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EU provides GIS training for Solomon Island residents

Solomon Islands is among the first Pacific Island countries to have benefited from a two-week training that focuses on digital image enhancement and GIS Backdrop Production and Utilization.

The European Union funded training, which was conducted by a specialist from the Suva-based SOPAC, focuses on image enhancement and digitised mapping using two softwares namely Erdas and MapInfo.

According to Dr Wolf Forstreuter, who has conducted the two weeks course, the training is aimed to better equipped local participants in their mapping work using computers which is essential for planning. Explaining the use of the two softwares, Dr Forstreuter said that pictures are being sought from the QiuckBird Satellite, which has the strength to take picture at a scale of 1:5000, downloaded into the computer and then local specialist can manipulate with the photos.

In the first of the two courses, it has enabled the participants to produce and utilise GIS backdrops, which are images imported to a GIS. While, the second course trained the participants to enhance the contrast of the images, which improves the capability of knowledge to Solomon Islands.

The European Union not only financed the training through the current SOPAC-EU Project but also funded image data for Solomon Islands.

There is complete coverage of all outer islands at 1:50,000 scale level recorded from the Landsat satellite with high spectral content, which not only covers the visible portion, but also the near, short wave and mid infrared. For selected areas high-resolution satellite image data was provided, which has quality like aerial photographs. The spatial resolution image recorded from space by the QuickBird satellite is 60cm palm and other vegetation can be separated by the texture.

The image data will be freely distributed to all GIS users in Solomon Islands to improve and decentralise the GIS mapping capability. Image data and training is part of a SOPAC-EU Project, which assists in GIS establishment and improvement as a contribution for better management to reduce the vulnerability of Pacific Island countries. The participants were presented with two certificates each for the two weeks course.