GIS, Imagery, Mapping

Training Workshop: A Basic Introduction to QGIS, GPS and Drone Mapping

In collaboration with the Montserrat National Trust and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), LRR Geospatial Consultancy provided a 2-day basic introductory course on QGIS, GPS and Drone Mapping to 19 participants from diverse backgrounds to include persons working in the field of agriculture, biodiversity conservation, environmental protection and land surveying.

On Day 1, the participants were given a brief overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its components. They learnt about the visualization and data consolidation capabilities that a GIS provides and the major differences between a map and a GIS.

Delving into the opensource software, QGIS, participants were given a step by step guide on:

  1. The user interface of QGIS
  2. Loading Vector Layers
  3. Navigating the Map Canvas
  4. Symbolization and Labelling
  5. Digitizing an existing feature
  6. Creating New Vector Data
Training Material Provided

Day 2 focused on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and drone mapping covering the following topics:

  1. Introduction to GPS and Terrasync Software
  2. Field Data Collection
  3. Loading GPS Points into QGIS
  4. Layout and Exporting Maps
  5. An Introduction to Drone Mapping

Participants learnt that GPS, developed by the United States Department of Defense is only one of four Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). GLONASS which was developed by Russia, Galileo which was developed by the EU and BeiDou which was developed by China make up the other three Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

After being introduced to the software, and given tips for optimal data collection, participants were then challenged to collect a list of spatial data (points, lines and polygons), from the beautiful botanical gardens of the Montserrat National Trust using the Garmin etrex 30x and the Trimble Geo7x.

Map of the Botanical Gardens
Montserrat National Trust Botanical Gardens

Participants also learnt about the four major types of drones and were further engaged with videos and explanations about the Delair UX11, a fixed wing drone and how it is used for spatial data collection.

Holding the Delair UX11 Fixed Wing Drone

Participants are now better positioned to create, collect and share spatial data.

Participants on the course

If you are interested in learning more about this course or how GIS can help you in your work, contact LRR Geospatial Consultancy via email at lavern@lavernrogersryan.com. Visit our website at www.lavernrogersryan.com.

You can also submit a message using the form below.

Disaster Risk Reduction, GIS, Mapping

COVID-19: Using Geospatial Resources to Understand the Potential Impact on Our Communities.

On Tuesday March 17, 2020 with a cancelled celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Montserrat received the dreaded news of its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus COVID-19. For many of us that is when the gravity of this situation hit home, literally!

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), in their press release (http://www.gov.ms/first-case-of-new-coronavirus-covid-19-confirmed-in-montserrat/), reminded members of the public to adhere to the following risk mitigation measures:

  1. Refrain from public gatherings
  2. Maintain social distance and
  3. Wash hands regularly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer.
  4. Limit non-essential travel

In addition, to the guidelines provided above, the utilization of geospatial services and resources can help prepare, manage and deliver an effective response to COVID-19.

President of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Jack Dangermond in a letter addressed to its users, highlighted some steps that can be followed in order to understand the potential impact that COVID-19 can have on our community. Five are outlined below:

  1. Map the Cases – map confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries in order to identify where COVID-19 infections exist and have occurred.
  2. Map the Spread – Time enabled maps can reveal how infections spread over time and where interventions can be targeted.
  3. Map Vulnerable Populations – Mapping factors such as social vulnerability and age can help monitor risk groups
  4. Map Capacity to Respond – Map health facilities, medical resources and employees to understand and respond to potential impacts of COVID-19.
  5. Communicate with Maps – Use interactive webmaps, dashboard apps and story maps to help communicate the situation.

Communication with maps have already been used worldwide to map COVID-19. Webmaps, dashboards and story maps help to visualize the evolving situation.

The dashboard app below, powered by GeoTechVision (https://www.geotechvision.com/) shows the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. It highlights infections, fatalities and most importantly recoveries.

In an effort to amalgamate information related to COVID-19 in one location, the Government of Montserrat created the Montserrat Coronavirus Response Data Hub: https://montserrat-covid-19-response-data-hub-montserratgis.hub.arcgis.com/. Within the site there is also a dashboard which gives relevant data on the current covid-19 statistics for the island.

The story map below details the origins of COVID-19 and gives an account of its geographic spread in an easy to read interactive dialogue.

Communication through map-based dashboards and story maps such as these offers accessible information to people in our communities and around the world eager to protect themselves. These tools improves data transparency and helps authorities disseminate information quickly and effectively.

Lavern Rogers-Ryan is a geospatial consultant specialising in disaster risk management and recovery. She is currently head of the GIS Centre within the Government of Montserrat. Learn more about geospatial services in disasters at www.lavernrogersryan.com.