Friday, November 02, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Open Source

I've been digging around this topic, and though it's not singularly a "GIS" one, a GIS is an Information System. So, I asked, who runs on Free or Open Source Software (FOSS)? Just niche users and rebels without a cause?

Well, the Internet runs on Open Source, for one:

- The BIND name server resolves web addresses to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers
- The Apache web server serves most Web sites
- The MySQL database runs many online applications
- The PHP programming language is used on a third of the internet
- The GNU/ Linux operating system drives many PCs and servers.

LAMP servers, which combine the Linux OS, Apache Web Server, MySQL database and PHP/ Perl/ Python programming languages, are a well established solution for hosting companies.

Supercomputers run on Open Source too! In fact, it seems most of them do. GNU/ Linux powers over three-quarters of the world's fastest supercomputers including the 8th-ranked US's National Centre for Supercomputing Applications Abe, the 9th-ranked Barcelona Supercomputing Centre Mare Nostrum and 10th-ranked Germany's Leibniz Computing Centre HLRB II.

But who uses Open Source? Answer: Yahoo!, Google, Amazon, Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, the New York Times, the BBC, your PlayStation and various mobile phones. It will seem obscure if you don't manage servers, but here's Open Source software developed by the NY Times.

On the user-side, the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird mail client and OpenOffice office suite are all Open Source. The point made in the previous excerpted article, that the Caribbean needs to invest in FOSS, is very well supported.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Open Source

I recently received an opinion on Open Source from "outside" of the GIS community, and following Raj's recent post on the Open Source DIVA-GIS, thought it worth repeating:
(Excerpted from a briefing prepared for the inaugural OECS meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL))

How can something that is free become a driver of economic diversification? And what does it have to do with the Caribbean?

Free or Open Source Software (FOSS) is free to use, as opposed to proprietary software such as the Microsoft Windows operating system.

With FOSS, if some functionality is lacking, you are allowed to look at the source code and, if you have the skills yourself or know somebody who has them, you can write extensions or enhancements to the program.

You must fulfil one requirement only: send your enhancements back to the original programmer, or to a clearing-house like authority, which will check that your enhancements do not introduce errors or conflict with other parts of the program. After the approval, your code - and this is the beauty of the method - then becomes a part of the whole system, making your enhancement available to anybody who uses the system.

That is the essence of FOSS. Programs are widely available with source codes that can be viewed and changed by almost anybody who wants to.

By applying this methodology, free software is developing and evolving continuously, sometimes through the collaboration of more than 1000 programmers around the globe, creating new software, or improving existing software programs.

So, how do you make money with FOSS?

Income is generated mostly through services related to the software, such as consulting, installation assistance, maintenance, and training. None of these services are free; hence they provide the financial incentive for developing the software further.

And herein lies the financial opportunity for the Caribbean. For two reasons:
  1. By saving money
  2. By creating a service environment based on FOSS systems developed and maintained in the Caribbean
Licenses for so-called proprietary software cost money. Either as a one-time expense at the time of purchase, as recurring costs in the form of maintenance or support agreements, or as updating costs, if the new versions are available and demanded by a changed environment, whether it be new hardware, a new version of the operating system, or data exchange / compatibility issues with other programs or users.

Under FOSS those licensing costs do not exist. As mentioned already, the usage of FOSS systems is free. Hence, in contrast to paying licensing fees to a foreign company without economic impact to the local/regional market, FOSS systems could be used and the saved money would be spent on employing local experts to train, maintain, or enhance the otherwise free software.

In the Caribbean, governments are the largest spenders when it comes to software applications. Hence the way funds, in the form of taxpayers money, grants or loans from international donors, are utilized determines whether a local service industry and expertise can be instigated.

Reducing or eliminating license costs, and building a base of local consultants for future projects and the sustainability of present projects, and - it is to be hoped - reducing development costs, will ensure that more money will remain in the local economy, and thus achieve the goal of increased economic activity in the IT field.

Or, to put it another way, here, saving money does not mean saving money, but spending the same money in areas that contribute to the economical development of the community.

