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GIS and Remote Sensing


GIS and Remote Sensing in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food security
02.12.2013 - 13.12.2013
Sportsview Hotel, Kasarani - Nairobi
GIS and Remote Sensing



Climate change is an unprecedented threat to the food security of hundreds of millions of people who depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change affects agriculture and food security, and likewise, agriculture and natural resource management affect the climate system. These complex and dynamic relationships are also shaped by economic policies, political conflict and other factors such as the spread of infectious diseases. There is a need to promote a food-secure world through the provision of technology-based efforts that support sustainable agriculture and enhance livelihoods while adapting to climate change.  In order to develop practical solutions for agriculture in the face of climate change, we need to


The main purpose of the course is to enhance the capabilities of technical staff involved in Food Security Analysis, climate analysis and agriculture by providing them with an understanding on the use of spatial and Earth Observation (EO) information as a tool to integrate knowledge about climate change, agriculture, and food security in a meaningful and innovative way.


The course is targeted at professionals who require knowledge and skills on the use of GIS and Remote Sensing in their organizations in the field of Food Security Analysis and agriculture.


The training is designed for participants who are reasonably proficient in English. It is an advantage, but not a prerequisite, that the participants have prior knowledge in Food Security, Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and a basic working knowledge in GIS and Remote Sensing technologies.

Applicants must live up to Indepth Research Services (IRES) admission criteria.


10 Days


By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Understand concepts and main frameworks in Food Security Analysis
  • Understand concepts and main frameworks in Climate Change Analysis
  • Understand concepts and main frameworks in Agriculture
  • Understand the relationship between climate change, agriculture and food security
  • Apply GIS and Remote Sensing as Decision support tool for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
  • Use GIS information in planning FS interventions through spatial multi-criteria analysis
  • Assess spatial data availability and understand the importance of spatial data infrastructure (SDI), for data sharing by organizations involved in CCAFS
  • Apply GIS and RS for designing implementations of large scale early warning systems
  • Use participatory GIS (PGIS) tools during assessments at community level
  • Apply remote sensing data and image processing techniques to monitor select CCAFS indicators
  • Integrate use of NDVI, VPI and DMP, RFE and other satellite products for CCAFS indicators monitoring
  • Use mobile phones to gather data during field assessments/surveys by designing and using mobile data gathering systems using Open Data Kit and Nokia Data Gathering platforms
  • Design and implement their own GIS projects that integrate remote sensing data, GPS-based field information, and CCAFS Frameworks and analysis in a proper geospatial and cartographic framework


Training Overview 

  • Food Security Concepts and Frameworks
  • Food Security Systems and Networks
  • Agriculture concepts and frameworks
  • Comprehensive Food Security Assessment and Analysis with Geodata (Nutrition, Market, Livelihood, HH, Vulnerability and Baseline)
  • Observed Climate Change and Impacts
  • Climate Predictions and Major Sources of Uncertainty
  • Climate change mitigation and Adaptation Practices and Resilience


 Introduction to GIS 

  • What is a GIS? 
  • Importance of GIS 
  • Major Areas of Practical Application 
  • Economic impact 


Maps and Cartography 

  • What is a map? 
  • Cartographic abstraction: selection, classification, simplification, exaggeration, symbolization 
  • Map types: reference and thematic 
  • Computer cartography vs. GIS 
  • GIS vs. paper maps 
  • Map elements: distance, scale, direction, legend, projection, coordinate system 
  • Scale, accuracy, and resolution in GIS 

Exercise: Creating Maps symbols and Designing with QGIS


Spatial Data Models: Vector and Raster 

  • Vector model: points, lines, and polygons 
    • and attributes: computed vs. associated attributes 
    • overlay 
  • Raster model: grids, cells 
    • Grids: variables (e.g., elevation, soil pH) 
    • (digital photographs) 

Exercise: Load Data into GIS software(QGIS and Saga GIS) ;Organizing GIS data; Creating and editing data; combining raster and vector data; Querying maps. 

Georeferencing and Coordinate Systems 


  • Geographic coordinate system: latitude and longitude 
  • Geoids, spheroids, ellipsoids, and datums 
  • Projected coordinate systems 
  • Projections and transformations 
  • Common coordinates U.S; Africa, Asia, UTM

Exercise: Projections, Georeferencing, UTM  zones, soil systems.


