Making the City of Dubai Work for the Citizen with Location Data

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Ordnance Survey and Dubai Municipality sign for second year of a contract to create a Geospatial Services Centre in Dubai.

The contract has been extended following a successful first year, which saw Great Britain’s mapping service begin working with Dubai Municipality’s Geographic Information Systems Centre (GISC) to implement a multi-year geospatial development strategy. The strategy will enable geospatial information to support economic growth and deliver societal and economic benefits across many areas including transport, development, telecoms and utilities.

GISC will support the Dubai Government across a wide range of activities.

The deal aims to transform Dubai Municipality into a recognised leader for geospatial strategy, data and services across the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf region and the rest of the world.

Throughout 2020 OS collaborated to help build foundations for the project. During the year OS advised on:

  • Introducing remote sensing principles;
  • Improving auto feature extraction and change detection;
  • Aligning with geospatial standards (particularly International Organisation for Standardisation - ISO);
  • Improving data quality processes;
  • Introducing data governance framework and practices;
  • Enhancing engagement with stakeholders; and
  • Creating a certified geospatial professional scheme blueprint.

Expert teams from both organisations have been introducing cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning solutions to automatically extract data and other information from satellite and aerial imagery.

Munir Ismet, OS’s Managing Director of Geospatial Solutions, said: “This project will be underpinning policies and government plans in Dubai. It’s all about making cities and environments work better for the citizen, whether that’s creating new citizen-centric services, enhancing existing services, planning and building efficient transport solutions, or even supporting global-events.

“Once completed, Dubai will be the centre of a geospatial data eco-system that will drive innovation for many years.”

For 2021, OS will help develop this work further, and is focusing on improving operational functions such as data capture and quality control.

OS will also be advising on strategy and deployment, implementing data governance and committees, auditing skills, assessing specific data needs of GISC’s stakeholders, data structures and architects, developing a data platform, and introducing a remote sensing model.

The objective is to link the world-class data capture closely to the needs of Dubai’s citizens, and by doing so maximising Dubai Municipality’s existing smart technology and infrastructure. 

Maryam Almheiri, Dubai Municipality, Director of GISC said: “We are happy to extend our relationship with OS, which started in 2018 with the geo-maturity project. Through the second year of service centre contract, we will implement the geospatial maturity roadmap aiming to reach the highest level of Dubai geospatial community satisfaction through providing world class services.

"Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and the GISC strategy will provide an up-to-date 'digital twin' of the city. The extended relationship with OS through the service centre project will support this as well as enabling us to reach Dubai Government’s aspiration - making Dubai the happiest city in the world in all aspects.”     

Munir added: “We are delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with Dubai Municipality helping to deliver their ambition to produce consistent, world-class data that flows all the way from its capture through to its customers. We will be working on delivering strategic themes around strategy and governance and making sure the very best data flow lines are all in place.”

For more information on how geospatial information can unlock potential for other nations click here.

About Ordnance Survey

For more than 225 years, Ordnance Survey has provided national mapping services for Great Britain. Our vision is to be recognised as world leaders in geospatial services, creating location insight for positive impact. We deliver huge value for the UK through the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PGSA) and we share our location insights with governments around the world to help them make better informed decisions. Our pioneering geospatial services are continually evolving to add value for our partners. These include 3D data modelling, creating strategies for overseas national mapping agencies and using location data to accelerate economic growth. We also help businesses stay one step ahead through data insights from our products including OS MasterMapsOS Maps API and AddressBase.  

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