Indonesia’s System for Aggregating and Sharing National Spatial Data: National IT Project of Large-Scale Natural Resource Management and Infrastructure Development


Indonesia has decided to adopt a cutting-edge network system provided by NTT DATA as part of the country’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) project. This system succeeded in making possible the unification of formerly disparate national spatial data that had been possessed on an individual basis but not shared by Indonesian ministries / agencies and local governments, enabling the efficient formulation of regional development plans that avoid duplication in work and investment. The project has also made possible the creation of regional development plans at the provincial level and the establishment of an economic development road map for Indonesia as a whole. Moreover, this is also the first major Japanese IT systems official development assistance success story in Indonesia.

Common Business Concerns

  • In Indonesia, the government had been the primary compiler of national spatial data used such as to manage domestic natural resources, the national infrastructure and regional development plans. However, government ministries and other entities possessed and used their own such data-data that was not shared. As such, the government sought to minimize duplication in work and investment as well as delays in decision-making resulting from this piecemeal approach.
  • The government wanted to integrate the national spatial data possessed by all ministries and to make this available via a shared network system among multiple entities.

Desired Outcomes

  • Geo-Spatial Information Agency (Badan Informasi Geospasial, or BIG) has acquired the know-how to create accurate national spatial data. The increased reliability of this data and the increase in the number of institutions and entities using it has resulted in greater efficiency in government operations and is greatly contributing to Indonesia’s overall economic development.
  • Integrating national spatial data from government ministries and local governments has promoted more efficient regional development planning.
  • All Indonesian citizens can access the BIG system through a portal site and easily obtain high-quality map data.
  • The sharing of national spatial data to support disaster management, such as the indexing of dangerous areas and disaster damage prediction, has been made possible.

Background and Business IssuesUrgent need to maintain data to aid in the management of the nation’s abundant natural resources and economic development

In Indonesia, economic development is taking place at a remarkable pace. To aid with this, the government has been trying to play a central role by promoting the development of national spatial data such as to help manage natural resources, the national infrastructure and regional development planning. However, in many cases geographic data was spread across government ministries and local governments, which managed the data independently. This often made it difficult to quickly locate and select the required geographic data. Moreover, this data was not shared, resulting in significant duplication in work and investment by ministries and local governments.

“There was one instance in which the president of Indonesia requested information about the area of an important forested area. We immediately looked into it, but there was much differing geological data and confusion about which we should use. The president was very displeased and told us immediately to integrate the data into one unified format,” recalled BIG’s Deputy for Geospatial Information Infrastructure Dr. Yusuf Surachman Djajadihardja.

In 2007, the president issued Presidential Regulation No. 85 to overhaul the then-existing inefficient approach. To share national spatial data among the central government ministries and local governments of Indonesia-with nearly fivefold the land area of Japan-required a network infrastructure, application development and new data center.

“To newly develop this type of massive system requires advanced technology and know-how. For example, this includes among other things establishing a massive network infrastructure and the standardization of data for data used by government ministries. In particular, the Indonesian government was extremely careful such as when it came to ensuring that the migration of extremely important national spatial data took pace in a secure Internet environment. Moreover, supporting technology was also essential to ensure the long-term and safe operation of the system after it began operation. The government identified this initiative as an extremely important project in terms of economic development,” said BIG Deputy for Basic Geospatial Information Mr. Dodi Sukmayadi.

The National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) project got its start on March 29, 2007. The project is funded by official development assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). NTT DATA, in collaboration with Itochu Corporation, bid on the NSDI network system development project in August 2010. Ultimately, NTT DATA undertook the overall project management and system development.

Yusuf Surachman Djajadihardja
Deputy Chairman for Geospatial Information Infrastructure
Badan Informasi Geospasial

Dodi Sukmayadi Wiradisastra
Deputy for Basic Geospatial Information
Badan Informasi Geospasial

Rationale for selectionAdvanced technological capabilities, expertise and experience coupled with the capacity for teamwork and coordination led Indonesia to choose NTT DATA

Mr. Dodi had this to say about selecting NTT DATA to partner with on this project: “Of course, we had high expectations due to NTT DATA’s technological prowess, expertise, experience and track record in other locations. However, above and beyond that we placed priority on their incredible teamwork and capacity for cooperation.”

Under this project, NTT DATA and BIG have been working very closely over a long period of time-from the launch of the project in late 2010 to its conclusion in 2015.

“Thanks to their superior ability to collaborate, whenever we hit a bump in the road, we are able to pool our efforts, to sit down together and smoothly overcome any obstacle to push ahead,” adds Dodi.

NTT DATA’s policy of placing the client first and placing priority on stable long-term relationships no doubt also played a role in BIG tapping the company to be its official partner.

