PM Urges Greater Use of GIS for Economic Growth

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging greater use of geographic information system (GIS) technology across all sectors in order to spur higher levels of economic growth and development. Story Highlights Mr. Holness said the Government has been making significant investments in using GIS technology to spur Jamaica’s growth and development while seeking to reposition the country as a knowledge-based economy. Another key area of investment, the Prime Minister highlighted, was the National Identification System (NIDS), which will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store the personal identity information of all citizens. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging greater use of geographic information system (GIS) technology across all sectors in order to spur higher levels of economic growth and development.He contends that despite Jamaica’s use of the technology over the past 25 years, its full potential remains untapped.“It is certainly accepted by the Government… definitely at the administrative and executive levels. But we have still not yet moved to the point of utilising the technology where we leverage (its) predictive powers… which is to use it in a way to either prevent things from happening or facilitating things we want to happen,” the Prime Minister noted.He called for its utilisation at the decision-making level “as a management and planning tool”.He was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the inaugural two-day Jamaica GIS User Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (October 10).Mr. Holness said the Government has been making significant investments in using GIS technology to spur Jamaica’s growth and development while seeking to reposition the country as a knowledge-based economy.These, he said, have been in the notable areas of job creation, with the establishment of the GIS Corps of National Service targeting unattached youth under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) initiative, and the installation of key infrastructure designed to enhance public safety and security.Mr. Holness said that under the GIS Corps, youngsters have been employed by several State entities to undertake a number of key engagements.These, he said, include at the National Water Commission (NWC) to carry out asset mapping of all meters islandwide, the collating of data for an asset map capturing street lights, with another corps being established to assist in generating rainfall data for the National Meteorological Service.The Prime Minister said that there were numerous other opportunities for youth employment utilising GIS technology to document Jamaica’s critical assets.He noted that significant investments have also been made to install surveillance cameras and closed-circuit television (CCTV) to capture illicit criminal activities and traffic breaches, as part of the Government’s undertaking to engender a safe and secure society.Another key area of investment, the Prime Minister highlighted, was the National Identification System (NIDS), which will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store the personal identity information of all citizens.Mr. Holness contended that a system to accurately identify persons will go a far way in generating information that facilitates analyses of the society’s challenges, and potentially yield solutions and predict outcomes.“We truly understand the deep power of the technology, and that it can be leveraged for the economic and social development of the country,” he added.The GIS User Conference is being jointly staged by the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) and Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) under the theme ‘GeospatialTechnologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’.It forms part of activities commemorating the LICJ’s 25th anniversary.last_img read more