Geospatial Data Collection and Sources 

  • Geospatial data: sampling the world 
  • Primary vs. secondary data 
  • Primary data sources 
  • Surveying, GPS, sampling, remote sensing 
  • Errors and accuracy: data quality, certification, metadata 
  • Important secondary data sources 
    • Government
    • Private Sector
    • World wide web eg FEWSNET, FAO


  • Digital soil survey
  • Soil Map
  • Soil Data Mart
  • Web Soil survey

Soil Map Units and Realistic Yield Expectations

 Global Positioning System (GPS) and Basic GPS skills 

  • Introduction to GPS
  • Types of GPSes
  • GPS, GLONAS, Argos, and other data types and sources
  • Developing standard procedures and guidelines
  • GPS configuration, Capturing data from surveys
  • GPS data  download and related tasks
  • Integrating field data into the GIS database

Exercise: Field Data Collection and Maps

Food Security Assessment and Analysis with Geodata

  • Livelihood
  • Nutrition
  • Market Accessibility
  • Vulnerability
  • Baseline


Climate Predictions and Major Sources of Uncertainty

  • Introduction and background
  • Climate models both present and future and the different scenarios
  • Sources of uncertainty and variation
  • Climate change mitigation and Adaptation Practices and Resilience

Remote Sensing 

  • Definitions 
  • Electromagnetic spectrum and radiation physics 
  • Aerial and satellite photography and imaging 
  • Resolution: spectral and spatial 
  • Image processing for food security and climate change 
  •  Image interpretation and classification 
  • Lidar and topographic mapping 
  • Mainstreaming climate data into Food Security and Agriculture

Exercise:  Image interpretation and classification


Statistics and Spatial Variability 

  • Introduction to Spatial Statistics 
  • Continuous data 
  • Discrete Data
  • Sampling 

Exercise:  Lidar elevation and grid soil tests



  • What is interpolation? 
  • Characteristics of interpolators 

Exercise: Interpolating elevation and soil PH

Precision Agriculture 

  • Definition and rationale: agronomy, environment, economics 
  • Tools: GIS, GPS, variable rate technology (VRT) 
  • Spatial Variability in Agriculture 
  • Yield monitoring and mapping 
  • Yieldlimiting factors 
  • Characterizing soil spatial variability 
  • Sitespecific soil management: prescription maps 
  • Grid sampling, management zones, realistic yield expectations 
  • Remote sensing (RS) for sitespecific management. 

Case Studies:

  1. Integrating Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (Climate Analogue Tool Kit)
  2. GIS based approaches for adapting Agriculture to Climate Change


The training will be facilitated by experienced GIS, Remote Sensing, Food Security Analysts, Agriculture and climate experts with many years of experience working with re-known organizations.

Software vendors, academic institutions and other leading agencies in CCAFS Analysis, GIS and Remote Sensing in the region will also make presentations.


The training is not aimed at any specific GIS and Remote Sensing software products, but will provide a practical, hands-on GIS problem solving, by making use of Free Open Source and commercial GIS Software such as ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, ILWIS,PCRaster, Google Earth, Google MapMaker and Open Data Kit (ODK).

The instructor led trainings are delivered using a blended learning approach and comprises of presentations, guided sessions of practical exercise, web based tutorials, group work and study visits. Our facilitators are seasoned industry experts with years of experience, working as professional and trainers in these fields.


All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English. The participants should be reasonably proficient in English.


Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be issued with an Indepth Research Services (IRES) certificate.


The standard course fee is KES 150,000, or US$ 2000. This covers the course tuition, training materials, two break refreshments, lunch, and study visits.


Accommodation is arranged upon request. For reservations contact the Training Officer.

 Email:  training This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Mob: +254 715 077 817

Tel: 020 211 3814


Payment should be transferred to IRES account through bank on or before 25th November 2013. Otherwise, your participation will be cancelled. Kindly send proof of payment to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


To apply for this course kindly register online in our website before C.O.B. 18th November 2013.


Payment for the all courses includes a registration fee, which is non-refundable, and equals 15% of the total sum of the course fee.

  1. Participants may cancel attendance 14 days or more prior to the training commencement date.
  2. No refunds will be made 14 days or less to the training commencement date. However, participants who are unable to attend may opt to attend a similar training at a later date, or send a substitute participant provided the participation criteria have been met.


This scheduled course can also be tailored for your organisation. To find out how our tailor-made training can help your organisation, call our team on

Mob: +254 715 077 817

Tel: 020 211 3814

Please Note: The program content shown here is for guidance purposes only. Our continuous course improvement process may lead to changes in topics and course structure.


Sportsview Hotel, Kasarani


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