Between October 23 and October 26 2012 the SCOPES workshop 2012 was held at the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek. Main topic of the workshop was within the scope of Spatial Data Infrastructure.
Following universities and organizations were participating:
|First approach of an ER model for soil sampling developed during the workshop|
The following topics were covered during the workshop:
|Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)||Basics and concepts defining a SDI; institutional and technical approaches; possible levels of implementations.|
|Quantum GIS||Current stable version of Quantum GIS; new and useful plugins; hands-on training.|
|Data modeling||Principals of Entity Relationship (ER) Models; advantages and disadvantages of database approaches; examples and developing of data models based on own datasets.|
|Coordinate systems||Introduction into the EPSG database as reference for most of the coordinate reference systems in use; implementation of the EPSG database in ArcGIS and QGIS.|
|Meta data||Definition of meta data; standards used; tools for capturing and maintaining of meta data; retrieving information from data catalogues on the web.|
|Web services||Introducing to the different dialects of OGC web services such as WMS, WFS, WCS and CSW; accessing services through GIS desktop applications.|
|Open Street Map (OSM)||Concept of crowdsourcing projects; main differences of the data structure between OSMand GIS; concept of collaborative workflows; hands-on training in simultaneously data capturing.|
For all participants, and lecturer, the four days of workshop were very intense and successful. The program tried to cover a few specific topics of Spatial Data Infrastructure in relation with the specific needs in the Central Asian context.
During the month of August, the office of GeoIdee.ch was moved from Dushanbe (Tajikistan) to Berne (Switzerland).
The new address is:
GeoIdee, Yvo Weidmann
Mobile +41 79 648 59 83
During the last three years, I had the great pleasure to work on interesting and exciting projects in Tajikistan and Switzerland. The list of projects gives a nice overview of all the activities during this period.
Here some few impressions of the last three years of working activities:
Authors at GISCA'11
Field work at TSDWP
Risk and hazard maps
GIS at work
Work can be fun
Distributed project team
GIS keeps you warm
Conference in Dushanbe
Mapping workshop in Baljuvon
Workshop about legal issues of GIS
I would like to thanks all the clients and their staff for their confidence and cooperation (list in alphabetic order):
Based on the results of the workshop about thematic mapping in Baljuvon a complete set of land-use and pasture management maps for over 30 individual watershed were produced for the natural resource management project of Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. (WHH) in Southern Tajikistan.
As input for the maps the GoogleEarth-based digitized data layers were converted into a collection of several shapefiles. The attributes of the shapefiles were previously designed for the usage of the Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. (WHH) project in the three project regions of Southern Tajikistan. The shapefiles are containing polygons such as pasture areas or areas with limiting factors like landslides or gullies. Other point geometry based files are containing individual water points or pasture related constructions.
The individual geometries are connected by key values to the project database. The project database provides additional information of each watershed like population, livestock or trainings provided.
The data are represented in two different maps sets:
Each mach exists in a version with a satellite image and grey-scale Soviet topographic map as background information.
|Current land use||Pasture management|
The standardized map cover sheet (format ISO-A4)provides a standardized legend and a common layout for all watersheds. The folded maps in Tajik language are integrated as attachment to the written watershed management plans which are available for all the individual watersheds.
The data processing was done with GoogleEarth and Quantum GIS. The final compilation of the map layout was done in gvSIG. Additionally to the map production a review of the project database was conducted in combination with a training of the database administrator of Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. (WHH).
Switzerland is sharing border with 5 neighboring countries (France, Germany, Lichtenstein, Austria and Italy). About 1860 kilometers of borderline¸ based on about 32'000 individual boundary stones and backup marks, has to be managed. To manage a such large and complex data collection with legal validity needs an adequate tool.
The management of the boundary is embedded within the Federal Office of Topography swisstopo. Swisstopo, famous for the high quality mapping products of national level, uses the ESRI-ArcGIS environment for most of the task within the field of geodata management and maintenance.Swisstopo established a production infrastructure called TOPGIS to create, manage, and update the new Topographic Landscape Model (TLM) of Switzerland and the corresponding. For a seamless integration of the management of the national boundary information into the TOPGIS environment a collection of tools, realized as ArcMap-AddIn's, was developed.
