Story written by Patrick Kabatha of RCMRD/SERVIR.
SERVIR-Eastern and Southern Africa has recently generated several new data products and services for a variety of purposes and geographic locations. These products and services are important to diverse users in RCMRD member states and beyond.
For these reasons, SERVIR-Eastern and Southern Africa developed a geoportal based on an open source Content Management System for GIS (GeoNode – http://geonode.org). The geoportal is intended to be used as a regional Spatial Data Infrastructure portal for Eastern and Southern Africa, serving all RCMRD member states. It will be linked to other regional and country GIS data portals to publicize it and enhance its usefulness within the region.
This system enables development of online maps using GeoExplorer -- a simple web application for composing and publishing maps -- among other functionalities. The geoportal also facilitates publishing maps and reports in common formats such as PDF, JPEG, PNG, Excel, Word etc. The system can host and serve raster and vector file formats, publishing them using Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard interfaces. It also supports metadata development and publishing meeting international geospatial documentation standards (i.e., ISO, FGDC, Dublin Core, etc.).
Currently the geoportal contains 308 GIS data layers, 72 documents files, and 10 map layers. RCMRD will continue to add information as new datasets are generated. All RCMRD SERVIR project products, in addition to base GIS layers such as boundary, roads, rivers, and settlements for all RCMRD member states, can be visualized and accessed from here. Significant thematic layers include land cover maps created to support greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories for 9 RCMRD member states, the Lake Victoria basin land cover from 1985 – 2014, and country-level 30-meter resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM).
Example of datasets in RCMRD Geoportal
Since January 2015, the geoportal has received 3,138 users with an average of about 88% new users and 12.2% returning users. Some individual data sets, such as Nzoia Basin Flood Map 4.2m Depth, have been viewed over 200 times since their upload in 20 April 2015, while most land cover data sets have received about 100 views per data layer on average.
To access and use the portal, visit http://geoportal.rcmrd.org/.