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Geographic Information in EU ... what, why, how, ...?
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EU Programme News

'GEOCID' - The Citizen's Component of the Portuguese NGII (SNIG) Opens (28.6.99)

CNIG, the Portuguese research agency created in 1990 to implement the national geographic information infrastructure (NGII) of Portugal, called SNIG, announced the official opening of "GEOCID" (visit, the citizen's access component of SNIG, at 11.00 a.m. on 25 June 1999, in a ceremony chaired by the Portuguese Minister of Public Works, Planning and Territory Administration, attended by 400 participants and several Ministers and Secretaries of State, who spoke on the importance of the citizen component of the Portuguese NGII.

GEOCID, sponsored by the European Commission through Regional Funds, represents a breakthrough in presenting spatial information to national citizens, with the first ever Internet access to the complete national coverage of digital aerial ortho-photos corresponding to the 'portrait' of the territory taken in the summer of 1995 with colour infrared film, at the scale of 1:40000. In a truly inspiring example of private-public partnership, over 5000 aerial photos belonging to CNIG, General-Directorate of Forestry and the Paper Mill Association were digitised at very high resolution, then ortho-rectified by the Portuguese Army Geographic Institute. Access to true colour digital ortho-photos from the summer of 1995 of Lisbon and Porto are included in the release, with coverage to be extended to all major Portuguese cities in true colour visualisation at a later stage.

Rui Gonçalves Henriques, President of CNIG, announced today (28.6.99) that 100 000 visitors had been to the Web site in the first three days, registering 700 000 hits on the contents of the SNIG data bases themselves. Interest was still arriving at the rate of one hit per second! Even though access is sometimes slow - ortho-photos are not small files, even using Lizardtech's 'MrSID' compression - it seems that "everyone wants to see 'for free' what their houses (and their relative's houses! ) look like from the air". He goes on to declare that the Porgutuese"NGII has entered the era of citizenship". A "citizen" application in GEOCID permits any citizen to access pictures of the part of the territory he or she is interested in, free of charge. A "professional" application, available through SNIG and not via GEOCID, already enables the electronic purchase of each digital ortho-photo in a format easily integrated within a GIS.

GEOCID also offers free access to low resolution "pictures" of the Portuguese base cartographic map at the scale of 1:25 000 produced by the Geographic Army Institute. At the same time, GEOCID includes the first municipal digital master plans, presented through an application that enables each citizen to find out the allowed land uses of each part of the municipal territory. The access to the digital master plans through the NGII is only possible through collaboration between the municipalities and CNIG.

IST Cross programme action line: 
a background document on the new Geographic Information Society (18.06.99)

Find here a background document about this theme prepared by Mr.Y Reginster. Why do we need such action line? What are the objectives? What are the activities to be run to succeed to reach the objectives?

This document MUST be discussed and we NEED as much as possible support for this background document, to be able to confirm that it reflects perfectly the needs of EU for GI and GI infrastructure.

This document will be presented and discussed at STRESA EC-GIS 99 workshop organised jointly by JRC/SAI and DG XIII.

Download this document (WinWord 6.0 file pkzipped to 17 Kb), read it carefully and send your comments or suggestions to the GI Discussion Forum.

Thank you for your support and contribution.

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