The requirements of the needed tools was defined by swisstopo. During several workshops between swisstopo and WaterGisWeb Ltd. the workflow, functionality and user interface of each individual tool was specified in detail. The result of all the workshops was integrated in an detailed system specification. The development of the tools was following the guidelines of the TOPGIS environment.
The GIS database of the Swiss National Boundary is a complex relational data model containing about 30 spatial and non-spatial tables connected by 50 relationship classes. The points and lines of the boundary are organized at three levels:
Besides the geometry of the boundaries, a large amount of additional information is stored, this includes damage reports and any other kinds of observations for boundary stones, treaties and amendments with the neighboring countries, contacts, information about backup survey stations, administrative order of the individual boundary stones within the system of the neighboring country and many more.
To maintain the data stored in such a complex system, an adequate set of software is needed. The project was completely carried out by WaterGisWeb Ltd., GeoIdee.ch acted as freelance collaborator. The project provides an extensive set of tools embedded as AddIn in ArcGIS 10 to maintain, administrate, analyze and display the Swiss National Boundaries. The tools are realized in the programming language C#. A total of about 45'000 lines of source code (64'000 lines including comments and documentation) for 190 classes of data objects, business logic and user interfaces were written between August 2011 and April 2012.
The tools are providing help for the complete workflow of maintaining and presentation the data:
The complete toolset was successfully tested by swisstopo and released into production by End of April 2012.
The Soviet topographical maps are a highly detailed source of information for many fields of research, engineering and natural resource management. In combination with accurate satellite imagery and GPS measurement highly valuable baseline information can be derived.
The topographical maps are based on the geodetic datum of Pulkovo-1942 and the ellipsoid of Krassowski-1940. For several reasons an adequate transformation parameter set between the WGS-1984 and the Pulkovo-1942 is not available for Tajikistan. The EPSG database v7.11 provides about 21 different versions of parameter sets. But unfortunately, none of them is accurate enough to combine the Soviet topographical maps in Tajikistan with satellite imagery and GPS measurements based on the WGS-1984 datum. Additionally, local distortions of the base coordinate frame caused by the triangulation methods adds errors to the consistency between the different data sources.
One possible solution to overcome these shortcomings is the calculation of locally optimized transformation parameters between the WGS-1984 and the Pulkovo-1942 datum. For several regions of Tajikistan, such optimized parameters were calculated based on the equation of the Standard Molodensky Transformation.
| The Standard Molodensky Transformation is based on a shift of the coordinates along the 3 axis with the values dx, dy and dz.
As input for the calculations to retrieve the three Molodensky parameters, several identical points were measured in ellipsoidal coordinates of the WGS-1984 and Krassowski-1940 ellipsoids. The three parameters were derived by using least squares adjustments.
Depending on the quality of the input data, the 7-Parameters of the Coordinate Frame Rotation or Position Vector Transformation methods could also be provided.
The following vector field shows the improvement between the standard geocentric translation applied in Tajikistan (left) and the locally optimized Molodensky parameter set (right). The control points were measured in high resolution orthorectified satellite imagery (WGS-1984) and topographical maps 1:50'000 (Pulkovo-1942).
|Existing Geocentric Translation EPSG 1254||Locally optimized Molodensky parameter|
The systematic shift of the coordinates caused by the EPSG 1254 transformation was fully removed. The average residuals of the control points were reduced from 53m to 16m. The fitting accuracy of the satellite imagery and GPS measurement was significantly increased.
In another region the vector field of the residuals is showing similar effects. The systematic shift of the coordinates in Western direction was largely removed and the average residual error was reduced from 85m to 21m. The significant difference of the vector directions between the first and the second example may result from local distortion of the base coordinate frame.
|Existing Geocentric Translation EPSG 1254||Locally optimized Molodensky parameter|
The method applied can be used in project regions where Soviet topographical maps and satellite imagery with GPS-based field observations shall be combined. It also can be used for the transformation of digitized data layers which are based on the Pulkovo-1942 datum into WGS-1984-based reference systems such as the new coordinate frame of Tajikistan.
|The calculated transformation parameters can be applied in all standard GIS software packages such as ArcGIS, Quantum GIS or gvSIG.
For ArcGIS users the transformation set can be stored as Custom Geographic Transformation file (*.gtf file) which can be distributed among the users of an organization.
