The Law regulates topographic and cartographic activities; quality of topographic and cartographic products; topographic infrastructure works; topographic and cartographic information, data and products; and conditions for provision of topographic and cartographic services. It also defines rights and obligations of organizations and individuals involved in topographic and cartographic activities and the state management of topography and cartography. Noticeably, the Law, for the first time, mentions the building of the national spatial data infrastructure.

Under the Law, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will act as the focal point assisting the Government in performing the uniform state management of topographic and cartographic activities nationwide. However, it will also be decentralized to localities. Uniform management of topographic and cartographic activities is one of important contents of the Law, which aims to avoid overlaps in management and performance of topographic and cartographic projects as well as discrepancies among topographic and cartographic information, data and products due to subjective reasons.

The Law on Topography and Cartography, which is the first of its kind in Vietnam, can be seen as a legal framework for the development of the topography and cartography sector in Vietnam. Composed of 61 articles arranged in nine chapters and will take effect on the next January 1 year . 

Some important points are prescribed in the Law:

  1.  The State will further mobilize resources for development of topographic and cartographic activities, encouraging organizations and individuals to invest   in the research and application of high technologies, advanced technologies and new technologies and in training and development of highly qualified     human resources in the field of topography and cartography. 
  2.  The State will also create favorable conditions for organizations individuals to access, exploit and use topographic and cartographic information, data   and products and the national spatial data infrastructure, and participate in topographic and cartographic activities.
  3.  Legalizing independent topographic and cartographic practitioners to individuals is one of measures to ensure their rights and responsibilities when   participating in topographic and cartographic activities. 
  4. The Law encourages the application of new technologies, advanced and modern technologies in the collection and processing of topographic and cartographic information, data and products, thus contributing to the promotion of the use of artificial intelligence and internet of things based on the geospatial data.
  5. The Law prohibits forging or falsifying topographic and cartographic data and results; destroying or damaging topographic infrastructure works and their safety corridors; and conducting topographic and cartographic activities while not yet meeting the conditions on professional qualifications or under the name of other entities. Acts of publishing or selling topographic and cartographic products or publications containing false information relating to national sovereignty or leaking or disclosing topographic and cartographic information, data or products classified as state secrets will also be banned.

Law on Topography and Cartography

Editor: AnhNTL – VidaGIS company

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