How Two GradeSchoolers Set Off A Tennis Revolution

Evonne Goolagong (left) and Peaches Bartkowicz at Wimbledon in 1970. Daily Express/Getty Images By Carl Bialik When Peaches Bartkowicz and Chris Evert put their left hands above their right hands to grip their tennis racquets, they were girls in grade school unknowingly defying tennis orthodoxy to hit backhands the way that felt most comfortable. Today, more than half a century later, a little girl who hit backhands without using both hands would be the one defying tennis orthodoxy. One-handed backhands have almost completely disappeared from women’s tennis. And that’s thanks in part to the success that Bartkowicz and Evert had with their two-handed backhands. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed The two-handed backhand’s dominance has continued: Its users have won 35 of the last 36 women’s major titles. Every woman in the top 10 and 48 of the top 50 use it. It’s also become the dominant backhand in men’s tennis, though with accomplished one-handed holdouts such as Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. (Tennis-nerd note: Every player occasionally hits backhands with one hand, especially in defensive positions, either to slice the ball or when forced to take a hand off the racquet to reach the ball. What we’re talking about are how players hit the backhand when they have time to get to the ball and drive it offensively.)Bartkowicz and Evert hit their backhands with two hands because they felt just one didn’t give them enough strength. The two-hander took over pro tennis for similar reasons. Using their off hand on backhands lets players hit with additional power, which gives the ball more speed and spin, especially in concert with the latest racquet and string technology. The one-hander’s advantages — better feel for the ball, more equipped for wide reaches and low bounces, smoother transition to one-handed backhand volleys at net — count less in a game played rarely on low-bouncing, volley-friendly grass and usually contested behind the baseline.The two-handed backhand is especially valuable when returning serves, as the extra support helps to absorb and redirect powerful, high-bouncing shots. Tennis analyst Jeff Sackmann has shown that in men’s pro tennis, players with two-handed backhands get the return in play more often, and win the point more often when they do. Data collected through Sackmann’s crowdsourced Match Charting Project for the women’s game shows the same general trends: Players with two-handed backhands have more success returning serves than do players with one-handed backhands. It’s hard to reach firm conclusions because there are simply so few women hitting one-handed backhands.The dearth of top women using one-handed backhands may be the most compelling data point demonstrating the two-handed backhand’s dominance: If it weren’t the best option, more women would be hitting backhands with one hand. Tennis, like all sports, has its share of domineering coaches, but it is also primarily an individual and individualistic sport. Players command their own games and choose the shots and tactics that will win the most. That makes tennis a sport that breeds innovation, whether it’s among pros at a Slam or among two young girls who chose the backhand that best suited them. And if the one-handed backhand ever makes a comeback in women’s tennis, it might begin with a girl defying orthodoxy and taking one hand off the racquet.Emma Morgenstern contributed research.This is part of our new podcast series “Ahead Of Their Time,” profiling players and managers in various sports who were underappreciated in their era. In the latest installment in our documentary podcast series Ahead Of Their Time, we look at Bartkowicz and Evert, the innovators who brought the two-handed backhand to women’s tennis in a major way. Evert’s story is well-known: She rode her backhand, accuracy and focus to 18 Grand Slam singles titles. Bartkowicz’s is more obscure: After an extraordinary juniors career, she never reached a Grand Slam semifinal as a pro and played her last Slam soon after turning 22. But Bartkowicz’s backhand was ahead of her time. When she was just 12, a photo of her swinging with two hands at the Southern Girls Tennis Tournament appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The caption began with the all-caps “TWO HANDS!” and called the shot a “baseball backhand.” When she won the 1965 U.S. Open girls title, The New York Times commended her “tremendous marksmanship” with that shot. By the time she closed out her junior career without a loss at the 1967 U.S. Open, the Philadelphia Inquirer called her “the foremost exponent of the two-handed backhand in women’s competition.”Evert is nearly six years younger than Bartkowicz and was unknown when Bartkowicz’s baseball backhand became famous. But Evert soon surpassed her older rival. She played her first Grand Slam at the 1971 U.S. Open — just two months after Bartkowicz played her last major at Wimbledon — and made the semifinals at age 16. In 1974, Evert won her first two Grand Slam titles, and the first two on record by a woman who hits a two-handed backhand. (A few notable men used two-handed backhands in the 1930s and 1940s, but the shot had mostly fallen back out of favor among men, too, when Bartkowicz and Evert were starting out.) By the time Evert won her last major, in 1986, her signature shot was tightening its grip in the sport, thanks also to its use by men’s champions Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg. And two years after Evert’s retirement, Monica Seles won three of four majors while using two hands on both backhands and forehands.By 2014, when The Economist tracked the decline of one-handed backhands in the pro game, just one woman with a one-handed backhand had won a major since 2008: Francesca Schiavone, at the 2010 French Open. Embed Code read more