“Without good collaboration, good communication and good teamwork, this project would surely have been difficult. Integrity and personal relationships are extremely important when it comes to this project,” Dodi said.

Even now that the system development for the project had been completed, Dodi said that his trust in NTT DATA remained unchanged.

“The Indonesian government continues to have high expectations. There is a one-year period during which maintenance support will take place, and I am sure that NTT DATA will continue to do its best. And, if we do encounter any issues, I know that we will be able to work together to overcome them. I believe that NTT DATA will continue to demonstrate a level of commitment and professionalism that makes it the top IT firm not only in Japan but in the world,” Dodi concluded.

Implementation FlowThe growing profile of BIG within Indonesia and continuing to place importance on linking national spatial information to policy

Indonesia and NTT DATA concluded the NSDI development project contract in late December 2010. During the project one of the greatest challenges was establishing the data center.

“The national policy underpinning the creation of the NSDI put forth in 2007 under Presidential Regulation No. 85 stated: ‘a national network system for 14 designated governmental institutions to share national spatial data will be established.’ However, a new presidential Regulation No.4 was issued in 2011 with a “one-map policy” mandating that the system cover 57 ministries, 34 provinces and 508 municipalities. To make this a reality we now needed a highly advanced data center capable of processing massive amounts of data,” Yusuf explained.

In tandem with this, it also became imperative to expand the storage capacity. BIG and NTT DATA discussed how best to handle such massive spatial data needs, ultimately concluding a new contract for additional storage.

“Initially, we were planning to have 300 terabytes but ended up increasing this to over one petabyte. Of course, this was merely one of many issues that we confronted during the project, but we were always able to have fruitful discussions with NTT DATA when it came to potential improvements or challenged. In addition, even in the midst of the project, the IT level within Indonesia is advancing at an astounding speed. We have been able to arm ourselves with the latest important knowledge in this area by working with NTT DATA, which I think has helped us both to grow,” Dodi said.

Subsequently, base map data was compiled, a network system was constructed to enable the sharing of national spatial data and both parties worked hand in hand such as to support the formulation of effective and efficient regional development plans leveraging the new system.

It was precisely NTT DATA’s know-how and experience as a global business leader that enabled it to establish a development base in Indonesia and to propose and to build an original network system including a data center tailored to the needs of the country.

As of May 2014, the NSDI system development has already been completed, however, NTT DATA will continue to be actively engaged until the project concludes in full in 2015 in operational and maintenance support as well as training government institutions that use the network system how best to harness its data management features.

Implementation Impact and Future ViewsThe demand for advanced infrastructures and developing regional development plans is only poised to increase among developing nations-and this is a demand that NTT DATA is uniquely suited to meet

Today, a total of 25 sites including central government ministries and agencies as well as local governments are connected via the NSDI system. The standardization of data, which was initially seen as incredibly difficult, has been implemented without a problem and the national spatial data possessed by BIG is being used efficiently by government ministries and agencies.

“With this system, regional development-related government projects have been able to be conducted with reduced waste and greater speed. Now almost all of the ministries are familiar with how to operate the system and it is very clear just how much more efficient this has made our work,” Dodi said.

And that is not all. The NSDI system is accessible not only to Indonesian residents but to users worldwide.

“Our national spatial data and basic information are open to the world. Anyone can obtain a map of our data that is up to a scale of 1:25,000. There is no longer a need for anyone to visit BIG to purchase maps because they can obtain all of the geographic information they need through our portal site. Moreover, the quality of the information available greatly exceeds that of existing maps. This is sure to offer heightened convenience to individuals living in Indonesia and visitors to the country as well. While this data is not yet available for free, we are aiming to make the system free to users worldwide in the near future. Toward that end, we must continue with system development and do so rapidly,” Dodi explained.

The goal moving forward is to link government ministries, provinces and government institutions.

“We think it will take around five years to do that. To help get there, we are fully intent on maintaining the solid partner relationship that we have with NTT DATA. Indonesia is a big, sprawling country. The island of Sumatra alone is bigger than Japan. An array of challenges remain including laying cable across deep-sea areas,” Dodi said. “We are committed to operating this project to show the world that this project is revolutionary and a world first. Ultimately, we would like to see the know-how acquired via this project used in other countries.”

The BIG data center has been recognized by the United Nations as a Southeast Asia regional topography integrating Network Node Connecter for use in UN activities. In addition, it has also been tapped to function as an international ocean data center.

“Because the NSDI system can share geospatial data to support disaster management, it will of course be used in cooperation with UN activities. Moving ahead, we would like to also branch out and tackle working with geospatial information on a global scale. Toward that end, further expansion of the NSDI system is imperative,” Dodi said.

One thing is certain: that the collaborative relationship forged between NTT DATA and Indonesia is for the long term.

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