Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) Centre has continued rolling out the strategic plan 2019-2022 and is involving member States through member States and stakeholders engagement. This is aimed at enhancing stakeholder engagement and increasing relevance to stakeholders by raising the RCMRD profile.
This week July 8 to 12, 2019 RCMRD is hosting a one week training on Open Source Tools, Data and Applications. The training was officially opened by Acting PS Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, Kingdom of Eswatini Mr. Dumsani Mngomezulu.
Mr. Mngomezulu the acting PS thanked the RCMRD for selecting the Kingdom of Eswatini to host the Open Source Tools, Data and Applications workshop. "The Kingdom of Eswatini joined the Centre in 1981 and has ever since cherished the benefits of being a contracting Member State. It is for this reason the Ministryof Natural Resources and Energy is humbled by the opportunity to assit in hosting this training on Open Source Tools, Data and Applications." He went on to say that for every country, Geospatial Information is the key underlying support in the planning and development of the economies. "May I express my gratitude to the Centre for organizing this workshop for the Southern African Countries as it will provide the participants with: Capability to pre-process and analyse remote sensing data, use open source tools in analysis of GIS and remote sensing data, build institutional linkages of participating institutions as well as technical capacities."
Countries represented are: Eswatini Kingdom, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Additionally, the PS said the use of open source applications provides an opportunity to institutions, which may not have resources to purchase proprietary software to capture, process and analyse their data at no cost. "Proprietary software requires maintenance costs that may not be easily justifiable at times." In attendance is Mr. Sydney Simelane the Surveyor General and member of RCMRD's Governing Council, Mr. Paul Idude the Director of Common Services at RCMRD. The facilitators are RCMRD's Data Office Experts Mr. Abdi Gedi and Mr. Eric Ng'ang'a. Others are Mr. Byron Anangwe the Business Development and Marketing Officer and Ms. Dorah Nesoba Communications and Outreach Expert.
GIS are systems that are designed to capture, store, check, and display data that is related to positions on the Earth’s surface. GIS technology can be used to show many types of geographical data on the map in order to enable people observe, analyze, and understand various patterns as well as their relationships. For example, using GIS, you can include a map that shows sites with the highest pollution or sites that are sensitive to pollution. The course involved a mix of one on one presentations, web based tutorials, group discussions, and practical exercises. It also enabled participants to map their data with open source GIS: explored GIS tools, learnt concepts and terminology of spatial analysis, learnt how to analyze data, symbolize data and make their own maps, how to work with projections, vectorial and raster data among others.
It also allowed participants to create, edit, view and publish geographic information under QGIS - an open source geographic information system (GIS) software,they were also tutored on how to use QGIS software to perform GIS tasks that solve spatial problems. The trainees also interacted with Remote Sensing, Satellite Sensors, Data Acquisition Platforms like USGS Earth explorer, RCMRD MODIS receiver Data Pre-processing MODIS Data Pre-Processing and projection and format conversion Layer stacking Data Visualization, Flood Detection processing Sentinel-2 and Data Pre-Processing. The increasing freedom of GIS technologies would mean that they can be utilized in nearly every area imaginable and also by individuals from all areas of life. With sufficient education, both non-GIS and GIS experts can reap far more advantages and notice the enormous applicability of GIS solutions in life that is daily. GIS is perfect for those working in e-government, e-science fields, and e-business.