In September 2015 I had the honor and privilege of teaching a five day course on open source geospatial tools as a visiting lecturer at the University of Mauritius. I had met the Dean of the Department of Ocean Studies that February and liked her instantly. She was doing great things for the University and the department, and I was excited at the prospect of becoming a part of such a dynamic team. After a short talk at the University in March 2015 about using open source tools for mapping, the Dean and I collaborated on a short course in GIS for professionals.
Through a partnership with the Adaptation Fund and the Ministry of Environment, we had full enrollment with 27 participants from both the public and private sectors. There were a few people already using GIS in their work, and many others learning about mapping for the first time. The basic requirement for the course was knowledge of how to save files and unzip folders in a Windows OS. The course was designed to familiarize participants with the many features in QGIS and other open source tools. Participants learned how to create new GIS data, edit data, find and use open data, manage plugins, convert data from one format to another, and symbolize it on a map. They were introduced to cloud-based mapping resources including CartoDB, editing in OpenStreetMap and collecting data in Field Papers. Since the Adaptation Fund was involved and their focus is climate change, I included an exercise on mapping low-lying areas for analyzing coastal sea level rise. All but one student made it through the entire course and this was due to pressures from her employer. A full course report is available here.
Highlights included a day out mapping the campus for OSM and two drone operating sessions, and one day even demonstrated how drones recover from crashing into faculty buildings, and then how to race across the quad and onto a building to retrieve it... Despite the crash (the drone suffered only minor injuries), it was an inspiring experience and I hope to get the chance to repeat the course at University of Mauritius and other universities around the world.
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference & a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born.
Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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