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Territories in the south of Burma on Google Earth (Photo: Google Earth)
A eight-year cartographic work to create a nationwide cartographic system, known as One Myanmar Maps, plans to start operations in the south of Pegu, Tenasserism and Mon State. It is being carried out with 25 government departments at trade unions, among them Forestry, Country Record and Farmland Management, according to the Land Core Group, a syndicate of poverty-oriented rural-reformers.
"Precise map of the countryside is very important to establish the precise number of acre of farmland, caoutchouc plantation and free areas, together with which country is best for what type of plantation and what is permitted on different areas. If, for example, surveying for a suggested uranium exploration is carried out only by those involved in the proposal and submitted to the authorities, this can lead to difficulties.
At present, the map used by the Forest Office differs from that used by the State Surveying Office. He said that the need for trustworthy, up-to-date and universally available charts to be used across all divisions has led to collaboration between the Myanmar One Map projects and the state. Mon State is still in discussions with the Land Core Group, the committee which, under the supervision of the Ministry of Forestry, will give expert support to the cartography work to finalise the locally based work.
"We are still in talks and are hoping that the project[in South Burma] will start in September. As soon as the Myanmar One Map Myanmar has started, the Myanmar One Map staff will no longer go to the fields to survey the country. Cards have already been produced by[Non-Governmental Organisations] and neighbours. Cards will be put on line for the sake of visibility.
When people want to make their own cards, they can get in touch with One Map Myanmar to get expert assistance, financing and materials," said Nai Shwe Thein, Land Core Group Executive Board Member. He added that cartography is more accurate when carried out with the involvement of the general population and that the scheme will be an open resource for contributions from civic organisations and community members.
Opened in June 2015 and scheduled for conclusion in June 2023, the One Mapped Myanmar is entered into a first five-month stage, followed by a 19-month cartographic stage, a four-year extension of the Myanmar maps and the last two-year stage of implementation.