The State of The Game

For the 95th consecutive year, The Game endures – as strong as it ever has. The Ohio State and Michigan football teams are prepping for their 109th meeting on Saturday at Ohio Stadium and the series, known to many simply as “The Game,” is far from stale. It’s a matter that’s as salient for first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer and players up and down his roster as it likely was for the renowned Buckeyes coaches and players of yesteryear. Recognized by the United States Congress as the greatest rivalry in sports, the OSU-UM rivalry dates back to 1897, and an air of hatred for “that team up north” still pervades the OSU football facilities. Letter “M’s” visible on campus signage were covered with red tape and the name of the state that borders Ohio to the north might as well have been a four-letter word for OSU players during Monday press conferences at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Media availability began with Meyer, who, with a glint in his eyes, recounted his memories of The Game by rattling off names like Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes, Pete Johnson and Archie Griffin. Meyer recalled the OSU’s 1987 win at Michigan Stadium. It was the final game for Meyer’s mentor, former OSU coach Earle Bruce, who was informed of his firing prior to the contest. “I can tell you (about) walking into coach Bruce’s office right here,” said Meyer, who was an assistant on Bruce’s staff at the time of the incident. “I saw a bunch of coaches with their arms on the table, with their face in their arms, and tears and the whole deal. I was like the last guy to walk in, and he said that coach Bruce will no longer be the coach after this game … Just an incredible moment in Ohio State history.” OSU went to Ann Arbor, Mich., the following Saturday where Bruce’s Buckeyes defeated UM, 23-20. Bruce was carried off the field on the shoulders of his players. To understand how deep The Game still permeates the sporting culture at OSU in modern times, look no further than athletic director Gene Smith’s Monday press conference at the Fawcett Center. Smith was made available to discuss the University of Maryland’s move to the Big Ten Conference, and Smith found himself fielding questions about OSU’s current bowl ban and whether he could or should have administered a self-imposed ban during the 2011 season. His focus? Beating Michigan. Smith said he wasn’t worried about hypotheticals. In the midst of the historic addition of Maryland to the Big Ten, Smith said his aim was to help the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines. “I’m worried about making sure that we position our football staff, our student-athletes – everything we can to have the opportunity to beat that team up north,” Smith said. “That’s my mission right now.” The teams have taken turns dominating the rivalry for years at a time. From 2004-2009, OSU won six consecutive times. The Buckeyes also won in 2010, but the game was later vacated due to NCAA violations for which OSU is also currently serving an NCAA-imposed postseason ban. Those penalties came as a result of the “Tattoo-Gate” scandal in which players received extra impermissible benefits in exchange for OSU football memorabilia. OSU’s dominance in the mid-2000s caused some to forget about the rivalry, said Buckeyes senior wide receiver Taylor Rice. “To be honest, people felt like the rivalry was dying down because it had been so many years since they beat us,” Rice said. Both teams come into this year’s game ranked nationally, making the game relevant to both sides and the rest of the country. OSU enters this year’s grand finale with an unblemished, 11-0 record, which is complimented by the Associated Press‘ No. 4 ranking. The Buckeyes are also playing for the sixth undefeated season in program history and the first since 2002. UM didn’t quite fulfill expectations this season – it began its 2012 campaign with a 41-14 loss to then-No. 1-ranked Alabama in its opening game, followed by later losses to Notre Dame, America’s current No. 1-ranked team, and Nebraska. The Wolverines have managed to claw their way to an 8-3 overall record and the No. 20 ranking in the AP poll – they still have a meaningful bowl game to play for. The Buckeyes are coming off a loss in Ann Arbor last year, too. While frustrating for OSU, the defeat, Rice said, was for the good of the rivalry. “Honestly, I think that reality check helped us,” Rice said. “It let people know that this is a rivalry and there’s nothing like it. This game alone will make or break your season.” Several OSU players, and scores of Buckeyes before them, have echoed that sentiment – The Game is all that counts. In 2012, OSU players likened the OSU-UM game to “their Super Bowl” and “their national championship.” The superlatives change, but the message is consistent – The Game is still The Game, and it’s as strong as it’s ever been. “This is what it all comes down to – playing Michigan,” Rice said. “Winning or losing. This is what determines the outcome of our season … It’s been a great season but this is what really counts. This is what our season comes down to. This is our Super Bowl.” This year’s installment of The Game will is scheduled for a noon start at Ohio Stadium. read more

Ronaldo expected better from Neymar at World Cup

first_imgBrazil legend Ronaldo Nazario has admitted that he had expected better from Neymar following his struggles at the World CupThe Paris Saint-Germain forward was only able to find the back of the net twice for Brazil in the competition and was unable to make an impact as the Selecao were surprisingly knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals.In fact, Neymar received more recognition for his theatrics on the pitch while reacting to tackles and any physical alterations with opposition players with fans having even gone as far as creating a game called the “Neymar Challenge”.But Ronaldo, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in World Cup history, did suggest that Neymar’s foot injury, which ended his club season at PSG in February, may have been a possible reason as to why he failed to produce the level of performances that had been expected of him.Ronaldo told Sport: “We all expected more from him because he’s the star of the team,”“I don’t know if it was because of the operation he had on his foot or another problem but I saw him as quite limited on the pitch.Neymar responds to PSG criticism with a stunning winner Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Despite all the backlash he got today at Parc des Princes, Neymar responded by scoring a stunning winner vs Strasbourg.We all knew that Neymar’s…“To arrive at a World Cup following an operation and three months out is complicated. To play the first match as if nothing had happened is difficult.”The next World Cup in Qatar in four years time may be Neymar’s last chance to win the tournament due to the fact that he will be 30 years old come the start of the competition.But Ronaldo feels that the 26-year-old still has time on his side to make an impact.“He must learn from this World Cup because at 26 he is still a young boy,” he said.“Either way, he’s an extremely talented young man who carries a great deal of responsibility.”last_img read more

