IRLOGI African Volunteer Sponsorship Programme 2013

Wed 23rd Oct 2013

IRLOGI African Volunteer Sponsorship Programme

Congratulations to Orla McManus who has sadly left us, but has been selected onto the IRLOGI Africa Geographical Information Volunteer Scheme to take up a position as a Geographical Information Volunteer. Orla took up her 12 week placement on 30 th September and will be based out of Nairobi, Kenya, working for the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD). The RCMRD is an intergovernmental organisation made up of 19 member states covering Eastern and Southern Africa, which strives to become a centre of excellence in the provision of Geo-Information services and to promote sustainable development.

We are fortunate enough to have heard from Orla during her first few weeks working out of the RCMRD and she has provided us with a brief blog of the work she has been doing out there.

I have contributed to two Remote Sensing projects at the RCMRD over the past two weeks. The first project was called ‘Rapid Land Cover Mapper’ and was carried out for a private company. This project involved determining the crop yield of Rwanda and Burkina Faso using GeoEye satellite imagery with a resolution of 0.5 metres. The Rapid Land Cover Mapper application for ArcMap was downloaded from the U.S. Geological Survey. It generates a grid of dots overlaying the image which are classified in accordance with the type of land use the dot covers. These grids will be converted to Raster data in order to ascertain levels of food security in the respective areas.

The second project is based on Urban Planning and involves the mapping of Mbabane, the capital city of Swaziland. The Swaziland Government has requested an update to the 2003 dataset for future urban planning. This update uses ArcMap to view the 0.5 metre Resolution Multispectral imagery. The categories for digitising include; Land Use/Land Cover of which there are sub-categories such as vegetation, water body, open space and bare area; Buildings; Transport Network and Drainage. The Government require 12 other areas to be mapped but this will be carried out by two government staff members who have been trained at the RCMRD.

I hope you will all join me in wishing Orla the best of luck during her remaining time in Kenya and we look forward to hearing more from her to see how she is progressing out there. For anyone interested in finding more information about the RCMRD and the work they do, check out their website.