Pakistan Wants to Implement a Law against Independent Mapping Projects

Posted on Nov 30 2012 - 9:23pm by Sidrah Zaheer

According to a latest report, Pakistan will propose a law that will declare activities of independent organisations involved in mapping as illegal. The new proposed law is being called “Land Surveying and Mapping Bill 2012” and has been put forward by the Ministry of Defence. The government officials believe that all mapping responsibilities in Pakistan should be transferred to Survey of Pakistan (SoP), which works under the Ministry of Defence.

Considering the security situation in Pakistan, it is understandable why such a law could be thought about, but having any real use out of it is not very much apparent. SoP has been involved in mapping and surveying Pakistan’s land for both the military and civilian requirements. Due to advancement in science and technology, mapping and surveying techniques have developed over the years.

Now satellite imagery and Geographic Information System (GIS) helps a lot in perfecting the face of Pakistan from the air. The data is very useful in locating areas when any natural disaster strikes. The social workers can provide better relief efforts with a proper map and a survey of a place. Umar Saif, who is a renowned Pakistani scientist from MIT, has been using mapping technology to track and monitor the spread of Dengue fever in Lahore.

Google Maps and Google Earth have been involved with the Punjab government through Innovation Punjab campaign and helping them draw accurate maps of the areas. Other Global Positioning System (GPS) are being used in car navigation. These projects will carry on their works, but other new mapping companies will have to apply for a permit. Experts believe that it is not a good news and such a step by government seems to be a hindrance in progress rather than supportive.

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