This Act concerns a system of geospatial data collection and storage for the Bahamas. It establishes the Bahamas National Geographic Information Systems Centre, the Geospatial Advisory Council and the Bahamas Spatial Data Infrastructure Program. The Centre shall, among other things, serve as the Government's technical focal point for the collection and management of geospatial data on The Bahamas. It shall also ensure that the Bahamas Spatial Data Infrastructure (BSDI) assists policy-making in relation to policies and activities that may have a direct or indirect impact on the environment. BSDI shall comprise the national technical, institutional and policy framework for access, exchange and use of spatial information for the purposes of: (a) community environmental policies; and (b) policies or activities which may have an impact on the environment.
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Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking, and investment management. Because of its location, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.