Workshops 2011

Posted on Posted in Announcement

The following Workshops planned so far:

Introduction to ILWIS

ILWIS stands for “Integrated Land and Water Information System” which is a free open source GIS software .This one is the world’s most user-friendly integrated software with raster processing capabilities to work on remotely sensed satellite images as well as vector data processing capabilities for making vector maps. There are also numerous spatial modeling abilities of this software. It’s fully integrated raster and vector approach with user-friendliness that makes it particularly suitable for GIS Professionals,Urban Planners, Natural Resources Managers, Field Scientists, Biologists, Ecologists, and so on.

The workshop will be a session of 2/3 hours accompanied by lectures and exercises. The successful participants would be acquainted with basic tools and techniques of geo-processing through hands on training with this powerful software.

Key Features of the Software:

  1. Free open source software available for downloading by anyone
  2. Vector and Raster data processing are integrated into one package with very rich documentation and tutorial data
  3. Some of the greatest selections of import and export modules of widely used data formats
  4. Comprehensive set of image processing tools
  5. Advanced modeling and spatial data analysis
  6. 3D visualization with interactive editing for optimal view findings
  7. Rich projection and coordinate system library
  8. Geo-statistical analyses, with Kriging for improved interpolation.

Strategic Process Management for Introducing GIS

In this workshop a concrete path for the introduction of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in public agencies or private companies will be introduced.

The whole process consists of ten different phases, starting with the initialization and ending with the productive usage of the system. Aspects of the strategic planning of the institution are presented, as well as requirement analysis, and conceptual database modelling and conceptualization of the IT infrastructure. Based on these findings information products are described and assigned to specific organisational units. In a cost-benefit-analysis different categories of benefits which can be accrued by introducing GIS are taken into account. A methodology of assessing monetary benefits for all information products is presented.

By a call for tender the system introduction is announced to possible vendors. Further steps like evaluation of submitted offers and testing of offered systems prepare the final decision.

By data import and usage of interoperable services the GIS starts its operational use.

Python in three hours

The use of Python as a programming language is increasing rapidly, also in Geoinformatics. Python offers a perfect replacement of former programming languages
with added advantage! It is not only stable and independent from the operating system used, it is also a dynamic and flexible programming language.
Additionally, Python can be used for web-programming, programming of Graphical User Interfaces as well as for complex programming and geoprocessing tasks.

How useful this relatively new programming language can be, shall be demonstrated using different examples.

Note: A basic understanding of programming is assumed. If any special help is required, this can be given in a general lecture in the morning.

From GPS-geodata collection to Web based visualization

The GPS-space segment is currently in a renewing process, the first generation satellites will be replaced until 2012 with remodeled satellites providing advanced technical features and an increased reliability in terms of the on board clocks. This will increase the geo-location accuracy for all GPS signal users. The ground segment, e.g. handheld receivers, public navigation tools and professional surveying equipment benefits from newly designed GPS-receiving chips. An important public and scientific task is the mapping of objects in a scale range according to the typical GPS accuracy, which is usually about +- 5m. Openstreetmap data collection and medium scale geodata mapping (~ 1:10.000) for land use land cover documentation and as a digital planning source, are typical applications. Using the new GPS chips, a more accurate and an increased reliability of the GPS signal can be achieved. SirfStar III (, a 20 channel, low cost chip has been introduced in 2006 and lead to a push especially for the sector of public handheld receivers. Recently presented multi-channel chips now offer the ability to receive the GPS signal with 50+ bands. With more satellite signals available for the calculation of the geo-position, the precise determination of the actual position is possible. A dense forest canopy layer or urban canyons for example affect the GPS signal negatively.

In this workshop several brand new, low cost GPS receivers will be introduced, ranging from blue tooth GPS mice in combination with smartphones (Android; Windows Mobile OS) to classical handheld receivers (Garmin). Those are all low cost developments and have been proofed intensely for field geo-data collection. Within this workshop we will perform a field campaign, collecting our own geodata in the Kenyatta University surroundings. Later we will transfer the geodata and we will store it in an internet-based geo-db. Finally the geodata will be prepared with a special set of programs for the presentation as an OGC conform Web Map Service with an appropriate symbolization.

