ITB student wins global tech award for crowdsourcing app
By Clarice Africa06 Jul 2017
A Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) student’s passion to improve his local community has helped him secure a ticket to the world’s largest geospatial event — the Esri User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California.
Dirga Imam Gozali Sumantri — a geodesy and geomatics engineering student — won the 2017 Esri Young Scholars Award (EYSA) for his project, Bandung Reliable Geospatial App (BRaGA) — a citizen-engagement tool that enables community members to report issues to their local city government.
The EYSA is an international tertiary competition, run locally by Esri Indonesia. It celebrates excellence in geospatial study, and more specifically, the creative use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology in solving commercial and community issues.
Dirga’s entry competed with several others from all across Indonesia and gave him an opportunity to showcase his work to more than 16,000 GIS professionals from 140 countries.
BRaGA aims to create meaningful interaction between government and citizens by giving the public an easier way to report issues in their neighbourhood.
“Bandung is a leading smart city in Indonesia, and it recognises citizens as an important source of data that is critical to improving public services in local communities. Giving citizens a platform to report issues gives them power to make a difference in their neighbourhood and also allows the government to better understand and serve the public,” Dirga said.
The app also aims to educate users about the public facilities and historical landmarks around them.
“I believe that once people learn more about the historical significance of the public infrastructures around them, they become more inclined to use them with greater care and appreciation,” he said.
Hernadi Tri Cahyanto, Head of Sub Directorate for Sea Transport Information System and Infrastructure Facilities at the Ministry of Transport and a member of the EYSA judging panel said, “Dirga’s web-based GIS app is promising and has great potential in solving our community’s challenges.”
“Choosing this year’s winner wasn’t easy, but we believe Dirga’s creative use of geospatial technology to address real-world challenges and his passion to promote a more optimised use of Bandung’s public facilities, earned him the title of this year’s Esri Young Scholar,” he said.
“EYSA highlights the ingenuity of Indonesian students when they are empowered with the latest technology. I look forward to more innovative applications coming from this competition in the future,” Hernadi said.