Speech by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Law, Ms Sim Ann, at the OneMap Challenge Awards Ceremony
23 May 2012 Posted in Speeches
Distinguished guests, colleagues and friends,
A very good afternoon to you. I am very pleased to join you today for the awards ceremony of the OneMap Challenge.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) launched OneMap two years ago as part of a larger initiative to bring the public and private sectors together to create a wide range of innovative applications and services using geospatial information for our community. OneMap not only offers a common map platform for public agencies to share and publish location-based information and services, but it also provides a multitude of possibilities for anyone to create innovative geospatial applications by using the maps and application programming interfaces (APIs). Since its launch, OneMap has received over 50 million page views.
- Let me first talk about the public sector’s offerings in OneMap. Across the whole-of-Government, we have 28 participating agencies providing 50 information themes and 29 service offerings to citizens. One of the most popular services is SchoolQuery. SchoolQuery is able to tell you quickly and accurately if a residential address is within one or two km of a particular school. We all know that this is a very useful and convenient resource for parents preparing for the Primary One registration exercise.
- More such services have been added to OneMap. One example is an application called PropertyPrices, which was launched last year. This service enables the public to search for recently transacted prices for private housing and HDB re-sale flats in specific locations. Another service, BizQuery, which will be launched today, allows the public to search spatially for basic information on companies and businesses registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Such services help improve the delivery of public services and enhance dissemination of useful public information.
People Sector – “Crowd Sourcing”
- The benefits of OneMap extend beyond just the sharing of information by public sector agencies. Businesses and organisations can leverage OneMap to reach out to and gather spatial information from a large group of people. This is commonly known as “crowd sourcing”. I am happy to announce that OneMap has recently introduced a beta set of map-based tools to facilitate “crowd sourcing”. Community organisations or Non-Governmental Organisations can make use of these tools to create a “crowd sourcing” function on their websites. OneMap will serve as a map base for users to tag the location of the “crowd-sourced” information.
- I understand that the Cat Welfare Society has just started using these “crowd sourcing” tools on OneMap. Citizens can now easily report sightings of stray cats and their locations on OneMap at the Society’s website. This data enables the Society to plan a systematic trapping and sterilisation programme with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). The information also helps the Society gauge where feeding points are most needed, and work with the local community to set up such points.
- The possibilities for “crowd-sourced” information are endless: you can identify good places for bird-watching for bird-lovers, best photography spots for camera enthusiasts and even give ratings for the cleanliness of public toilets in various locations. With this feature, I believe that OneMap is an excellent platform for organisations to capitalise on the collective wisdom and resources of their stakeholders. They can also more easily connect and co-create with community and interest groups.
- Over the years, the Government has invested a lot of effort to enable the sharing of information through platforms such as data.gov.sg and OneMap. The types of information shared range from parking lot availability to weather forecasts. OneMap lets individuals and businesses combine such information with their own ideas to build useful new spatial applications. An example is ShowNearby Analytics, which uses OneMap to show the location of properties available for rent or sale. The public can specify attributes, such as a property being a certain distance from a bus stop or supermarket, and the system will display all the available properties that meet those criteria. Other examples include Questnet, a business search portal, and OnTarget, a marketing portal. Both platforms are integrated with OneMap and allow users to search for information, such as companies’ business or credit details, based on a specified geographic location, among other things.
- Given the increasing interest in geospatial applications, the SLA organised, for the first time, the OneMap Challenge. Through the Challenge, we hope to encourage the development of creative applications and services that bring benefits to businesses and the public. The Challenge was held from December 2011 to March 2012, and attracted 17 entries. I am very impressed by the innovative spirit shown by the developers behind these 17 entries, which include very interestingweband mobile applications using OneMap’s advanced mapping technologies. Navigating your way around a campus, locating the nearest recycling bin, looking for tutors near your home - I was told these are just a few interesting entries in this Challenge. These entries will be demonstrated at the exhibition booths and you can take a closer look at them later.
- In closing, I would like to thank our partners and sponsors for your invaluable support for the Challenge:
- ESRI Singapore;
- ST 701;
- Mobile Alliance;
- Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF);
- Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME);
- Infocomm Development Authority;
- Nanyang Polytechnic; and
- Singapore Polytechnic;
- To all participants, I hope you have enjoyed your journey creating these interesting and useful applications made possible by OneMap. With the vast potential of OneMap applications, your creativity and innovation will provide better solutions for a better Singapore. I hope the Challenge and the panoply of possibilities offered by OneMap will spur more to come forward and develop more innovative and useful applications.
- Thank you.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012