Atlas making and atlas reading – What are the skills required?

Atlases from a suitable means for communicating complex and large amounts of spatial information and are generally considered a higher form of cartography (Kraak & Ormeling, 2001). As a final product of the BIOTA East Africa project such a printed atlas was produced with two thirds of its 1000 copies having been distributed in Kenya and Uganda. In the first part the workshop provides insights in the atlas making process and its challenges covering the conceptualizing phase, the actual realization of atlas content, and finally the printing. The second part is dedicated to the working with the atlas. Here we learn what kind of questions the atlas can answer and how it thus contributes to environmental education, decision making, and research.

Quantum GIS

Quantum GIS (QGIS, is the most popular open source desktop GIS
software which is driven by a very active community of developers, documenters, translators and users. QGIS is
developed in C++ and distributed under GPL open source license which allows users to freely distribute and
modify the features of the software. QGIS can handle almost all the vector and raster data formats
including the spatial databases like PostgreSQL, SpatiaLite etc. Additional functionalities to QGIS are
offered by plugins which is developed in Python programming language. There are hundreds of plugins
available for QGIS free to all downloadable from different repositories. Some of the interesting plugins

  • fTools: Vector geo processing
  • GDAL tools: Raster processing
  • OGR converter: Conversion between different data formats
  • Open layers plugin: Adding Different API’s like Google Maps, Yahoo Maps
  • OGR2Layers: converting from a OGR format layer to Openlayers page –creating a simple webGIS based on Openlayers.
  • WFS layer: support according to OGC WFS specification
  • PostGIS manger: extract data from PostGIS with SQL queries
  • Open Street Map plugin: Download and upload data to OSM
  • Mapserver export: exporting an OGR layer to map file to be used in UMN mapserver.

In this workshop we will be focusing on some of the exotic plugins and functionalities of QuantumGIS giving an emphasis to accessing different webservices like OSM, OGC services, spatial databases, SLD creation and creating a simple openlayers page with controls etc.

An Introduction to Ecological Niche Modelling Using DIVA GIS

  • Introduction to Species Environment Relationship
  • Concept of Niche: Fundamental niche and Realized Niche
  • Environmental Variables which determines the species survival
  • Ecological Niche modelling/habitat suitability mapping/Species distribution modelling
  • Application of GIS in modelling the distribution of species
  • Introducing DIVA GIS
  • Data collection( Bioclimatic data and species presence data)
  • Modelling methodology and practicing
  • Data interpretation and evaluation
  • Application of ecological niche modelling in Biodiversity Conservation

Sample data and training manual can be downloaded from the DIVA’s website.

Above Ground Biomass Estimation, based on Remote Sensing Methods for CDM and REDD+

The UNFCCC Conference in Bali in 2007 established the political framework for the policy process “Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries” (REDD). Participating parties confirmed the urgent need to take further action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and adopted a work program for further methodological work. That program focuses on assessments of changes in forest cover and associated greenhouse gas emissions, methods to demonstrate reductions of emissions from deforestation and the estimation of the amount of emission reductions from deforestation. REDD itself is considered to be an important component of a future climate change regime beyond 2012, in terms of mitigation and adaptation. In this way, REDD can be seen as a tool not just for mitigating climate change, but also for conserving biodiversity and a range of ecosystem services of global and local interest.

The objective of the proposed workshop is to get familiar with remote sensing based methods, which are suitable to assess and monitor deforestation and forest degradation and correlate it with biomass measurements on the ground. The method proposed in this workshop, delivers statistics and maps on forest area, forest area changes, biomass, carbon stock and their respective changes on multi-temporal basis applying optical data such as Landsat-7 ETM+, SPOT or others. Results generated by this method can serve as a basis for the baseline assessment required by REDD. The proposed workshop will include a brief introduction of LCCS (Land Cover Classification System), developed by the FAO as an appropriate classification scheme for REDD. Alternative remote sensing approaches of direct biomass assessment for REDD by applying SAR should be discussed in this context as well.

Implementing OGC conformant webservices using PostGIS and GeoServer

Using Web Services in Desktop-GIS – Requirements for Replacing Local Data

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