The *.gtf file can be directly used within the user interface of ArcMap and will be applied to all data sets in the data frame.
The use of topographical maps at a scale of 1:25'000 or above could improve the quality of the calculation of the parameter sets considerably. GeoIdee.ch offers the calculation of optimized parameters as service, please feel free to contact.
Within the project for thematic map production for the Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. (WHH) a workshop was conducted by GeoIdee.ch in the WHH field office in Baljovan. Main target of the workshop was the detailed definition of the map series to create. The projects of WHH in cooperation with CESVI are addressing the development of a sustainable and holistic watershed management approach.
Accompanying the detailed management plans two map series have to be elaborated:
The Watershed Management Maps are providing general information about the current or planned land-use and activities to achieve. The Pasture Management Maps are addressing the usage and rotation of the areas used for pasture during the three main seasons Spring, Summer and Autumn.
During the workshop the following topics were addressed:
As base-information hand-drawn land-use maps of the individual watersheds are used. These maps were elaborated by staff of WHH in cooperation with the villages. For the different management plans and maps a participatory process in the villages will be conducted.
|Base-line mapping of the current land-use of the individual watersheds elaborated within workshops in the villages.||Proof-of-concept and color testing of pasture management information using analog printouts and crayons.|
The findings of the workshop are resulting in a detailed concept for the individual map series. Based on the information mapped by the staff of WHH and CESVI and the map concept the production of the thematic map will be done during Mai and June 2012.
Using the capability of DataDrivenPages of ArcGIS 10 opens additional possibilities to create easy map series over large areas. For this reason the usage of the MapBook extension of ESRI, which source code had to be adapted by geoidee.ch to produce map series with overview maps and complex layouts, was migrated to DataDrivenPages.
The usage of DataDrivenPages in combination with the raster date catalog of the pixel maps of Tajikistan and the index layer of the topographical maps with the individual sheet names allows the setup of highly dynamic map layout.
As base a standardized layout can be used in which the main content such as map view, sheet name, names of the adjoining sheets, coordinate system … is dynamically set. The standardized layout provides a large freedom to add individual information about the thematic data displayed.
The above example showing the standardized map layout populated with thematic information with extensive explanations at the left side.
Some examples of map series with different thematic content and field of usage:
|Topographical based map for planning and general purpose.||Information about soil degradation and successful soil conservation.||Back-country skiing routes and information about avalanche release zones.|
Using a standardized map layout provides a quick and cost effective way to publish any kind of geographical data in combination with a topographical (or satellite based imagery) background information. The maps can be retrieved as hardcopy in a format of 40.5 cm by 57.0 cm (unfolded) or 9.5 cm by 13.5 cm (folded).
During the Navruz celebration of the Tajikistan Technical University in Dushanbe, the eight internship students from the Tajikistan Safe Drinking Water Project (TSDWP) of USAid received their GIS training certificate handed over by GeoIdee.ch Director Yvo Weidmann.
The students are enrolled in master courses in civil engineering and water engineering at the Construction and Architecture Faculty of the University.
At the TSDWP the students got intensive training in the usage of the WaterCAD system and a basic introduction into GIS and spatial data handling. The GIS training was following a typical workflow of building up a tailor-made GIS, here for the usage in the field of drinking water infrastructure. During the training provided by GeoIdee.ch following topics were covered:
The storage system of the pixel maps of Tajikistan (scales of 1:50'000, 1:100'000, 1:200'000 and 1:500'000) was migrated from simple data catalogs over to mosaic datasets. The new data storage system allows a simpler and more user friendly usage of the several gigabytes of data.
The individual mosaics are containing following amount of individual map sheets:
All individual sheets are geo-referenced and clipped to their extends which builds the preliminary conditions for a seamless map cover.
Specially the usage of the mosaic allows a new way of distribution of the pixel maps. Instead of single sheets, a seamless mosaic of any area of interest (AOI) can be exported. The following example shows an export of an AOI which stretches over 4 single map sheets. Such kind of exports can be interesting for individual watersheds, roads or river sections.
