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Abuja Geographical information System: a new GIS lab

The Abuja Geographical information System was established by the FCT Act subsidiary legislation No. 1 of 2004 as a centre of excellence for the provision of spatial data integration and computerization services for the entire FCTA. AGIS was charged with the responsibility of managing the computerized operations of land administration including the entire production process of land titles for Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

AGIS known as the Abuja Geographical Information System is the result of bold decision taken by the government in 2003 to embark on complete computerization of the cadastral and land registry of the FCT. Within three years of its establishment, the project was able to revolutionalise the entire operations of the land administration and other related department in Federal Capital Territory, FCT. With AGIS services, the decision concerning land can now be taken from an informed position with reliable and up-to-date data. AGIS has become a symbol of transparency and good governance not only in the FCT alone but the entire country.

In fulfillment of its vision to become a leading state of the art digital geospatial data infrastructure and services provider in Nigeria, AGIS has defined its mission to include providing basic and quality services which every citizen is entitled to, in a fair. honest, effective, timely and transparent manner.

At the Abuja Geographical Information System, AGIS, deploying Information and Communication Technology as well as the competence to use them are key toward informed decision making in land use/ resource planning. Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing are important tools that can be used for data collection and analysis for this purpose.

Before 2003, the lack of land and property records – and even lack of accurate maps was the major stumbling block in effective land administration. “During these periods, record-keeping by Land Departments of the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has been purely manual”. However, as the city and its surrounding expand, manual record-keeping became inefficient, time-consuming and prone to abuses. “The challenges in the old manual system were basically lack of good records keeping which resulted in unattended applications, multiple allocation, mismatch in the land use, encroachment in the right of way, forgeries of land documents and illegal allocations from parallel office”.

In addition, the costs and resources required for field surveys have limited the information captured to very small sets of objects, such as parcel and buildings. As a result cadastral maps are typically very accurate but reveal only limited type of information. Nowadays AGIS is modernising its procedures and turning into a GIS organisation.

In order to generate and update base maps regularly, digital satellite imaging provides the Abuja Geographical Information System, AGIS an attractive and affordable means data of collection. Because satellite orbit the Earth predictably, they are in a position to collect imagery on a schedule basis and enable government agencies to determine when imagery can be acquire to update existing data sets.

With high accuracy resolution of 60 centimetres resolution Quick Bird satellite imagery, AGIS can reveal important visible features, including public buildings, vegetation and hydrography on its content rich property maps. The ability to collect over thousand of square kilometres each time it passes over the area of interest, the high resolution imagery the likes of QuickBird and GeoEye satellites provided a comprehensive view of land management application such as land use mapping, parcel mapping, tax assessment and collection, and growth management.

For rapid growth areas, digital satellite derived base maps have been used for quick updates and depict new construction, new transportation routes and updated utility features. They also help distinguish areas that are suitable for new development and those that should be left untouched for environmental and preservation purpose. Using 60 centimetres resolution satellite imagery, updated information about land changes can be easily loaded to a GIS and overlaid with existing base map features such as land parcel, street centre lines, railroads major above ground utility features, hydrography and new building structures.

Land Administration System

Central to the establishment of AGIS, is how land use process in a municipality can be improved with the support of an information system. In light of this, land use have continued to relies on varied information from different databases, the information requirements is, in fact, becoming complicated as planning and monitoring are now being integrated into various applications, such as economics, demography, agriculture, and the like. The expected output are also becoming diverse as land use information is widely being used in many activities of different sectors such as real property taxation, social service delivery, development permits, land valuation, infrastructure projects municipal development planning and many more.

“Thus the need for a land use information system has become necessary not only to handle and integrate data but to also provide products and services to clients. The use of GIS in land use is becoming popular as it has the ability to link attribute data to spatial data, integrate several map layers, do spatial analysis and modeling and automate map processing”.

With the development of GIS database, filing of application including acceptance of application, checking for completeness of documents and compliance assessment such as establishing ownership, ensuring updated tax payments, are done manually.

In addition, cadastral infrastructure encompasses processes, organisations, and standards, information and dissemination systems and technologies required supporting the allocation, transfer, dealing and use of land. Information technology played an increasingly important role both in constructing the necessary infrastructure and in providing effective citizen access to information. The AGIS has a digital database of the books that hold the information of ownership

Deploying satellite imagery

The advent of commercial high-resolution satellite imagery in the last several years has helped addressed pressing need in land information application; the ability to create an accurate, reliable, detailed land base in cost-effective manner. Serving as the foundation for a global land base while also offering a natural and intuitive view of the Earth’s surface, satellite imagery offers such practical application as land management, local and regional government planning, emergency response, and natural resource assessment. With satellite imagery, AGIS is boosting its capacity to offer our clients and stakeholders departments the most cost-effective solution. So far, AGIS has deployed the very recent high resolution imageries such as Quickbird and GoeEye in order to help the organization achieve its operational objectives.

Use in conjunction with ease-to-use software project, this highly detailed images enable users to interpret and analyse imagery, present realistic 3D perspectives and integrate geographic information system (GIS) technologies to map, measure and monitor.

 

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