introducing Chris Legg
jgarnett at refractions.net
Wed Apr 5 14:21:40 EDT 2006
Legg, Chris (IITA) wrote:
> Hello OSGEO listers,
> I am Christopher Legg, and I manage the Geospatial lab at the
> International Institute for Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan Nigeria (so
> I will not be coming to the JUGSA meeting). The IITA works throughout
> sub-Saharan Africa, with offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin Republic,
> DRC, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, and the
> Geospatial Lab supports agricultural research work in these countries
> by preparing base-maps, carrying out targeting studies, and mapping
> data collected by scientists. We use ESRI and ENVI software for GIS
> and RS respectively, and maintain as comprehensive a collection as
> possible of geospatial data of Africa, including the complete African
> Landsat 1990 and 2000 archives.
> I have been in GIS and remote sensing since 1984, starting with using
> Intergraph, then moving to ESRI (Unix ArcInfo, then ArcView, recently
> ArcGIS). I have worked in GIS in the Middle East, Britain, Sri Lanka,
> Indonesia, Cameroon and Nigeria, initially as a geologist and later on
> renewable resources.
> My interest in OS GIS is mainly from the point of view of wider
> dissemination of GIS technology to users who cannot afford commercial
> systems. In IITA we have enough commercial licences (ESRI gives us a
> substantial discount) for internal use, but we are often asked to run
> training programmes for staff from African research institutes and
> universities. There is little point in training someone to use
> software which they cannot afford to buy, so I am looking for low-cost
> or freeware software, and OS could be an option. Up to now I have
> experimented with DIVA, a GIS (raster and vector) package developed
> within the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
> (CGIAR), of which IITA is a part. This is not strictly Open Source,
> but is a very powerful suite, and free to use. I am open to other
> possibilities, but I am not really a developer, more a user.
Sweet! Diva GIS is actually based on uDig, they have a website here:
As far as I know they are open source - as their source is sitting in
our community repository. If anyone else needs to set up a "udig
powered" application it is very easy to get
access to version control.
> I welcome any comments and suggestions.
One big thing you can do is take part, for many of us working on these
projects our first experience in working through some of the issues
faced in Africa is
via our email lists. Admittedly a couple NGOs have visited, but online
conferences like this one (http://miles.asmoz.org/) have more effect.
More information about the Africa