How could this work?

To give an example, let’s assume that one of the Caribbean countries has received funds to establish, let’s say, a Health Information or a School Management System.

The respective Government could utilize those funds by employing a group of local programmers to create a system, which would be released under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). The programmers that did the initial work on the system would be paid for their work.

After the system is released to the Government, it would be made available free of charge, as determined by the GNU GPL, to the other Caribbean countries that may have an already up-and-running IT agency with permanently employed skilled programmers, or may have funds to contract local developers who would work on enhancements on the Health or School Management Information System.

In the case of the skills set not being already available, programmers can educate themselves by looking at the source code and therefore will be able to contribute to the constant development of the system.

Since this system was released under the GNU GPL all enhancements must instantly be made available to all other countries evolving into a research and development system of collaborating programmers, trainers, and consultants located around the, region releasing itself from the dependence upon a single source.

Because this proposed method produces software geared to the conditions in the Caribbean it is not difficult to imagine that the same products could work in other countries around the world with similar conditions, thus enabling the export of services and ideas. This in turn would mean more work for local consultants and a chance for local government to contribute to development in other parts of the world.

Correctly-channelled funds can fuel a Caribbean software industry operating within the region and working for the region.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I mentioned in a previous post that there were free training courses being offered for a few open source GIS software packages (registration for these courses is now closed). I decided to give one course a spin and experience what it is like. First off, the courses are delivered through a web-based open source software called Moodle. I am pretty impressed by this package. It is quite intuitive though they should replace the default theme with a better one. There are also many places where it can be improved esthetically.

The course I opted to take is DIVA-GIS. The website ain't great but the software is. This is the fourth week into it and I'm quite impressed. It's true that it can't do all the fancy stuff ArcMap or ArcView is capable of. However, for basic GIS tasks it does it for free and it's way faster than ArcMap. One thing I noticed so far is its built in capability for working with meteorological data. Those working in the meteorology/environmental field may want to give it a spin and consider taking the free course if it is offered again next year. Even if it's not offered again, the software is pretty intuitive.

Stay tuned for more ...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Call for Presentations

The URISA 4th Caribbean GIS Conference Call for Presentations is announced. Useful dates:

Abstracts Due: December 7, 2007
Acceptance Notification: February 8, 2008
Confirmation of Participation Due: February 22, 2008
Program Distributed: March 14, 2008
Speaker Registration Deadline: July 1, 2008
Conference: August 25-29, 2008
Paper/Presentation Due for Conference Proceedings: October 20, 2008

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guyana and Suriname Settle Boundary Dispute

Two Caribbean nations have settled a maritime boundary dispute at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague. The Arbitration Tribunal Award 'establishes a single maritime boundary between Guyana and Suriname that differs from the boundaries claimed by each of the Parties in their pleadings before the Arbitral Tribunal' (PCA Press Release Sept 20, 2007). The map at left is the Tribunal's Delimitation Line in the Territorial Sea and it and other maps and information may be found in the Award.

The Tribunal was constituted in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to Wikipedia, the UNCLOS is 'a set of rules for the use of the world's oceans which cover 70% of the Earth's surface'. Seventy percent! When you think about it that's a reminder that whatever I've done in GIS so far, is really very little! The Convention came into force in 1994, and to date, 154 countries and the EU have joined the Convention. The United States has not joined.

The PCA had dealt with another Caribbean maritime dispute in 2006, between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, 'relating to the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf between them'.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

UWI Vacancy - Lecturer in Land Surveying

Lecturer in Land Surveying
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad
Deadline Aug 31, 2007

  • Ph.D in Surveying and Land Information
  • Professional Association
  • Teaching in an academic environment and research agenda acquired in a surveying department.
  • Ability to manage large groups at undergraduate level, publication record.

