Malawi Launches MAGIC to Standardize Geospatial Data – Capital Radio Malawi
24 July, 2024

Malawi Launches MAGIC to Standardize Geospatial Data

Malawi Launches MAGIC to Standardize Geospatial Data

Ministry of Lands has called upon stakeholders to be producing, using, storing and sharing high quality geospatial data that is standardized and accurately depicts information of features and activities taking place in the country, saying that such information is pertinent.

Geospatial data include information about weather readings, maps, real estate listings, contacts lists, traffic and accident data, and other points of interest data.

Speaking on Thursday during the sensitization and establishment of Malawi Geographic Information Council (MAGIC) in Salima, Surveyor General in the Ministry of Lands, Masida Mbano said MAGIC will enable the establishment of a one stop centre for data access and sharing.

“In Malawi there are many stakeholders that are dealing with spatial data, data which is surveyed about location, disasters and all data in institutions. This data has no standard, it is collected in various formats and is not compatible with each other,” Mbano said.

He said the council will make sure that there is proper standard, usage and presentation of the data that can be compatible and be mapped properly to be recognized worldwide.

Mbano added that with the absence of MAGIC, duplication of data was common which was costing the country a lot of money because different stakeholders would produce same pictures but on different surveys.

“If data is already collected by an organization and another organization needs the same data it will be shared to show that such organizations are doing the same thing. There is a lot of data in various offices that is not shared but it can be useful to other organizations, MAGIC will set rules on how such kind of data can be shared for the benefit of the country,” he said.

In her words, Chresceuntia Msasa a Lecturer in Geographic Information Systems at Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) underscored the importance of having the council, observing that it will boost the quality of data that various stakeholders produce.

She said: “The council will enable access to geospatial data, where to look for information, the quality of data on position accuracy and features or how the data was generated. People were using inaccurate information that was affecting the final product such as maps.”

Msasa further said it is important for various stakeholders to work hand in hand with the council for better results of the spatial data.

“The council will be working with spatial data producers and custodians for them to understand the intellectual property of the data, and the limitations of the usage of its usage,” she said.

Meanwhile, Msasa has urged the council to set proper spatial data standards that each stakeholder will take into consideration to avoid compromising the end result that follows the usage of inaccurate data.

MAGIC was revamped in 2016 and has been given power to set standards that will be followed by stakeholders responsible for spatial data production to have high standard data that is accurate and trusted.

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