HCMGIS 2018 Contest proving itself practicality

The high implementation potential of many papers in the contest ‘Seeking Geographic Information System (GIS) Solutions – Products in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) 2018’ (GIS 2018) has aroused much interest among experts of the field, being expected to soon be applied into reality in the city as well as other neighboring provinces, as commented by the Director of HCMGIS.

Bui Huu Phu is delivering a speech on his project in the contest. (Photo by Tuong Duy)

Bui Huu Phu is delivering a speech on his project in the contest. (Photo by Tuong Duy)

The contest GIS 2018 is an activity held by the HCMC Department of Science and Technology to seek suitable technological solutions or products implementing GIS as well as related technologies to tackle existing problems of the city, transform HCMC into a smart and innovative city, and address issues in the breakthrough programs of the city.

After 5 months of launching, the contest received 72 products of various fields, ranging from public administrative management to planning support or social help. From these, the organization board was able to select the 18 most impressive to enter the presentation round.

According to Mr. Pham Quoc Phuong, Director of HCMGIS, all participating papers are of high quality and meet the demands of the reality in HCMC regarding urgent issues like urban flooding prevention, traffic problems. Many of these have applied the GIS platform, and they will be further supported to turn GIS platform into a shared one among applications in order to increase the updating ability and interoperability.

One prominent example is a designing and construction project to build a system for measuring, monitoring, and simulating flooding status in HCMC, made by Bui Huu Phu. It employs sensors attached on public lighting poles to record flooding status and then transfer the data to a processing center to timely issue warnings for citizens. What is notable about this project is that its price is estimated to be only one-fifth to one-fourth of its foreign counterpart.

As said by Bui Huu Phu, this monitoring equipment, including cameras, warning lights, and water pumps, operates automatically on solar energy. It can periodically update precipitation and flooding levels in real time using a color pattern on the GIS platform. He hoped that in the future, he was able to integrate the function to predict short-term and long-term flooding levels to be more convenient for operators as well as users.

Another impressive project comes from a team in Trung An Water Supply Joint Stock Co. (TAWACO). In order to boost the commercial performance, the company has developed a software system on the GIS platform. Nearly all information like water use status or payment status of its customers are automatically updated on a GIS map, allowing its officers to actively monitor and collect bills while being able to answer requests of its users quickly.

One more practical project is LOPA – an application to link family-operated parking lots. To promote the use of public transport among citizens, Nguyen Tran Thao Nguyen, owner of this project, developed LOPA, aiming at families that have extra unused space and free members at home. The application helps to address the demand on parking space for bikes and scooters while offering a method for unemployed people to earn money. LOPA provides a smart management system and monitoring cameras to ensure safety for both vehicle owners as well as hosts.

The judge board of GIS 2018 are technical experts and representatives of many units which are closely related to the participating projects, including the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program HCMC, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the HCMC Department of Public Security.

According to the organization board, those who can pass the presentation round will enter a training session to perfect their work and their presentation skills before taking part in the final round.

From the current 18 candidates, there will be 9 chosen for the training and only 6 to enter the last round, 3 of which for the group of HCMGIS Platform and the rest for the group of Innovative GIS Products/Solutions.

It is expected that the winners will be announced on May 18.

Besides prizes from the organization board, these winners will receive the investment of up to VND2 billion (approx. $86,212) from the HCMC Department of Science and Technology.

By BA TAN - THANH DUY – Translated by Vien Hong

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