Home > Articles > Highlights > 2016 > SPEECH DELIVERED AT SGCBAM2016


1.          Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

2.          It is my pleasure to join all of you here today for the Singapore Geospatial Challenge - Business Analytics Mania Awards Ceremony 2016. This is the first time the Singapore Land Authority has partnered with students from the NUS BizIT Society to organise this exciting event.

3.          I had the opportunity to hear about the exciting projects that the participants have worked on these two days. I was encouraged to learn the students shared ideas with each other, even as they try to outwit each other in the competition.

Geospatial Technology is Key to Our Smart Nation Initiative

4.          Some say our world is getting smaller with technology. I would like to offer an alternative interpretation - our world is expanding as we learn more about the world around us.  We need to combine resources to discover new knowledge.  In the government’s efforts to connect residents and facilities, technology steps in to transform the way the government interacts with the communities and environment. For example, our public agencies have begun to test intelligent sensors in our housing estates, to utilise smart energy and waste meters, as well as applications that can guide the movement of cyclists or the elderly.  All this to provide a more pleasant living environment for our residents.

5.          Geospatial technology is also useful for urban planning. Overlaying different demographic and economic variables on a common base map will allow us to plan economic scenarios or population growth in different locations. SLA plans and designs urban environments with the help of geospatial technology including land use allocation, environmental management, and the provision of social and healthcare services. For example, SLA works with the National Library Board to plan library locations by mapping customer catchment areas based on the proximity of libraries to their homes.

6.          Geospatial technologies underpin these efforts by providing the tools needed to integrate data from various sources.  Location is the thread that weaves information to form a larger picture.  Decision-makers and citizens constantly need to ask the question of “Where?” to make precise and accurate choices.  We need to know where to supply the resources at the right time.  This applies to predicting the bus route where ridership is highest during peak hours, to identifying the fastest route from home to work.

Communities and Businesses Contribute to Social and Economic Development Through Geospatial Technology

7.          Becoming a Smart Nation also means that our people desire to take on new challenges and test new ideas. We already see citizens innovating solutions to facilitate their volunteering efforts. Geospatial analytics role in these causes will only increase as people seek more efficient and effective ways to do things. Recently, participants at SLA’s GeoHackathon designed an app that helped, Food from the Heart, a voluntary welfare organisation, allocate bread delivery routes to volunteers.  Food from the Heart improved the coordination of its delivery operations as they are able to match delivery routes with volunteers more efficiently and effectively.  Thereby improving their volunteering outcomes for both the recipients and volunteers.

Launch of OneEMap

8.          Today I am proud to announce the early release of oneEmap.  I would like to congratulate MOE and SLA in this successful partnership.  The Ministry of Education and SLA have developed and launched a portal called oneEmap.  Built using open source geospatial software, oneEmap provides students and teachers free access to mapping tools for teaching and learning.  These tools enable students to create and share interactive maps as part of collaborative geography and analytic projects. SLA and MOE are working closely with selected schools to introduce oneEmap into classroom instruction.  At Serangoon Garden Secondary School, teachers use the portal to create geography lesson plans based on the syllabus.  In the months to come till end of 2017, this platform will be available to about 5,000 students and teachers in other secondary schools, JCs, and polytechnics.  We hope to introduce oneEmap to all schools at the secondary level and above from 2018 onwards.

Singapore Geospatial Scholarship

9.          As the Singapore Geospatial Challenge - Business Analytics Mania comes to a close, I hope our participants will bring with them enriching experiences that will excite them to pursue interests and careers in the geospatial field.  The Singapore Geospatial Scholarship provides them with the opportunity to do so.  Since 2014, we have given scholarships to young talents who have demonstrated academic and leadership potential in contributing to the local geospatial industry.  This unique scholarship sees 8 agencies coming together to cultivate youth who are passionate about the geospatial technology.  Jointly offered by SLA, NEA, LTA, IDA, PUB, BCA, JTC and URA, the scholarship covers undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and will provide opportunities for recipients to pursue their careers in the participating agencies.


10.          This year’s Singapore Geospatial Challenge brings together a wide range of stakeholders to create this learning environment for them.  I am encouraged to know that SLA has worked closely with the staff and students from the NUS School of Computing, Department of Information Systems, in the organisation of the event.

11.          Geospatial technology is an emerging field that has seen an explosion of growth in the recent years.  Many countries are adopting it in for their data analytics, services planning, emergency management and business decision making.  I see it as an important component to help Singapore in our efforts to build a Smart Nation.  I hope you have had an enriching and fulfilling experience participating in this competition.  Hopefully it will interest you sufficiently to pursue this field in your studies and future careers.

12.          With this, I would like to thank our organisers, industry partners, sponsors, teachers and students, for the strong support in making this year’s Singapore Geospatial Challenge - Business Analytics Mania a success. Congratulations to all! Thank you.