The exported subsets are available as color or grey-scale geo-referenced tiff files. Interested parties can submit their AOI as GoogleEarth KML-file or ESRI shape-files. The export will be based on the submitted geometries. The price calculation of the processing costs (preprocessing, data handling and export) will be based on the total amount of square kilometers. Please feel free to contactgeoidee.ch directly if any interest.
During autumn 2011 and winter 2012 a second group of students are trained in the use of GIS. The students are following an internship training program at the TSDWP of USAid in Dushanbe. 4 of the students are studying water supply engineering and 4 students civil engineering at the Tajik Polytechnic University. During the internship at TSDWP the students are getting additional training in engineering and use of software tools such as WaterCAD and Quantum GIS.
The GIS training provided by GeoIdee includes the principals of geoinformation, projection and coordinate systems, data modeling, data capturing and cartography.
Main focus of the training is the design and build-up of a small drinking water information system in the region of Khuroson (Southern Tajikistan). It includes basic information such as water resources, water users and water distribution, population density and infrastructure.
During field work , the mapping of thematic data using GPS is part of the training. The captured data are later transformed into GIS data sets and are included into the data storage of the OpenStreetMap project and made available online.
Near to the village Vashan (Ayni district, Zerafshan valley) a landslide destroyed a large area of cultivated land and part of the access road. The landslide started partly in 1996. But in March 2005 after heavy rainfall an estimated volume of 4 mln cubic meter was sliding downwards.
Such an event builds a perfect base for a preliminary study applying numerical models to estimate the possible affected area of similar landslides in the area.
Based on the topographical maps 1:50’000, the contour lines and break lines were digitized, and a digital elevation model was calculated. The digital terrain model is, in combination with the information of the landslide (release line, volume, …), the main input into the numerical mode.
|Vashan landslide, Photograph June 2011||Digitized and interpolated base information of the region|
Based on these information, the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF was running the numerical model of the landslide. The model provides the information about the extent, the flow height, the total volume and the velocity of the landslide.
The conducted model provides an almost perfect representation of the reality. The extent of the calculated landslide fits with the area affected by the landslide in reality. The following animations are showing the flow height, the extension and the velocity of the landslide.
|Simulated flow height||Simulated velocity|
The results show that an application of such models would be also meaningful in other regions of Tajikistan to estimate the potential of damage and area affected by landslides or avalanches.
For the use as background information for thematic maps, topographic maps are best shown in grayscale. The use of grayscale reduces the background maps to the maximum without losing the topographic context. The main context of the thematic map, such as pasture management or natural hazard information, is put in focus using colors to enlighten the important information. The following two example visualize the difference between the usage of a background map in color and the use of a grayscale map.
Background information: Color pixel map 1:50'000 (dimmed to 40% of transparency).
Background information: Grayscale pixel map 1:50'000.
All Soviet topographic maps of Tajikistan at a scale of 1:50'000, 1:100'000, 1:200'000 and 1:500'000 can be delivered as color (8bit unsigned and 16bit signed) and as grayscale pixel maps ready to be used in each GIS system (georeferenced and clipped to the map boundaries).
In combination with the map sheet index layer a complete set of background information is available for thematic mapping projects and series.
For further information, please feel free to contact GeoIdee.ch.
All sheet names of the about 450 topographical maps of Tajikistan 1:50’000 are available in Russian and in English language as part of the polygon map index layer.
In combination with the georeferenced and seamless available pixel maps (available as Web-Map-Service (WMS) or as standalone dataset) the sheet index and sheet names can be used to produce map products for all different purposes in a format at about A2 (1:50’000). The sheet names and the corresponding index number simplifies the orientation between the different map sheets.
Additionally the names and index numbers of the adjoining map sheets are also directly stored and accessible.
For further information, please feel free to contact GeoIdee.ch.
The measurement of gully development in the highly erodible areas of Tajikistan could help to understand the dynamics of the erosion processes and to monitor the impact of mitigation measures.
The use of close range-photogrammetry could combine several advantages for this task:
A feasibility study was conducted for the Welthungerhilfe e.V. using the close-range photogrammetry software iWitness. A full 3D survey and analysis of a gully was conducted. The analysis was basically successful. But many challenges regarding the photogrammetrical analysis had to be overcome. Mainly the very little contrast of individual features was problematic. An extensive marking of point and line features had to be applied.
