Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements, recently held a short-term program Working with Digital Maps – Leveraging the Power of GIS. The course was held from 11th May to 13th May 2012 in Bengaluru.
IIHS puts together unique learning experiences for learners by looking at comprehensive frameworks for complex urbanisation challenges, practica based learning, and team teaching done by academics and practitioners.
The Course was conducted by Dr. H. S. Sudhira, Faculty and Head of Geospatial Lab, IIHS. Armed with independent research expertise, Dr. H. S. Sudhira works on a host of domains including sustainable ecosystems and liveable settlements. Arun Ganesh, User Experience Designer – Wikimedia Foundation, and an advocate of open geographic data and free information was the guest faculty. Associates of the Geospatial Lab, IIHS - Siva, Rashmi, Priya, and Shashi (played the role of Teaching Assistants during the course.
Across the span of the 3-day course, the learners were given an understanding of GIS basics and were encouraged to apply the skills-set through hands on work on datasets that are of interest to them. Learners were also given exposure to the various free-and-open-source mapping applications such as Quantum GIS, JOSM, TileMill etc., collected data using Global Positioning System (GPS) loggers and used web-based mash ups to create custom maps.
Sharing his experience with the second batch of GIS learners, Dr. H. S. Sudhira said, “We designed this program almost like a boot camp where people brought in their data and got an opportunity to work with the GIS applications. I am glad that this structure worked and the learners got a head start in using GIS applications in their area of work. It was also good to see participation from Government, NGOs, IT Professionals, and Architects. The varied background of learners and the fact that learners from places like Pune and Raichur participated, shows the growing awareness of GIS as a critical tool in different professions. I enjoyed interacting with such an engaged set of learners.”
Also sharing highlights from the course, guest faculty, Arun Ganesh said “GIS and cartography are domains which have always been highly technical and out of the reach of the common person. Instructing on these topics at the IIHS short GIS course has been a personal challenge for me to see if it’s possible to transfer knowledge gained over years of experience to somebody new to the field in a span of a few hours. By the end of the day when you start seeing participants use open source GIS technologies with confidence and are no longer lost in a sea of jargons and questions, you know it’s been a successful workshop. For me, maps have always been fun and such workshops give people the chance to experience that fun by putting the world in their hands, quite literally.”
Each of the 20 learners received a certificate for the successful completion of the course. The course helped them to make use of volunteered geographic information and incorporate them in GIS applications as per their requirements.
Sridhar A - “It was surely an informative session. Great knowledgeable faculty!”
D. R. Achyutha - “This course is informative for us to work on in our own field. The total team effort is very good.”
Sandeep Sinha - “The practica sessions were good. I especially liked WebGIS and Mash ups.”
For more information, please visit event website www.iihs.co.in or contact:
Priscilla May D'Souza
Flat no B1, “SPL Habitat”,
No.138, Gangadhar Chetty Road,
Ulsoor, Bangalore 560042
Tel: +91.80.41133277 Ext - 26
Mobile: (+91). 9663021035