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Smart address system for five municipalities
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A smart addressing system is coming to the Municipalities of Mtayleb (Metn), Deddeh (in the north), Jounieh (Kesrouane), Zahleh (Bekaa), and Dekoueneh (Metn). The system includes digital street maps that are connected to smart signs complete with barcode on each building to create a unique geographical address.

According to Abdallah Bsaibes, Chairman of Geo Spatial Minds, the company responsible for the implementing the digital mapping system, it is the first of its type in the country.

Dekoueneh is expected to be the first municipality to roll out the system.

“It will be implemented in six to 12 months,” said Antoine Chakhtoura, Mayor of Dekoueneh.

He said that primarily the system is being introduced to help visitors to the area to find their way around.

He said: “It will also help the municipality in billing procedures, in such areas as tax collection. It will support old and new staff in locating the buildings to which bills should be delivered and from where payment is to be collected. The process will be correct and efficient.”

According to the Mayor, the population of Dekoueneh is 105,000. There are 25,000 residential units in approximately 1,800 buildings, approximately 800-1000 offices, and 1,500 industrial buildings.

He said: “The district is crowded and comprises commercial, residential, and industrial areas.”

Bsaibes said: “Smart signage is not just the sign on the building, but it is the entire addressing system of a city.”

The sign on each building has a unique barcode that can be scanned using a mobile phone and sent to people trying to locate the building. The barcode immediately connects the user to Google Earth.

According to Bsaibes, the system provides more in-depth information than sending a Google location link, since the smart address system is able to determine if a block consists of several individual buildings and if roads are one-way access or not.

The cost to conduct a smart address system study, including street mapping, does not exceed $20,000, according to Bsaibes.

He said: “The real cost is in the signage, which is $20 per building. If a municipality contained 1,000 buildings, there would be an additional $20,000 to add on to the study costs.”

Geo Spatial Minds is working in partnership with Agev, a local company that manufacturers and imports all types of signs. The company will produce the building and street signs for the addressing system. It is the first time that it has produced smart signs.

Mtayleb has already conducted its study and is expected, according to Bsaibes, to be the next municipality to roll out the system. Jounieh and Zahleh are the biggest municipalities out of the five embarking on the program.
Reported by Derek Issacs
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Date Posted: Jul 17, 2017