Special Expertise/Area of Specialization
  • Land Surveying with an emphasis on the numerical aspects including Geodesy and Adjustment.
Alert via the GSDI LAC Mailing List

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hurricane Dean/ Jamaica

Hurricane Dean is a few hours away from passing over/ near Jamaica with Belize, Mexico and Cuba potentially in its path over the next few days. I've been party to an excellent effort over the last 48hrs to marshal spatial data and resources for a post-hurricane response. The extensive team effort behind the scenes that goes into making a MapAction deployment happen is in motion. And people have been pitching-in directly and indirectly, from Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Washington State, Trinidad, Barbados, the UK, Guyana and en route to Ascension Island. It's been very affirming to see.

Hurricanes can be tracked via several good online sources and I'll mention a couple of mine:

NOAA National Hurricane Centre - Forecast maps and text advisories
NASA Earth Science Office - Imagery from weather satellites
They are both updated several times per day.

Other interesting links: Find out how hurricanes form and about categories of hurricanes. View custom maps of the current situation in Jamaica in the MapAction Map Catalogue.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean

Hurricane Dean has reached Category 4 (NOAA Hurricane Center, 21:30 AST). Dominica, Saint Lucia and Montserrat felt its impact as the storm developed. But now Jamaica, Hispaniola and points east and north stand in harms way. Some countries have decided to request assistance in the form of pre-positioned teams - a prudent and commendable action. In terms of GIS, MapAction is readying itself to deploy to the region, to provide situational mapping assistance to the UN and National Emergency Management Agencies. If anyone can offer assistance in terms of available data that can assist a presumed disaster-response, do get in contact.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

USVI 3rd Annual GIS Conference

The Virgin Islands Geospatial Information Council (VIGIC) has scheduled its Third Annual GIS Conference this year for Nov 14 - 16, 2007 at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort on St. Thomas USVI.

Themed “Empowering A Community of Users: Building A Strong Geospatial Connected Network Throughout The Caribbean. Advancing Policies and Best-Practices,” it is designed to promote the expansion of internal and external resource capabilities to improve knowledge and resource sharing. This year’s conference aim is empowering citizens, practitioners, technical experts, governmental staff, and a host of other equally critical partners in becoming involved.

The 2006 conference presentations are pretty interesting and can be found here. This event along with GSDI 10 in Trinidad in Feb 2008 and the 4th Caribbean GIS Conference in the Caymans in Aug 2008, makes three GIS conferences in the Caribbean over the next 12 months.

USVI's Height Modernization Project and related applications - flood plain mapping, storm water and sewer utility management, large scale engineering projects, hurricane evacuation and recovery planning, and topographic mapping - are likely to be featured.

Experts from around the Caribbean and the USVI will be there to share their expertise in building effective geospatial clearinghouses and in building institutional capacities for advancing GIS systems. As the crisis of global warming continues to astound and baffle people around the world, we will begin to better understand the role that geospatial information and technology plays in the larger vision of securing and safeguarding our environment and critical infrastructure. For further information please contact:

Theresa Anduze-Parris, PhD.
GIS Coordinator, Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Interim Chair, VIGIC
t. (340) 773-6459 x3131

Thursday, July 12, 2007

4th Caribbean GIS Conference Announced

URISA is pleased to announce its 4th Caribbean GIS Conference, which will take place 25-29 Aug, 2008 at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. The conference will be organized through a Call for Presentations to be released within the next month.

The previous three Caribbean GIS Conferences took place in the Bahamas (2006), Barbados (2004) and Jamaica (2001). The chair of the 2008 conference committee is Alan Jones, Director of Lands & Survey for the Cayman Islands. The committee is comprised of well-respected GIS professionals from across the Caribbean region, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

As in the previous gatherings, the conference objectives are:
  • To inform broad cross-section of Caribbean users about GIS technology and applications
  • To share experiences regarding GIS implementation and management issues
  • To establish new relationships with the vendor/consultant community
  • To provide workshops and sessions that are application driven, and are relevant to the Caribbean community of GIS users
  • To foster a Caribbean GIS network

IT Competitiveness

The absence of Caribbean nations from the recent Economist Intelligence Unit IT Industry Competitiveness Index (208KB PDF) is striking. Four Latin American countries were ranked in the top 50: Chile (#31), Brasil (#43), Mexico (#44) and Argentina (#45). The report suggests that:
Few nations' IT sectors can compensate for major environmental weaknesses. India and China have been able to parlay unique factors, such as workforce size, low wages or language attributes, into strong IT sector performance, compensating for glaring weaknesses in the industry environment. Few other countries will be able to use similar factors to replicate China’s and India’s success — improvement across all the enablers of IT industry competitiveness is required to build strong IT sectors.

