Aiming to Build a Life Spatial Information Infrastructure
--Suggestions for Advanced Utilization of Geographic Information System--

Major Points of the Proposal

There is an increasing need for advanced utilization of GIS as a means of improving efficiency in government work, the quality of services offered to citizens, disaster prevention measures and emergency action during disasters, and strategic management decisions in industry. The organization of map data, government data, economic data, environment data, and the like, which form an indispensable social infrastructure appropriately termed the life spatial information infrastructure, is urgently needed. It is our recommendation that the government execute the following actions within the next three years.

  1. The government should establish a law with a limited term to promote the organization of the life spatial information infrastructure comprehensively and with concentrated effort, and should establish a new specialist organization with authority over each ministry and agency to coordinate their activities (such as articulating a vision easily understood by citizens, constructing a responsible promotion system, encouraging effective logistics and the elimination of overlapping expenditures, clarifying responsibilities and assignments for national/local governments, private industry, etc.)

  2. The government, particularly local governments, must actively utilize GIS. The government must strive to improve work efficiency, reduce the cost of organizing spatial data and make government services more convenient by standardizing and enabling the sharing of spatial data such as maps, ledgers and statistics maintained by the government so that mutual utilization is possible between ministries and agencies, between national government entities and local governments, and among their divisions and departments.

  3. The government should promote the availability of government information through a network which is based on computerization in general and on the protection of privacy, and should enable flexible utilization by the private sector of government information, free of charge or with a minimal fee. Moreover, laws and regulation which are lagging behind the digital era must be reexamined.

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