April 2011

World News

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Buses in SL under GPS Scanner

Sri Lanka has started using satellite technology to monitor the movements of  buses in a bid to “detect and control misdeeds” committed by drivers. The buses would be monitored to ascertain whether they run according to time tables and whether they follow the stipulated speed limits, Lankan Information Department  said. The movements of the buses would be displayed on screens at monitoring centres, and errant drivers would be instantly advised to follow rules over satellite  phones placed in the buses.

Dubai Municipality’s website Revamped

Dubai Municipality has re-launched its web portal with a new  design, the fourth since 1998, which was the first launch to create an  e-Audience for Dubai    Municipality on the Internet. Now, the change  is based on the new trends in the  field of technology, especially  Internet-related and consistent with the requirements of the public who deal with the Municipality on a daily basis.  Hussain Nasser  Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said Dubai   Municipality has worked to develop the site in terms of form, content and  sections so as to ensure ease of use. It has also taken  care to provide more  information and to add new channels to  achieve the goal of customer  satisfaction and support their  requirements. He said all the criteria of the    Government of Dubai in  developing e-Government portals have been applied   to support the “Zero Visit” initiative, and to integrate and unify all the portals of the  departments of the Municipality in the main portal.

Disaster Management
ICT for Disaster Management at Un workshop

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and  Communication Technology for Development, a regional institute of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNAPCICT/ ESCAP), kicked off the Fourth Regional Training of Trainers Workshop in    Seongnam, Republic of Korea. The five-day workshop was held from 22-26   February, 2011 and aimed at giving training on the use of information and   communication technology (ICT) for disaster risk management and climate change abatement. As is now widely accepted by the scientific communityand  the general public, climate change constitutes a major threat to the earth’s ecosystems.

Geographical Information System
new spatial support system in Taiwan

Taiwan GIS Centre (TGIC), the country’s GIS “think tank” is developing its  webbased spatial decision support system on the Government Cloud, which  would enable the central and local government, private industries, and the  general public to access spatial information through various medium such as  the Internet and mobile phones.

TGIC is developing an application portal that would use a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) to enable better reusing, sharing, and managing of  spatial information. The framework is said to include four components:

Geospatial ontologies enabling domain experts to contribute knowledge and  models for reuse and sharing; an ontology registry allowing web service providers to register GI services into ontologies; a web portal where domain experts can evaluate results and SDSS developers can find solutions for specific geospatial problems; and an ontologies engine to infer relevant registered GI  services based on the knowledge in the ontologies in response to a geospatial  problem submitted in the web portal.

Disaster Management
In Aftermath, new Disaster Alert Mobile App Released

University researchers in Taiwan have released a mobile phone application that  with one touch can transmit to any number of people the location of users   trapped in earthquake rubble or debris. The app transmits the latitude and   longitude co-ordinates of people stranded in disaster areas. It has recently been  put on sale in the mobile application stores following the massive  earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Users anywhere can download the  application, called Mobile Saviour for $2.99in English, Chinese or  Japanese. All  proceeds from the sales of this app will go to victims of the devastation   either through Japan’s foreign ministry or Red Cross chapter.

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