Category Archives: Technology

UAE’s first satellite atlas launched

UAE’s first satellite atlas launched:

By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
Published: Jan 13, 2013 8:11 PM

Dubai: The UAE’s first atlas based on satellite images from DubaiSat 1 has been launched by Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST).

The atlas, built entirely by a team of Emirati cartographers, engineers and researchers, is the first of its kind in the UAE and uses most updated live images.

From the skyscrapers of Dubai to the emptiest expanse of Rub Al Khali, the atlas covers the entire country and gives a bird’s eye view of every corner of the UAE.

“Our idea is to let people see the recourses we have and to give them a different view about the UAE and in the long run we feel this atlas could be used in schools and universities,” said Khalid Al Suwaidi, assistant researcher at EIAST and a member of the team that compiled the atlas.

The 127 page compilation includes 70 high quality images of 2.5m resolution each, showing various areas of the country in great detail, while a graphic road map compares each image, giving additional information.

“We have chosen the best and most recent pictures out of the archive of 9,000 images that we have, so that people can see the recent developments of the country,” said Ammar Al Muhair, who is the leader of the that worked on the project.

According to EIAST, the images in the atlas are more recent than those found on Google Earth and other websites.

Some of the most striking images in the atlas are of the Ferrari World, Saadiyat Island, Palm Islands and Al Maktoum International Airport.

The task, which took eight months to complete, beginning from April 2012, wasn’t as easy as selecting pictures and printing them.

“We had people from different departments working together. First of all we had to look for images that didn’t have any errors or clouds in them, then we needed to make sure the image is recent and then we processed it. We did this for all 70 pictures one by one and the task wasn’t as easy as it sounds,” said Obaid Al Shehi, another assistant researcher and member of the team.

On a number of occasions more than one image had to be merged together to get the best product out, each covering a distance of 20 square kilometres.

The atlas, which is in Arabic, covers 83,600 square kilometres, and will be out in the market next month.

Jawahir Jassim Al Mansoori, a graphic designer who worked on the atlas page by page since the beginning said: “It was a very hard beginning, especially that I was working alone on such a huge project. But I accepted this as a challenge and I received great support from my colleagues. Since I was the graphic designer, I had put different ideas of how the atlas was going to look like before putting all my ideas in order and started designing the cover which symbolises DubaiSat-1’s position up in space providing the country with all these satellite images. I feel extremely proud of this project which I dedicate entirely to our UAE leadership.”

An English version of the atlas is also in the pipeline, which will be complete with updated images and additional details.

Dubai World Central – the world’s first purpose-built

DWC, the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis

Smartworld unveils GPON for DWC

Smartworld, a next-generation ICT provider in the Middle East that has been entrusted with the responsibility to provision the ICT network in Dubai World Central, or DWC, has achieved a milestone with the implementation of a gigabit passive optical network, or GPON, network at DWC.

The launch will put DWC, the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis and strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, into the league of prestigious gigabit capable precincts of the world and provide next-generation network capabilities to ICT users at DWC. “Following the success of this project, DWC will continue to work closely and take advantage of Smartworld’s specialised expertise,” said Rashed Bu Qara’a, chief operating officer of Dubai Aviation City Corporation.

“The next-generation network unlocks more exciting possibilities for business enterprises operating at DWC, giving them unprecedented networking and communication capabilities,” Smartworld chief executive officer Reyadh Ayesh added.

UAE holds world’s largest biometric database

Abu Dhabi: The UAE holds the largest biometric database in the world, the Emirates Identity Authority has announced.

The population register of Emirates ID has over 103 million digital fingerprints and over 15 million digital facial recognition records, which includes multiple records of each UAE resident, and digital signatures as of October 11, senior officials said.

This biometric database is considered to be the largest in the world, according to a statement issued by the authority.

Dr. Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID, said the authority has submitted an official application to the World Record Academy to recognise this record.

Asked about the confirmation of the authority’s claims about the world record, an official spokesman of the authority told Gulf News on Sunday: “We have made worldwide surveys and enquiries with the similar official authorities and agencies of the world governments holding such databases and confirmed that our database is the largest.

“The World Record Academy also confirmed to us that no other government or authority has made a similar claim for such a record,” he said.

The spokesman clarified that the authority did not apply for Guinness World Records because they have not listed such a record.

World Record Academy is the leading international organisation which certifies world records.

Its website says 90 per cent of the new world records applications are verified within three days.

Emirates ID said by implementing a new strategic plan by the end of 2009, it doubled the enrolment in the population register and hence the number of fingerprint records of individuals was increased by several times during the past three years.

About 14 million digital fingerprints were recorded as of September 2009. But it was increased to 102 million by the end of last month (September 2012).

Dr. Al Khouri said the comprehensive database of residents’ biometrics will contribute and support projects related to the UAE’s national vision 2021, aimed at enhancing the security and advancement of society, as well as supporting e-government projects through authenticating personal identity in e-transactions carried out on the internet.

This will help hinder the risk of identity theft that increases day by day worldwide, he said.