by Wilfried Gebhardt, GIZ-NEDA Caraga
The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Caraga Region, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management (COSERAM) Program of the Philippine-German Cooperation, further enhances the Caraga Regional Geographic Information System Network (RGISN) and strengthens the partnership of the different stakeholders in data sharing.
The Regional Geographical Information System Network (RGISN) is continuously enhancing its products and services. In order to the promote and maximize the actual use of its products and services, however, (potential) users need to be capacitated on the basic skills of Geographic Information Systems, including map creation.
It is for this purpose that recently, various stakeholders of the region participated in a series of RGISN technical trainings on (1) Basic Quantum GIS and (2) Applied Geo-tagging Tool for Project Monitoring.
(1) Basic Quantum GIS Training
Among various GIS-software, Quantum GIS is one of the most accessible as this is Open Source, very user friendly and may not require much financial resources. After these trainings, participants have learned basic utilization of Quantum GIS.
Participants came from the entire NEDA-Caraga Region, local government units (LGU) and regional line agencies (RLAs) that are members of the RGISN. The selection/prioritization of participants from member-institutions was based on results of the Training Needs Assessment conducted and on a first-come-first-serve basis.
(2) Trainings on Applied Geo-tagging Tool for Project Monitoring
Geo-tagging or Geo-location is marking a video, photo or other media with a concrete geographical point. Geo-tagging includes measuring distances, reading elevations, organizing and preserving photo documents and mapping out barangay profiles. It can also be used to create location-based news and media feeds by combining an application like Google Maps with geo-tagged blogs.
Products of Geo-tagging can also be used in the marketing and developing eco-tourism areas and the establishment of geo-hazard maps among others. This tool assures greater transparency in project implementation and therefore to capacitate the LGUs, regional Line Agencies (LAs) and other stakeholders in the Caraga Region in Geo-tagging.
The participants were able to grasp and apply the concepts through an actual Geo-tagging activity tagging in the field and are now able to coordinate the conduct of roll-out trainings in their respective Local Government Units through their Local Project Monitoring Committee (LPMC) and concerned Implementing Agencies.
Due to the high interest, it was decided to conduct two training batches for Quantum GIS software usage and three for Geo-tagging. Altogether, 143 participants from provincial-, municipal- and city LGUs, LAs and concerned NGOs, obtained basic skills in data analysis, mapping and data generation using user-friendly GIS software and Global Positioning System (GPS).
Guided by two Trainers from the Department of Geodetic Engineering, College of Engineering, UP Diliman, the participants conducted various lectures and laboratory work on data manipulation, analysis and mapping.
To foster commitment from training participants and to ensure that institutions, who are sending participants, are really in line with their offices obligations, a minimal registration fee has been charged.
These activities form part of the series of events conducted by the RDC and supported by GIZ to further capacitate the region’s hub of GIS-based data. Similar trainings in additional GIS-software, namely ArcGIS and Manifold GIS, are planned.
The RDC as the administrator of the RGISN will secure overall policy directions to the network, act on issues or problems that may arise from the conduct of activities of the network, provide logistical support, establish and update regional database, manage facilities, and facilitate the data sharing.