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Mapping for modern times September 13, 2010

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in Calismalar (Studies), English, Haber (News).
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Forester Yeshi of the royal Manas national park (RMNP) will now use computer software applications, instead of topography sheets, to draw detailed and more accurate maps of the protected areas.

The forester from the range office in Umling was among the 23 foresters that attended a 10-day basic training on geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) at the park’s head office in Gelephu. The training ended yesterday.

The GPS provides reliable location and time information and the GIS can store, manage, analyse and present data linked to any particular location. Both systems are computer application tools used for survey and mapping.

“I’ll download GPS data recorded in the field and create maps with the help of GIS and position it in maps,” he said. “It’ll give me a clear-cut picture of the whole topography of the place I’ve been to.”

Forest officials, who attended the 10–day course that ended yesterday, told Kuensel that until now they had used GPS provided by the government to record data for trekking purposes and marking places. “We’d come back and manually draw maps by hand,” a forester said. “With GIS we’ll be able to provide better information about the park,” Yeshi said.

Twenty three foresters from RMNP, Phibsoo wildlife sanctuary and forest extension officers of Sarpang dzongkhag, were taught the basics to survey with GPS, use of GIS, and to transfer GPS data to GIS and produce maps. “We’re specifically focusing on protected areas, since the officials here have to use both GIS and GPS,” said the resource person, Phuntsho, from the forest resource development division (FRDD), adding that foresters use GPS to collect information in the field and GIS to design maps.

The RMNP manager, Tenzin Wangchuk, said that the training would help in proper planning and management of the park. “It will help in proper study of wildlife data record, habitat, change in habitat fragmentation and to survey and design,” he said.

A park ranger, who had trekked from Gomphu in Zhemgang to Manas and to Nganglam, told Kuensel that he is now planning to produce a trekking route. “I have GIS uploaded in my computer and I’ll work on it,” he said.

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