Kizuna (The Strong Bonds) of the Technical Cooperation Between JICA and SOB More Than 20 Years

--Yamato Tanaka

Yamato Tanaka

Geospatial Information Science Era has already arrived.

In this article, it looks back to the history of the technical cooperation of mapping activity between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Survey of Bangladesh (SOB) and it takes a general view about the directionality (Polaris) of the technical cooperation of geospatial information field in the future.

The full-scale technical cooperation between JICA and SOB started in 1992, “Study on National Geodetic Reference Framework” (1992-1995). This study prepared the geodetic network of the northern part of this country by JICA and later SOB expanded the network to whole country and continues observation.

About digital mapping field, “Study on Urban Information Management for Greater Dhaka City” (2002-2004) is the first technical cooperation project. One of the results of this study, 1:5,000 scaled digital map of Dhaka, has a very high value. The renewal of this becomes a next pressing problem.

After that, SOB began the big challenge to prepare 1:25,000 scaled digital topographic map of whole Bangladesh by Project of IDMS (Improvement of Digital Mapping System). JICA keeps on supporting IDMS through two projects, “Bangladesh Digital Mapping Assistance Project” (BDMAP) and “Systematize Geospatial Information Technology” (SGIT), which are just now staring. (Details of these two projects are discussed later.)

JICA has many training courses in Japan. The courses are related to geospatial information field arranged by Geospatial Information Authority (GSI), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan, and total 37 staffs from SOB have participated up to date.

JICA dispatches many experts from Japan. GSI, MLIT, Japan has sent total 40 officers as JICA Expert to SOB, including 6 long-term experts;

Mr. Masaharu Tsuzawa (1999-2001),

Mr. Takashi Saito (2001-2003),

Mr. Shinji Takazawa (2003-2005),

Mr. Katsuto Nakagawa (2005-2007),

Mr. Bokuro Urabe (2008-2012) and

Mr. Yamato Tanaka (2012- ).

Geospatial Information Science Era will create new industries and will promote a big employment in Bangladesh. SOB plays a leading role in the geospatial information field and gets excellent results such as digital maps with the assistance of JICA.

<Overview of BDMAP and SGIT>

BDMAP (Bangladesh Digital Mapping Assistance Project)

– Dispatch of Technical Expert

– Technology Transfer

Duration: from July-2009 to Sep-2013


1. SOB has the specifications of the process and products of digital mapping

2. Technical staffs of SOB understand the theory of photogrammetry and aerial triangulation.


3. Technical staffs of SOB acquire essential technology of aerial triangulation, orthophoto making, DEM making, digital plotting, digital compilation, GIS database, geoid model creation, project planning, project management, trouble shooting for the implementation of IDMS and secular change correction of digital maps.

4. IDMS project of SOB and digital maps/digital Data are recognized, and system used effectively by users is established.

5. The staffs of SOB in charge acquire the capability of planning, management and trouble shooting of secular change correction of digital maps.

SGIT (Project to Systematize Geospatial Information Technology of SOB) – new!

– Dispatch of Technical Expert

– Training in Japan

Duration: from Oct-2013 to Dec-2016

Output and Activities:

1. The mapping technology of SOB staffs will be smoothed and entrenched by conducting OJT and counterpart training. (To promote the Geospatial information updating systems / To develop and update the geospatial information smoothly through training such as Photogrammetry, GIS, Cartography, Geodesy, Map Server etc. / To conduct the necessary study to introduce following new technology such as Densification of GNSS, field gravity and Magnetic chart)

2. SOB geo-portal will be established to introduce National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) as the most prioritized project of SOB. (To make a roadmap to establish NSDI / To study on web based geo-portal to promote the utilization of geospatial information / To study on legal system related to promotion of development and/or utilization of geospatial information)