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Israeli tech saves the government of Cyprus


Few people know, that after the bail-out crisis of 2013, when thousands of house mortgages and property taxes remained unpaid, Cyprus was saved from bankruptcy by an unexpected hero in the face of the Tel-Aviv based Ofek Air and their unique aerial photography project.

Ofek Air is one of the world's leading companies when it comes to GIS technology. According to the managing director of Ofek Air, Udi Friedlander, their strategic mission comprises of creating detailed media maps of various cities and towns in Israel as well as in other countries. The maps are supported by the information about pretty much every single existing building: addresses, phone numbers, organisations that operate on the given premises, etc. Additional perks of Ofek Air include the proactive utilization of 3D cameras and photo-laser Lider, which was developed in-house and patented internationally.

In 2013, when the government of Cyprus was facing financial difficulties, caused by proprietors' credit payback debts and delays with real estate tax payments, the absence of the integrated database was increasing the severity of the situation. It was then, that the cabinet of the republic decided to outsource the experts in GIS, who happened to be Ofek Air. In less than three months, under Mr. Friedlander's guidance all possible buildings in Cyprus were plotted on the digital map and every house, office, apartment, restaurant or any other property, were enabled to be checked on their “innocence” before the law. All that was needed was to mouse-click on the object and use the obtained exact address to search it through the existing tables for debtors provided by the ministry of finance.

The application of this new technology resulted in an astonishing effect: in just under two years Cyprus was capable to gather most of the assets due and satisfy the country's obligations before the International Monetary Fund. This benchmark event is already having a positive influence on Cyprus economy as a whole and property sector in particular.

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