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RIYADH: The geospatial infrastructure in Saudi Arabia is set to receive a boost with the launch of an open data portal that will use geographical information systems to achieve sustainable development goals.

The portal was announced at the Geospatial Data Consortium, organized by the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information in partnership with the General Authority for Statistics, in Riyadh on Tuesday, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The online platform presents the role of geospatial data in improving sustainability and quality of life in the Kingdom through responsible production and consumption and climate conservation.

It also covers the safety of marine life and wildlife and the role of strong institutions in achieving the SDGs.

The head of GASGI, Mohammad bin Yahya Al-Sayel, said that the authority had launched several initiatives and adopted various controls, standards, and policies in 2023, aiming to raise the efficiency of government spending.

He highlighted that these endeavors enhanced the role of geospatial information in achieving national development goals in cooperation with the relevant authorities.

In February, the authority shared that geospatial information was one of the essential factors in attracting investments and could bring an economic impact of SR20-SR40 million ($5.4-$10.8 million) to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product.

The data could also positively impact public health, infrastructure, energy, education, trade and risk and disaster management sectors. 

Last April, GASGI participated in the inaugural meeting of the international advisory committee of its UN counterpart in China. 

The Kingdom presented the GASGI’s experience developing a national strategy aligned with global standards prescribed by the UN’s Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Centre Framework. 

This move integrated location information to plan cities, build infrastructure, develop disaster management strategies and manage natural resources such as green spaces, water and minerals. 

It also served as a continuation of the agreement signed by the Kingdom with the UN in April 2022 to offer consultation services in the geospatial survey to boost its national capacity.

The GASGI and the UN Development Program agreed on the project’s third phase, allowing the authority to improve its services and increase public awareness of its operations. 

Adam Bouloukos, the UNDP’s resident representative for Saudi Arabia, said the partnership aimed to provide consultation services to conduct geospatial works effectively and efficiently. 

The partnership also aimed to provide the necessary infrastructure to gather data to support Saudi Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s sustainable development goals.

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