Every ten years, the kingdom of Nepal holds a census for the
collection of demographic data to be used as the essential basis
for planning and programs regarding the economic and social
development of the country. In preparation of the performance
and distribution of this regular census, the entire country
has been newly mapped and digital maps have been produced in
the past few years in order to provide a uniform national geographical
information system (GIS).
In May 2002, Lahmeyer International was entrusted by the European
Union (EU) with the establishment of a National Geo-graphical
Information Infrastructure (NGII) and the census distribution
on the basis of this GIS and the internet. EU
funds particularly contribute to the capacity provision of the
Survey Department (SD) and the Central Bureau of Statistics
(CBS) in the field of GIS, databases, net-working
and internet application. Four other Ministries are also equipped
with appropriate GIS units, and together with the SD
and the CBS they act as the basic consortium for a uniform
geographical information infrastructure in Nepal.
Another significant contribution to the project is consulting
with regard to the provision of a legal and administrative infrastructure
as well as a pricing strategy for the exchange of digital data.
The NGII is an open system for researching and distributing
spatial and other digital information for the private and public
sectors. In order to ensure an efficient data exchange, international
standards and formats are applied. In addition, guidelines and
compliance on a national level are given in more detail. One
of the system's central functions is a meta database providing
important information on existing data in a catalogue format.
The purpose of this central information system is the future
avoidance of superfluous work; apart from this, uniform data
formats ensure smooth exchange.
The technical implementation of the project is divided into
two main stages: the system development and the migration. The
development stage primarily comprises strategic planning, implementation
planning and detailed design of hardware and software. A prototype
system is to be used as the basis for the development of various
databases and the application software, as well as the provision
of a web portal with a clearing house and an intranet. The core
system, which primarily consists of computer hardware and network,
is to be installed together with the relevant project partners
in mid 2004. The subsequent migration stage includes the installation
of the completed database systems and applications with the
ministries involved, the CBS and 33 nationwide-spread
CBS district offices.
With the implementation of the project, Nepal followed global
efforts to establish uniform spatial data infrastructures. The
improvement of information infrastructure and a user-friendly
access to GIS data for the public and private sectors
as well as for countless relief organizations represents an
important contribution to the country's development.