A NSDI is the implementation of an integrated information infrastructure that provides geographical and other data to diverse users. It provides government agencies with access to extensive data and tools to support the decision making and policy development processes. In every sphere of government operations, the NSDI may be used for diverse purposes. Applications may include crime analysis and management, national security, urban and regional planning, disaster mitigation and management, land management, transportation planning, education planning, local government planning and decision support, poverty mapping and response, public health, environmental monitoring and management, housing, land settlement, telecommunications, wetlands management, forest conservation and energy efficiency analysis. The benefits of NSDI are quite numerous and very significant to propelling national development.
Dr. Bheshem Ramlal is a senior lecturer in Geoinformatics in the Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. He has served as president and treasurer of the GIS Society of Trinidad and Tobago and as PRO of the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago. He is also the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NSDI Council of Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Ramlal received his undergraduate education in Surveying at the University of the West Indies, completed a MSc. Geoinformatics at the ITC in the Netherlands in 1991. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in Spatial Information Science and Engineering from the University of Maine from 1993-1996