HUYE - The Director of the Centre for Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (CGIS) at the National University of Rwanda, has urged government, private institutions and individuals to embrace the use of GIS as a way of expediting national development.
Prof. Jean Nduwamungu made the call, yesterday, during celebrations to mark the world GIS Day.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a set of tools that integrate, store, edit, analyze, share, and display geographic information.
Founded in 1999, CGIS aims at serving as a national and regional training and research outreach centre to address the issue of rural sector transformation and poverty reduction.
The annual world GIS Day aims at enabling its users to open their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of GIS that are making a difference in the society and their use to support national development.
The day, which was for the first time marked in 1998, is celebrated in 80 countries worldwide.
This year, the day was celebrated under the theme: ‘Discovering the World through GIS’.
Speaking during the celebrations, Nduwamungu noted that GIS technology can be applied in any field, and speeds up the implementation and realization of one’s objectives.
“For instance, you can use it to identify areas for specific crops or in elaborating land use master plans,” Nduwamungu said.
“It helps in decision making because it really shows you where to put infrastructure or conduct development activities basing on factual information.”
He urged the public to make use of the centre in order to benefit from its services.
“Individuals or institutions can approach us and we can gather data that can help them identify suitable areas for instance where to set up health facilities, schools, energy plants or any other development activities,” Nduwamungu added.
The celebrations were marked by presentations on various researches that were conducted in the field of geographic information in the country.
The event attracted experts and researchers from the centre, the National University of Rwanda and other institutions of higher learning in the country and outside.