SALALAH, Aug 5 – The Sultanate’s first conference on geographic information system (GIS) opened in Salalah with focus on use of GIS in infrastructure development to achieve accuracy as well as cost and time effectiveness while doing development on mass scale. The conference opened under the auspices of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar. A large number of GIS experts and development partners both from government and private sectors were present on the occasion. Musallam al Masehali, Technical Expert at the office of the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, called the conference important in view of ongoing developments and the benefits that the GIS can offer to all the stakeholders.
“The conference is a very good platform for knowledge sharing as 30 valuable papers are being presented during two-day conference by external and internal experts drawn from various public and private organisations. “There are experts also from Holland, Canada and Sultan Qaboos University. They are all well qualified in their areas of work and this is an opportunity for the participants to learn from them,” said Al Masehali. Use of GIS during tropical Cyclone Mekunu that hit Salalah and its adjoining areas was one of the important parts of discussion during the conference. The experts spoke about the effectiveness of the GIS while maintaining basic services during the cyclone.
He, however, said that the technology is far more advanced and needed to be upgraded and updated to get maximum benefits and services. The technology is useful in all aspects of infrastructure development, from roads to bridges, airlines, marine, water resources to electricity and even developing smart cities. “The system is designed to collect geographic data and use them for the benefit of infrastructure development. The analysis done on the basis of these data are correct and easy to actualize in the projects,” he said. The technology, according to the experts, is hugely effective in disaster management and resumption of services based on data analysis.