Free satellite imagery and DEM analyses enabling natural resource management in the developing world.

Decentralisation of governance, natural resource management and development planning is an ongoing process in many parts of South-East Asia, Latin America and Africa. Good evidence-based planning requires spatial land resource and infrastructure data; however, currently the financial and human capacity for mapping, monitoring and modelling remain low in local and provincial governments across South East Asia. This often results in this analysis being conducted by external experts that lacks local context and fails to address local concerns, leading to outputs often being misunderstood and/or ignored by local planners. Building local capacity for understanding and using satellite images and elevation data allows the incorporation of local knowledge. This then adds authority and legitimacy to the local understanding of development issues and allows critical assessments of data and planning recommendations generated by external assessments. We address the current capacity gap by developing comprehensive and locally contextualised training material for new free geospatial analysis software tools, data and access portals thus enabling those with governance power and deep local knowledge to utilise space technology for improved planning outcomes. This training, by removing barriers to uptake, provides a means of decentralising landscape analysis skills to improve local natural resource management. Described in this presentation are case studies from eastern Indonesia of decentralised applications of sophisticated modelling and remote sensing tools. Further to this described are the comprehensive FOSS4G multi-media and bilingual training materials created to date for Indonesia and Northern Australia and on-going work in Latin America.

Presentation type: Full length
Session: FOSS4G Adoption


Rohan Fisher

Rohan Fisher is an Information Technology for Development researcher at Charles Darwin University and for the last 15 years his work has focused on capacity building and geospatial applications for natural resource management and health information visualisation in Eastern Indonesia and Northern Australia. As part of this work Rohan has developed comprehensive FOS geospatial training material with a focus on using SAGA-GIS for decentralising capacity in remote sensing and terrain analysis. This material has been translated into Indonesian and is currently used by people in over 90 countries.around the world.