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Singapore: Understanding Our Planet with Geotouch
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Singapore
Created: Nov 05, 2013

GeoTouch is a multi-touch display and information portal developed by the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS). It was originally designed for the GIS scientists working in EOS so that they can display their data in a showcase location for dignitaries, press and other visitors.


As the scientists required a means of accessing accurate data quickly, GeoTouch emerged as a useful tool to visualise GIS content on a large multi-touch screen. It allows users to pan, zoom and 3D rotate maps and layers on display to examine geographic and geological information.


For Humza Akhtar, Research Associate from EOS, GeoTouch is a revolutionary educational tool that makes it easier for them to communicate and demystify the elements which make up the planet we live on.


“GeoTouch can communicate the planet’s unseen mysteries to a broad range of observers, regardless of their technical skills, in a way never achieved before,” he said.


“With the touch of a finger, details about every country can be revealed including: cities; their population rates; names of buildings; and surrounding oceans. It can delve deeper to uncover the Earth’s buried terrains including: tectonic plates, oceanic trenches, and every other layer hidden beneath the surface.”


While its currently being used in the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Akhtar noted that GeoTouch is also vital for countries like Singapore wanting to educate communities on the importance of ‘Geohazards’ and planning for a sustainable future.


“Using GeoTouch, city planners in Singapore can build societies which are more sustainable for the growing population.”


Akhtar revealed that in addition to the current applications, EOS is also working on adding a real-time capability, which will allow GeoTouch to assist in monitoring issues such as: climate change, urban development across continents, diseases, emergency situations, and natural disasters.


“This will enable us to identify these challenges developing all over the world – as they are happening. Because of this, I believe GeoTouch will eventually be a frontline decision-making tool to tackle Earth’s major complexities.”


Want to learn more? Watch experts from EOS as they deliver a presentation on GeoTouch at next month’s Esri Asia Pacific User Conference on 12-14 November at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
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