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Proper mapping of MENA countries could generate billions of dollars: report

Proper mapping of MENA countries could generate billions of dollars: report

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain working to improve their geospatial infrastructure

Countries across MENA could unlock billions of dollars in new revenue by improving their mapping services, according to a new report by the UK’s mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS).

Upgraded geospatial data would help nations in the region in fighting challenges such as population growth, climate change and dealing with pandemics according to the ‘See Your Nation’s Potential’ study by OS.

As well as boosting GDP, the report claims improved geospatial data can help nations secure long-term food and water security, increase productivity and resource availability, predict and mitigate the effects of climate change, rebuild after disasters, as well as generate billions in returns from the establishment of secure land rights, and unlock the benefits of technologies like 5G, autonomous vehicles and smart cities.

Read: Dubai Municipality launches e-system to provide access to the emirate’s geospatial maps

OS is working with governments in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to help improve their geospatial infrastructure and enabling them to realise economic, societal and environmental benefits. Dubai Municipality is using OS’ Geospatial Maturity Assessment to help realise the Dubai government vision ‘to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth’.

The value of the global geospatial market in 2020 was put at $439bn. But this report identifies that without access to this technology the accuracy of geospatial data varies hugely from country to country and the report states that some economies – such as Canada – have seen a growth of up 1.2 per cent after improving their geospatial information capabilities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how geospatial data has become an essential component of disease prediction, prevention, and response. From an analysis of spatial big data to trace people’s movements to using contextualized data, digital maps and technologies to predict behaviour.

“Geospatial information helps us to tackle the biggest problems of our time – and capitalise on the greatest opportunities – by making it possible to monitor, measure, predict and adapt effectively,” said Peter Hedlund, OS international managing director. “Government spending on geospatial information is a high-impact investment in a nation’s long-term economic health, with benefits 3.2 times larger than the costs.”

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