?...
– 19th century concept and product
– 21st century problems and technologies
• The National Atlas?
– www.nationalatlas.org.fj
– Improved topographic mapping as a vehicle for
geospatial development
Opportunities – outsourcing 1
• Review
– Seek input from community
– Multi-stakeholder consultation process
– Business role – independent consulting
• Plan
– And collaborate
– Advice on technology and production process
– Business role – independent consulting
Opportunities – outsourcing 2
• Fly
– Air survey specialist companies
• Capture
– Sensor and platform vendors
– multiple bands, LiDAR
• Process imagery
– Image processing specialists
• All these already outsourced
Opportunities – outsourcing
• Digitise
– labour intense
– Outsource to digital sweatshops
• Map
– Cartographic design
– Outsource to graphic design
• Distribute
– Multimedia publication
– Outsource to publication specialists
Opportunities – new roles
• Currently – Government department trying to
do everything
• Role for the private sector?
– Data is infrastructure
– Who builds infrastructure best?
– Look at current trends... Teleco, power, water,
roads
– Coming soon... Hospitals, schools,
The Fiji xxxxxxx Authority
• What is the role of government? Depends on..
– Needs of the sector
– Capacity of the market
• What could government do?
– Data designer – help define what we need
– Data client – buy data on behalf of the taxpayer
– Data reviewer – quality control what is produced
– Data authority – certify data to a standard
This is already happening...
• Cadastral mapping
– Community expresses needs
– Government sets standards
– Private sector does the heavy lifting
– Government checks and certifies
So what was the point of all that?
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Make existing products more useful
Make new products from existing data
Develop roles for private sector in mapping
Use improved topo mapping as opportunity to
develop modern geospatial information
industry
But please don’t reinvent
the wheel!

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