The report offers the following IT enablers:
  • A stable and open business environment that encourages competition
  • Advanced IT and communications infrastructure
  • IT talent and skills development geared to the future
  • Robust protection of intellectual property rights
  • Strong support for innovation
  • Carefully calibrated government support
Do Caribbean governments or the anglophone political bloc have an IT strategy for the region? (Only Guyana has drafted an IT Strategy - though hopefully I'm wrong). How does building an SDI for the region proceed in such an environment?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

GSDI 10 comes to Trinidad in 2008

Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) 10 will be held in Trinidad on 25-29 Feb, 2008, at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus.

GSDI-10 invites presentations covering the full range of practice, development and research experiences that advance the practice and theory of spatial data infrastructure development. Submissions relating to the GSDI-10 theme of "Small Island Perspectives on Global Challenges: The Role of Spatial Data in Supporting a Sustainable Future" are particularly attractive. The pressing needs of small island nations are a particular emphasis of the conference and include such concerns as:
  • Sustainable development
  • Disaster prevention, warning, management, response, and recovery
  • Alleviation of poverty and crime
  • Economic development
  • Lessening the digital divide including access to information technologies
  • Ensuring food security
  • Support of transportation, health and communication systems
  • Facilitating land ownership
Specific presentation topics of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Design and development of depositories, portals, and registries for geographic data, metadata and services.
  • Innovative methods for addressing technical, legal, economic or institutional challenges in implementing spatial data infrastructure concepts, components and systems.
  • Experiences with current spatial data infrastructures at local,regional, national and multi-national levels and their evaluation.
  • Emerging participatory, inclusive or collaborative approaches in developing content and building infrastructure (examples: PPGIS, GEOSS, UNSDI, Google Earth, Virtual Earth, data commons, open source software).
  • Challenges and approaches to standardization of data and interoperability of systems.
  • Barriers to sharing data and methods for achieving success in sharing.
  • Alternative methods and models for planning, financing and implementing spatial data infrastructure or related initiatives.
  • Policies supporting creation and responsible management of spatial data infrastructure resources.
  • Progress achieved by developing nations through information infrastructure development efforts.
  • Facilitation of international support for the development of spatial data infrastructure.
  • Analysis of practical cases to determine whether infrastructure initiatives are actually achieving goals such as increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the management of information or helping to advance health, education, social welfare, security, safety and similar social goals.
  • Education and capacity building efforts.
  • Basic and applied research in advancing spatial data infrastructure theory and concepts.
More information: Full Call for Papers. Two page poster.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts - Sept 15, 2007
Notification of Presentation/ Poster Acceptances - Oct 15, 2007
Deadline for submission of full Papers and Posters - Dec 15, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

IWCAM GIS Initiative

The Integrated Watershed and Coastal Area Management (IWCAM) Project, based in Saint Lucia is forging a good foundation for GIS and its application to the management of water resources and related issues in 13 Caribbean states, stretching from The Bahamas to Trinidad & Tobago. The IWCAM today ended a two-day Regional GIS Workshop in Roseau, Dominica where a draft Roadmap for mainstreaming GIS for watershed management in the Caribbean was presented and widely discussed. The results of the workshop are not yet formally available, but the Caribbean's GIS sector will likely benefit from the many good action-ideas that IWCAM is now seriously considering. The IWCAM Project Coordination Unit is to be congratulated for its action on pushing the application of high technology to better manage the precious water resources of the region, to the benefit of its people.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Caribbean SDI Resolutions