Former England player urges Chelsea to stay put

first_imgFormer England midfielder John Barnes has urged Chelsea star, Eden Hazard to remain at the club despite interest from Real Madrid.The Spanish giants were reportedly after his services all summer long but with Chelsea refusing to sell, the Belgium captain stayed put at Stamford Bridge.However, with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2020 and his refusal to extend his contract at the club, the Blues might be hoping to cash in on the player should he decide to leave.But Barnes who played for Liverpool during his playing days believes Hazard might be stifled at other big clubs and wouldn’t have the same freedom he enjoys at Chelsea. Barnes told beIN Sports, according to InsideFutbol:“If you see the way Eden Hazard plays – he has 30 to 40 touches with the ball at times, he plays one-twos and he does what he wants.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“If he goes to Real Madrid, he wouldn’t be able to do that.”“He goes to a club where he would have to fit into a system, as you see what happens with Belgium, which is why they have not gone on to maximise their potential.”“You may say he is possibly the best individual player, but Chelsea are the right club for him because I watched him score a hat-trick and at times you think he should play it simple, but he doesn’t and there are no repercussions on him because they accept that at Chelsea.”“At a Barcelona or Real Madrid, they wouldn’t accept that.”last_img read more

Buffon I didnt join PSG for the money

first_imgItalian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has denied suggestions that he only joined Paris Saint-Germain for one last big chequeThe 40-year-old made the surprise switch to PSG in the summer from Juventus in order to continue his top-flight career.But there have been rumours going about suggesting that Buffon’s main reason for going to France was just for the money with nine of PSG’s players among the Ligue 1’s top 10 earners.The 2006 World Cup winner reportedly earns just under €5m a year at the Parc Des Princes.“There’s always a bit of envy, that’s human too,” Buffon told Corriere della Sera on those rumours.“The first rule is not to be conditioned by the judgements and ideas of others. I will never prostitute my ideals and dreams for money. If I was going to then I’d have done it long before now.Colin Dagba, France,How Dagba become one of PSG’s regulars Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 21-year-old full-back Colin Dagba had a very difficult time to break into professional football, but now he’s one of PSG’s regular players.“Money is important, it’s a means to live better, but I’m not venal.“They thought I was a madman, or a statue only missing the pigeons. My enthusiasm makes me young though, and if I want to continue I can’t be like an old grandpa.“Sometimes I’m more ‘stupid’ than someone who is 20 and people don’t realise my age.“I’m very proud to be here, because to receive an offer from a club like this is a big satisfaction.“I always gave my best, I am sure I behaved well and life rewarded me with this bonus.”Buffon has made 13 appearances for PSG in all competitions this season.last_img read more

Report Arsenal extend Nacho Monreals contract

first_imgArsenal have reportedly extended Nacho Monreal’s contract to June 2020 after activating a clause they had on his expiring dealThe Spanish full-back has been at Arsenal since January 2013 following his transfer from Malaga for a reported £8.5m.In that time, Monreal has managed 10 goals and 17 assists in 227 appearances across all competitions for the Gunners along with winning three FA Cups and Community Shields.With his contract running out this summer, manager Unai Emery expressed his wish to retain Monreal in the future.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Now ESPN reports that Arsenal have taken their option to renew Monreal’s expiring contract until the end of next season with talks over a longer-term deal to be put on hold for now.Although the futures of goalkeeper Petr Cech and injured striker Danny Welbeck remain in doubt as they enter the final six months of their contracts at Arsenal.Welsh star Aaron Ramsey is set to leave for nothing at the end of the season with Juventus recently confirming their interest in signing him.While Stephan Lichtsteiner, who only joined from Juventus last summer, is expected to remain with Arsenal having the option to extend his contract by another 12 months.last_img read more