Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The increasing consumers demand for geographically referenced information, known as geospatial information, will bring geographic information system (GIS) into the daily lives of millions of Indonesians. Geospatial information system is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information to a location such as latitude and longitude, or even street location. Even all information about the borders of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) and disaster prone areas can be easily accessed by the Indonesians following the existence of a Geospatial Information Law in the country. Angeline Sondakh, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission X, said over the weekend that Geospatial Information Law would make it much easier for Indonesians to access all kinds of data and information on living conditions anywhere in the country. "All information about the NKRI borders, spread of diseases, disaster-prone areas, traffic congestion zones, potential areas, and even poverty-hit areas can be mapped accurately and accessed easily by the people following the enactment of the Geospatial Infomation Law," Angelina said. The House of Representatives (DPR) in its plenary session on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, agreed to pass the Geospatial Information (GI) bill into law. Welcoming the passage of the Geospatial Information bill into law by the House of Representatives, Angelina said she would familiarize the public with the law. Although Angelina is not a member of House commission on environment, as an environment activist she realized the importance of sustainable environment for the people. Therefore Angelina reiterated that she fully supported the passing of Geospatial Information bill into law and was ready to familiarize it. "I am optimistic that with the presence of Geospatial Information Law, various geospatial information can be easily accessed by the people from all walks of life," Angelina said. According to her, the geospatial information would be very useful for the government in the determination of strategic policy to overcome various problems in the community. "The more we are aware of the privilege of earth all around us, the more we are responsible to protect our planet and its environment with the availability of information for the solution of more complicated problems," Angelina said. To her, the Geospatial Information Law could serve as an effective reference for every stake holder in the evaluation of every program and policy. Geospatial information can be produced by multiple sources to common interoperable data standards. It may be presented in the form of printed maps, charts, and publications; in digital simulation and modeling databases; in photographic form; or in the form of digitized maps and charts or attributed center-line data. Research and Technology Minister Suharna Surapranata has said he was grateful that the bill on GI, proposed by the government to the DPR on February 16, 2011, was finally approved to become law. "The presence of Geospatial Information law will guarantee the rights of all Indonesian people to obtain information to improve their private quality and social environment as being regulated in article 28F of 1945 Constitution," Suharna said. Such a law will also be dedicated to support the management of natural resources and other resources in the country for the prosperity of all people of Indonesia today and in the future. The law on GI contains an important principle that the basic geospatial information (IGD) and thematic geospatial information (IGT) organized by government agencies are open. According to the research and technology minister, the Geospatial Information law was in line with Law No.14/2008 on public information openness. It means that the Indonesian citizens can access and obtain IGD and IGT and to use them in various aspects of life. IGD in the law on IG is made up of geodesic control network horizontal and vertical position reference, and basic map for various important elements for geometric reference in the sea and coastal land. "We hope the presence of the Geospatial Information law will ensure easy access to obtain systematic and accurate information which can be accounted for," Suharna said. He expressed hope that with such a law, public services and policies especially related to earth spatial policy would be more accurate and reliable. "The Geospatial Information Law is a pressing need for the development and to support the natural life in Indonesia," Suharna said. According to the technology minister, the law would ensure the availability and widespread use of geospatial information for all Indonesian citizens. He said it would also play a vital role in supporting the proper management of diverse and abundant natural resources for the future and prosperity of the Indonesian people. Meanwhile, chairman of the Regional Representative Council (DPD)`s Committee II Bambang Susilo also positively welcomed the the passing of Geospatial Information bill into law. "The enactment was the end of a long journey of geospatial information bill in and effort to realize the integration and legal certainty in the implementation of geospatial information," Bambang said. He said the DPD`s Committee II initiated geospatial information bill since 2007 by involving the communities and stakeholders in its discussion and formulation. Bambang added that as the world`s largest archipelagic country with abundant potential natural resources, Indonesia needs accurate, credible, accessible, and accountable map and geospatial information. The country also needs geospatial information management as a policy-making support system in order to optimize national security defense, economic, social, and cultural development, especially in the management of natural resources, spatial planning, business planning and investment location, boundary determination, land and also tourism disaster management as well as environment preservation. He said all people of Indonesia would be entitled to obtain information to improve the quality of personal and social environment as stipulated in Article 28F of 1945 Constitution.(*)

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