Friday 13 May 2016

Catching up with the Geospatial Revolution

Br Dr Catherine V Nnamani, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria, and Sylvia Ankamah, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana
Cohort 2 CIRCLE Visiting Fellows 
Dr Catherine V Nnamani and Sylvia Ankamah at the GIS and RS Training Course

The Induction Workshop in Kenya for CIRCLE Cohort 2 Fellows made us understand the importance of integrating and taking advantage of training programs at our Host Institutions. The experience gained from the reports presented by Cohort 1 Fellows spurred us on to attend a two week training course on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). The training was an eye opener on what a researcher can do, enjoy and achieve with GIS. It was amazing, enriching and has built our capacity.

The training was organized by Space Applications and the Environmental Science Laboratory at the African Centre of Excellence in Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. It is a World Bank Program/Flagship for collaborative research and development, and an innovation platform aimed at addressing Africa’s challenges relating to agriculture, environment, health, security, welfare, housing, disaster, transportation and industry using Satellite Spatial Data.

Dr Catherine V Nnamani and Sylvia Ankamah, CIRCLE Fellows digitalizing the RASTER and Vector features of Osogbo Map
Knowing where and why things are located on the surface of the earth, their distributions and the patterns they create, as well as their dynamics are vital for sustainability and conservation. GIS is pertinent to almost all human activity regarding space. In today’s globalized world, where climate variability and change is increasing, and where people seek to make everything easier, we need GIS to simplify spatial and temporal analysis. About 90% of our daily decisions hinge on the question ‘where’. GIS brings the world to our palms, enabling us to make informed decisions about spatial issues. It makes evident patterns in life, distributions and activities, thus helping in the location of phenomena and giving insight into the dynamics of such phenomena. It aids in understanding the relationship between the physical and human environment, making easier the expressions of such relationships in maps and visual forms using satellite spatial data. GIS could be applied in many different aspects of Human and Environmental issues (Fig. 1).

Fig 1: Application of GIS in different aspects of human and environmental issues.
The major aim of the training was to make environmental research easier, faster and timely by engaging individuals and companies whose activities have impacted, or have the potential to impact, the environment. The training was specifically focused on the basic concept of Geographic Information System, GIS Software’s, Primitive Spatial Analysis, Spatial Data Models and Map Design. Through the training our skills and capacity were enhanced in the following areas: 

  • How to manage and process environmental data from varied sources using raster/vector features, scripting, geoprocessing tools, cartography and projections.
  • We can now handle spatial analysis answering queries of accessibility, proximity and conservation using attribute features in AcrGIS
  • We can produce distributional maps of our study areas for our CIRCLE research.
  • Most importantly we want to share the good news that we were able to launch our first DRONE that captured spatial data on OAU, our Host Institution.

Our Joy knows no bound for participating in this training


Dr Catherine V Nnamani and Sylvia Ankamah are CIRCLE Visiting Fellows, currently hosted at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Clara, I hope your research is going on well?

  2. Good job guys, I bet that was fun. I enjoy GIS and all its applications. Greetings

  3. Phylis, Thanks for your wonderful comments. It was really fun, educative and innovative in my field of research. I utilized it for my sample collection. Regards