The strategic visioning session of the URISA 3rd Caribbean GIS Conference, held on Nov 2 2006 in The Bahamas, involved some 60 participants from 15 countries. The broad areas that were considered to be of significance to national and regional SDI development were:
  1. A Caribbean/Regional SDI Coordinating Body
  2. Capacity Building, GIS Training and Education
  3. Funding for GIS Development
  4. Information Technology
  5. Data Acquisition
  6. Data Access and Dissemination
  7. Institutional Arrangements
  8. SDI Policy/Legislation
  9. Contract Specifications and Consultancy Services
  10. Geodetic Infrastructure
Though well-considered, the Caribbean SDI Resolutions (66KB Word) are still essentially draft and not ratified by any regional authority.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Destination: Cayman Islands

URISA has hinted that the 4th Caribbean GIS Conference will be held on Aug 25 - 29, 2008 in the Cayman Islands. It'll be interesting to see what progress has been made with GIS in the Caribbean since the 2006 Conference.

ILWIS is now Freeware

As forewarned by Raj, ILWIS is now freeware; along with a few useful specialised geodetic utilities.

Friday, April 27, 2007

UWI Vacancy - Professor of Surveying & Land Information

The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Surveying & Land Information

Applications are invited for the post of Professor of Surveying & Land Information

Qualifications: Ph.D in Surveying and Land Information. Membership of internationally recognized professional body.

Experience: A suitable combination of at least 7 years research and teaching as a distinguished academic, together with experience in applications. A track record of innovative research and development with high quality output is essential.

Special Expertise/Area of Concentration: At least two (2) of the following: Land Surveying, Geoinformatics, Geodesy, Land Administration, Hydrography, Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Cadastre, Cartography.

Special Responsibilities: Provide leadership and vision in developing research and teaching programs in surveying and land information that will impact on the region

Personal Attributes: Team work and team leadership abilities; coordination skills are critical. Must also be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

Detailed applications (two copies) should be made on the forms obtainable from the Appointments Section at the Registry, and submitted, along with curriculum vitae, to the Campus Registrar, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I., Fax No: 1-868-663-9684. Full particulars of qualifications, experience and the names and addresses of three (3) referees (one of whom should be from your present organization) must be indicated. Further particulars of the post, including remuneration package, can be obtained at the above address and at In order to expedite the appointment procedures, applicants are advised to ask their referees to send their references under CONFIDENTIAL cover DIRECTLY to the Campus Registrar at the above address without waiting to be contacted by the University. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: 2007 APRIL 30

Monday, March 19, 2007

Geo-Application Award 2007

Geo-Application Award 2007
Joan Blaeu @ Prize - JB@P Competition
Call Deadline: April 15th 2007
[Full announcement in PDF (211KB) : Related website]

Challenge of the Prize: The best SDI realization using UNSDI and INSPIRE principles with respect to sustainable regional development and rural knowledge society building. The best three applications will be awarded by certificate and trophy. Information about all eligible applications will be published on CDs, about awarded applications also on Conference pages, EFITA and UNSDI and INSPIRE pages.

The overall purpose of the Joan Blaeu @ Prize, established in the context of the UNGIWG-UNSDI and INSPIRE programmes, is to select examples of best practices in applied Geo-informatics, with emphasis on underdeveloped rural and suburban areas and their population. The reason, why rural and suburban areas were selected for the 2007 Prize is, that rural regions are usually and particularly in the technological sense, underdeveloped, the main focus being generally on development of big cities. The rural areas cover 80 percent of Europe and coverage of other continents like Africa, South America and Asia is higher. Most of environmental applications are also related to rural regions. So there is chance for exchanges of experiences among countries and regions. The aims of the Prize are: to promote existing, in fact working, accessible and intelligible solutions, based on open technologies and standards, to minimise the negative impacts of e-exclusion in society, to improve the overall knowledge of the applied geo- and environmental sciences, to support inexpensive yet complete solutions, and effective working groups.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Geomatica 2007

Geomatica 2007 will be held from 12 - 16 Feb 2007 in Havana, Cuba with workshops, conference presentations, round-table and panel discussions. GEOCUBA has made the Scientific programme (85KB PDF) available.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Ready or Not - II?

