Speech by Law Minister K Shanmugam at the OneMap Public Launch
31 Mar 2010 Posted in Speeches
Distinguished guests, colleagues and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
A very good morning to all of you.
OneMap, which is going to be launched today, is a common map platform for public agencies to publish information and deliver map-based services. It is also open to use by anyone as a platform for innovative applications – whether an individual, a business entity, or a community organisation.
The OneMap that you will see today is part of a larger initiative which is named the “Singapore Geospatial Collaborative Environment” or SG-SPACE in short.
Overview of SG-SPACE
- SG-SPACE is an initiative jointly driven by the Singapore Land Authority and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). It aims to create an environment in which the public and private sectors and the community can collaborate and create a wide range of innovative applications and services using geospatial or map-based information.
- The initiative brings together multiple public agencies to establish common standards and policies so that there can be greater sharing and usage of geospatial information among the public agencies. This allows the public sector agencies to be more efficient, as spatial information captured once by any agency can be shared and used many times by other agencies. The increased usage of geospatial information will also enhance the agencies’ effectiveness in policy planning and operations, as well as in the delivery of services to the public.
- There is also huge potential for the use of such geospatial data by the private sector and the community. We live, work and play in a world marked by geospatial coordinates. There already exists a vast array of geospatial information. Increasingly, combined with maps and technology, businesses and individuals are using geospatial information for commercial ventures and in their daily lives. Many of us use GPS-enabled devices to navigate from one location to another. If you are an iPhone user, you would be familiar with the many location-based applications giving you data on the eateries, shops and car parks nearest to your location . They all make use of a multitude of geospatial data points. Some are owned by public agencies while others are collated by the private sector.
- The SG-SPACE initiative also seeks to support the development of map-based applications by businesses and the community. The Government is currently in the process of converting much of the textual data that is available to the public into geospatial information, and developing applications to use these data. We will progressively release more and more of these geospatial data and applications to the public when they are ready, starting with today’s launch of OneMap and various other applications. We hope that this will spur the development of more innovative and useful map-based applications by the private and people sectors.
- OneMap is the first major application of the SG-SPACE initiative. It is the result of 16 participating public agencies coming together and adopting a common map platform to publish some basic information and deliver some simple services. Many parents may find one particular service very interesting, the SchoolQuery. Parents can use this service to find out if their residences are within one or two kilometres of a certain primary school.
OneMap for the People and Private Sectors
- OneMap is not just a map platform for public agencies. Businesses and the general public can make full use of it, including for business, social, community and personal use.
- OneMap was built using Web 2.0 technologies. Thus, users on their own can add new information and applications easily and conveniently. Businesses and communities are encouraged to develop new services and provide them using the OneMap platform.
- OneMap is not intended to be the sole provider of geospatial information and services. It cannot be and should not be so. We have designed it to provide the basic platform which the public agencies, and the private and people sectors can leverage to create their own applications, especially businesses and individuals. This will enable the harnessing of the power of every individual so that services can be identified, developed and delivered.
- Let me illustrate with an example. A local community can create say, its own “My Kampong” web portal. Using the OneMap platform, they can encourage residents to contribute information about the people, food, shops, recreation and landmarks in and around their community. They can even build on this information and create heritage or food trails in their own portal for use by residents and even tourists.
- One of the early non-government users of OneMap is the Nature Society of Singapore. They have started to use OneMap to show where various types of wild birds can be found in Singapore, complete with information about the habitats.
- Similarly, OneMap can be a platform for businesses to provide services to other businesses and consumers. Several companies have become OneMap pioneer users. For instance, the four companies under the i-Singapore programme, Call-For-Collaboration, make use of OneMap to display search results for users of location-based services. The organisers will share with you later some of these interesting applications. I understand that a competition for business and communities to develop creative and innovative applications using OneMap will also be organised very soon.
- OneMap is an example of how the public sector continues to evolve in delivering services to the public in an era where “facebooking” and “crowd-sourcing” are daily occurrences. The OneMap portal and applications that you see today is only the start. There will be more public agencies coming on board to add new geospatial information and services. I am also confident that we will see more services and applications developed by businesses and the community using the OneMap platform.
- In closing, I would like to thank the agencies, companies and organisations that have supported and participated actively to ensure the successful roll-out of OneMap today. Thank you.
Last updated on 26 Nov 2012