Based on this study the use of close-range photogrammetry can be considered as an appropriate tool for monitoring a clearly defined cross section of a gully. For the survey of entire gullies alternative methods have to be applied.
Base for a successful and sustainable economical investment are the available information about the geographical location, the socio-economical situation of the location and specific information in the field of the planned investment.
For the further and sustainable development of the mountainous and remote region of the Autonomous Oblast of Gorno-Badakshan (GBAO / Tajikistan) a set of base information regarding economical opportunities has to be established. This set of information should build a reliable base for investors and entrepreneurs interested in the area of GBAO. Regarding the lack of available data a survey with the focus on economical potentials has to be conducted.
To make the information of the survey accessible to potential investors and entrepreneurs a web-based information system is planned. The interactive information systems would allow to access the data in an explorative way and would be helpful as a decision-making tool.
In cooperation with Milal Inter and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH a proposal for the realization and establishment of such an information system was elaborated. Detailed information can be found here.
Based on the risk maps produced for Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. (Dushanbe / Tajikistan) and in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (Dushanbe / Tajikistan) and CAMP Kuhiston (Dushanbe / Tajikistan) a new set of maps was designed. The maps are divided into a hazard information map and a risk information map.
Both maps are using GoogleEarth imagery and easy-to-understand symbols. A total of 56 villages in the Zerafshan Valley (Sughd / North Tajikistan) were map. The result of this work was presented at the GISCA’11 conference in Almaty (Kazachstan). The abstract and the paper can be downloaded here.
The transfer between two different route systems of point or line events can be a time and labor consuming task.
The ArcGIS extension EventTransfer provides two different algorithm to conduct such kind of transfer:
Several parameters allowing a fine tuning of the transfer itself. The number of objects to be transferred is unlimited. As benchmark and base dataset for development the eco-morphological data of Swiss watercourse with more than 150‘000 objects was used.
An extensive logging and reporting mechanism provides a deep insight for each successful or unsuccessful transfer of an object.
The ArcGIS extension GEODAT-Tools is installed as a standard extension within all GIS workstation of the administration of the canton Berne (Switzerland). It provides several different search-tools and a printing engine for standardized prints in all current paper formats as also for individual formats.
The extension was originally programmed for ArcGIS 9.1 using .NET-Framework 1.1. and migrated to ArcGIS 9.2 SP2 using .NET 2.0. During the last few month the extension was successfully migrated to ArcGIS 10 SP2 using .NET 3.5. During the second half of July, all the GIS workstation within the administration of the canton Berne will be migrated to ArcGIS 10 SP2. GEODAT-Tools are an integrative part of the standard installation.
The six student followed an intensive GIS training elaborated and conducted by GeoIdee. The training involved a general introduction to GIS, theoretical lessons and practice in basic GIS operations, fieldwork acquiring GIS data with the help of GPS and post-processing of the fieldwork data.
During autumn 2011 the next GIS class for the second group of internship students will be held.
The fifth Annual Central Asia GIS Conference GISCA 2011 is held from May 19-20, 2011 in Almaty (Kazakhstan). Main topics of the conference are Managing Environment, Resources and Risk.
Together with different partners, GeoIdee.ch presents two projects. The abstracts and papers are ready for download here:
Using the OGC technologies of WebFeatureServices (WFS) and WebMapServices (WMS) several sets of geodata are freely available to be used through this site here.
The data can be included directly in all the main GIS software such as ArcGIS, qGIS and others. Additionally all data can be included directly into GoogleEarth.
To get detailed information and description how to include the data in your software please visit the main project page.
All maps in a scale of 1:50'000 are ready for download from here. The maps are covering part of the Hissar-Range in the North of Dushanbe (from Dushanbe up to the Anzob pass).
Basically the maps are providing information about the topography, slopes steeper than 30 degrees and known ski tours. Some further information such as places to stay or critical routes regarding avalanches are provided.
As background information the Russian topographical maps are used. Additionally a very slight hillshade is added to provide a more intuitive view on the topography.
Weather data of the airport of Dushanbe (Tajikistan) are stored automatically every 30 minutes. The data can be seen using the following link: Weather Data.
The data are showing the temperature, the barometric pressure, wind speed and direction and humidity.
Additionally you can download the raw data as text file from the site mentioned above.