Dr. Garfield Giff of TU Delft recirculates a modified study of the state of readiness of SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) of countries in Latin America & the Caribbean; i.e. the degree to which a country is prepared to deliver its geographical information in a community. Download the questionnaire to participate (instructions inside).

Friday, January 26, 2007

NOAA NMFS Strategic Plan

NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS) has provided its Draft Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research (1.9MB PDF), for public comment. NMFS seems to be expanding its use of GIS ... with efforts that 'include mapping, spatial analyses, geographic information systems (GIS), and fishery and ocean habitat modeling and characterization, as well as an evaluation of ecosystem approaches to focus on spatially-explicit models and further research into food web relationships', and amongst other things intends to '[establish] GIS databases to document and track habitat changes'. (Thanks Eric Linzey).

Friday, January 19, 2007


Great news for ILWIS users!! From July 1st 2007, ILWIS will be distributed free of charge. For those unfamiliar with ILWIS, it is a remote sensing and GIS software developed by ITC.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

2006 Caribbean GIS Conference Proceedings

The URISA 2006 Caribbean GIS Conference Proceedings are now available. Conference attendees would have been informed how to download them directly from URISA (63.8MB zip file). Inquiries are probably best directed to Scott Grams, URISA Education Manager (+1 847-824-6300 or sgrams at

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Data Protection

Data Protection is certainly something every Information Systems professional is conceptually aware of. The matter is however wider than just ensuring that one's data are (occasionally?) backed up. It's an oft-stated estimate that data (gathering, processing) constitute around 80% of the cost of GIS projects, so data are the most valuable part of a GIS. Since GIS deals with real world situations then one's spatial data are also important in that they affect people.

Notwithstanding this importance, there are few regulations guiding GIS practioners and protecting the public interest. A search of CARICOMLaw (operated by the CARICOM Office of the General Counsel and the CARICOM Legal Drafting Facility) reveals, as yet, no legislation on this matter.

The only recent reference found to Data Protection is from the Barbados Advocate newspaper, which on Mon Nov 6, 2006, reported on a Data Protection Bill for the island state whereby ... 'the collection and dissemination of sensitive personal information on databases would be regulated under the legislation'. The legislation is meant to 'protect people's privacy', and one can certainly see the good purpose in that.

Though many GISs in the region may not deal directly with personal data, the pace of change in today's world and the subtleties arising when datasets are combined in new and powerful ways mean that GIS professionals should keep a weather eye out for unintended consequences. A cadastral GIS (LIS) that swiftly identifies the owner of a parcel of land is an excellent public service. However, one that allows all parcels of land owned by an individual to be equally easily identified by a member of the public, is facilitating invasion of privacy.

So, Data Protection should be part of the best-practice view of GIS practitioners. The British Data Protection Act (1998) offers one starting point for GIS practitioners who may wish to find out more. One best-practice implication that I make from a principle in that law is that since LISs hold data pertaining to individuals, then LISs are responsible for protecting their data from accidental/ catastrophic damage or loss, so as not adversely affect the lives of individuals listed in the LIS. E.g. Land Title records may be involved in loans, sale of property, inheritance, startup of new businesses/ investment, compensation for damage during a natural disaster, etc. and so their continuous existence is important to individuals and society.

The Barbados Advocate reported that the Barbados legislation includes the following principles, which are similar to those in the British Act:
  • Information be processed fairly and lawfully
  • Records must be used for the purpose for which they were originally intended
  • The data subject can make a request for a copy of the information.

Barbados will also require that 'information should not be transferred outside of Barbados unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedom of the data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data' (Barbados Advocate). I therefore anticipate that all countries in the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) will at some point harmonise on similar principles.

This topic could certainly be discussed further and I hope persons will contribute their knowledge of what obtains in their part of the world.