Energy facilities in Uganda may have been well mapped by the organisations that have a well planned out business model for energy as a resource. This information is in most cases put together after investing a good deal of time, human resource and financing for such projects. Collecting the data(which becomes an asset)is one thing while using it optimumly is another. These are some of the topics that held the maiden meeting of the "Energy sector working group workshop" afloat. The sentiments put across by the attendees pointed strongly to a need for geospatial data sharing and maximum utilisation. The workshop was organised by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) on the 26th of July 2012 at Imperial Royal Hotel, Kampala.
The meeting brought together several players in the energy sector: Umeme Ltd , UETCL , ERA and the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development. The mid morning question and answer session had a heated discussion on data sharing practices & limitations, standardisation & customisation.The participants had a chance to discuss the current challenges the energy sector experiences while harnesing GIS. The most notable setbacks were, duplication of data collection, non existent GIS standards, complex and poor data quality standards, few capacity building initiatives and lack of ownership of GIS related studies.
The afternoon session focused on GIS in the cloud and Web mapping: which is trending now and would facilitate geodata sharing.
Fruits of Thought shared her experience with mapping power facilities to Openstreetmap especially with community participation and the potential effect of such collaboration on reporting about the status of social services and consequently quality of service delivery. This kind of community reporting would be pivoted on a crowdmap/Ushahidi instance. Openstreetmap provides webased maps that are freely editable and obtainable: this way,community has a say in the quality of social services provided.The information provided in such a setting goes a long way in influencing management decision.