Speech by Mr Edwin Tong SC, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law at the Official Launch of OneMap3D
Mr Yeoh Oon Jin, Chairman, SLA;
Mr Colin Low, Chief Executive, SLA;
Our SLA partners: Dr Evelyn Teo from NUS, Mr Edwin Ng from AviationLearn, Mr Michael Sayre from Kabam, Mr Lai Chang Wen from Ninja Van, Mr Eddie Lim from Propnex – thank you very much for working with SLA, and for making this come to life;
Friends and colleagues;
Ladies and gentlemen,
1 I am very happy to join you here for the official launch of OneMap3D by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
2 The development of OneMap3D marks an important milestone in SLA’s and Singapore’s journey to develop our geospatial capabilities. It is built on our commitment to enhance our country’s geospatial capabilities and provide new geospatial solutions for businesses, government agencies and the wider public to tap on.
Geospatial Technology - The Growing Power to Solve Problems
3 Geospatial technology is and will continue to be an essential part of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. It underpins the provision of essential services and information to the public. It enables cross-domain solutions in asset management, resource allocation and also sustainable development – the things which we have been very familiar with – geospatial will give it a real boost and new lease of life.
4 The use of location-based information and technology continues to grow in importance. With the advent of 5G and other developments in innovation, the growth will become exponential. In recent years, it has been accelerated by the increasing interconnectivity of people, data and systems.
5 Under the Singapore Geospatial Masterplan, we will continue to promote the development and adoption of geospatial information and technology.
- Key to this is building a GeoSmart Government, with a public sector that will play an increasingly important role in enabling and fostering the use and development of geospatial capabilities.
i. We have taken steps toward this through initiatives such as the Geospatial Trusted Centre, which serves as the authoritative source for public agencies seeking updated and accurate geospatial data, as well as the Geospatial Capability Centre, which seeks to develop the geospatial capabilities and talent throughout the nation - which both the public and private sectors will benefit from.
ii. These initiatives will enable more realistic and precise planning. This is something where the more we use and develop it, the more it learns, and the more accurate it becomes. Second, it will also enable decision making and delivery of public services at the Whole of Government level, particularly in the very important areas of urban planning, resource planning, environmental management, disaster management, just to name a few. All of these are particularly important to two key thrusts for our country: one, being land-scarce, and second, of course, making sure that whatever we do continues to be environmentally sustainable.
- We are also focusing our efforts on building a thriving GeoIndustry.
i. Our industry centre, GeoWorks, will help create a vibrant and innovative ecosystem to support the geospatial industry in Singapore. This will allow us to not just develop Singapore domestically but also position Singapore as a hub for geospatial technology in the region.
- We are also working to build a nation of GeoEmpowered people. By helping individuals harness the potential of the geospatial sector and developing their own energies, capabilities and skillsets, we can create a skilled and savvy workforce that will be critical to achieving our goals for the sector. This is one playing field which will really lift the base and put everyone on a higher plane.
i. For example, the Regional Geospatial Youth Forum, which aims to build interest, awareness and a community around geospatial professionals among youths in Singapore and ASEAN, will be held tomorrow in conjunction with this festival.
6 Most recently, geospatial technology has proven to be invaluable in our efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Several public services, such as SpaceOut, SafeDistance @ Parks, and Maskgowhere – they have all been implemented using geospatial information and technology. OneMap has also provided location information for essential amenities, as well as test and vaccination centres, to help the public in a Whole of Government, public and private concerted effort to manage the spread of COVID-19.
7 Globally, the UN and World Bank have also been actively promoting the use of geospatial information and technology to address serious global changes and support the UN Sustainable Development agenda.
Building Capabilities to Challenge Conventions
8 To leverage the full potential of geospatial information and technology, and use it as a springboard, we must continue looking at how we can build the relevant capabilities. And not just keep still, but continually enhance this learning process, and be at the forefront of thought leadership.
9 The current OneMap has been developed by an in-house team of young geospatial specialists using open-source technology.
- It was quite an amazing task, although I understand it was not easy at all; the team had to overcome many technical challenges and learnt many invaluable lessons along the way.
10 Since 2017, OneMap has served the public as the national map of Singapore. I use it all the time to look for my routes and park connectors that I go to on my bike. It has become the most authoritative and detailed map information in 2D format.
- Public agencies have developed more than 110 services for the public through OneMap.
- These include MSO’s OneService App for the streamlined routing of municipal issues - identifying where problem areas might be, zeroing in on it very quickly, and more importantly, ensuring that we provide up-to-date, accurate information to the responder on the ground, so that issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. It also includes SCDF’s MyResponder App to alert community first-responders to nearby cases of cardiac arrest.
- The aim is to bring OneMap from a 2D platform to a 3D platform for government agencies, businesses and the general public, to provide 3-dimentional visualisation and a far more immersive experience.
11 With the new OneMap3D platform,
- Businesses and property agents will have access to a more dynamic representation of properties, with window-views and shadow casting. I have seen some of these live demonstrations and the view is just amazing. You can have a very intimate and detailed perspective of the property. Citizens can also use OneMap3D to orient themselves with landmarks to-scale and navigate through walkways and void deck spaces.
- Drone enthusiasts can view the drone flight paths and also more importantly, what are the no-flying zone restrictions. It can also simulate the camera’s Field of View, and better understand what can be captured.
12 More will also be done using OneMap3D.
- I understand that SLA is exploring with NHB on using 3D for virtual heritage trails and tours, which in today's context, when you can't have gatherings of people in the same way as we used to do, will be far more important offerings than ever before.
- SLA will also be experimenting the use of Augmented Reality on OneMap3D for virtual exploration of Singapore’s attractions, for both locals and tourists alike. Bringing to life something that has always been in our backyard, but seeing it in different perspective with the OneMap3D virtual exploration - all of these will bring our own tourist spots alive, even for Singaporeans.
Collaboration is Key to Success
13 I must say that in all of this – government agencies working with the public, private entities - the key has to be collaboration. The stronger collaboration is, the more often we work with one another, the more we share ideas, the more thought leadership there is around it, the more this product will grow and benefit all. I believe it is key to transforming the user experience.
- I would say it's really all hands on deck, everyone putting forward ideas, exchanging views, which really brings to life the saying that no single entity or organisation will have a monopoly on ideas, on answers, or solutions. We must work together to understand the problems of today, so that they will become the solutions of tomorrow.
14 We have been fortunate to have been part of many fruitful collaborations in recent years.
- Through GeoWorks, SLA has collaborated with partners such as Foursquare, a location intelligence company, to provide lifestyle location data on OneMap.
- GeoWorks has also supported Mogul, a real-estate start-up, with geospatial data such Points of Interest, to enhance its location search on properties and also amenities nearby.
15 In the last few months, SLA has been looking out for further opportunities to partner with the industry and the public to push the boundaries, to push the envelope of what can be done with geospatial technology.
16 I am delighted to note that today, we will be witnessing the signing of MOUs between SLA and Ninja Van, Kabam and PropNex.
- These MOUs with our key partners in the logistics, robotics and real estate industry will foster public and private collaborative ties and, importantly, knowledge sharing. Each of you, partners with SLA, have a different perspective. How you see it will be quite different from how another entity in a different business will see it. Collectively, all of these will really enhance OneMap’s offering.
- I hope that such partnerships, leveraging geospatial information and technology, will yield fruitful results in ultimately delivering better services and solutions to our stakeholders, and of course, more importantly, enhancing the product to the average man and woman in the street like you and me.
17 In closing, I would like to thank all of you again for being here: our partners who are working with us, my colleagues from SLA for being completely convicted of the product and what it can do, and pushing this through. I remember when I first joined the ministry in July 2018, one of the first meetings I attended was a geospatial meeting. I remember being completely blown away by what it could do. At that time, of course, it was three and a half years ago, it was not quite where it is today. But I saw the product and the potential, and I was convinced, partly because my colleagues in SLA were so convinced and so convicted of this. So I'm glad that now, three years on from when I first saw it, we are here today, we are working with so many different valuable industry partners.
18 I am very pleased now to officially launch OneMap3D.
19 Thank you very much for joining me and listening to me, and also being part of this occasion. I wish all of you a very good day. Thank you.