IBD to support the International GIS Day celebration at Taita Taveta University

GIS day 2023
Weekend Reflections

IBD to support the International GIS Day celebration at Taita Taveta University

On 15 November 2023, Taita Taveta University (TTU) will celebrate its 9th World GIS Day. As the pioneer of the GIS Day celebration at TTU, the Founder of IBD will identify with this epic occasion by ensuring that IBD participates as a sponsor of the GIS Day at TTU. The youth who are IBD mentees all identify with, and apply, GIS to solve problems creatively using shared and mapped visual evidence.

The young GIS enthusiasts, most of them IBD mentees and university students, will present interesting titles, such as:

  • GIS for transforming landscapes: A spatial juxtaposition of artisanal mining activities with landscape changes in Taita Taveta, 2008-2023
  • GIS for spatial intelligence and public participation in rethinking plastic circularity
  • GIS for biodiversity conservation: Changing the culture with ArcGIS story maps
  • GIS for paradise restoration: Mapping towards net-zero deforestation targets

To do justice to the GIS Week, the Founder of IBD has shared his eventful GIS journey with the world by scribing the preamble below.

An authentic GIS journey must first be personal before it can evolve to influence institutional transformations. For a man who has been a GIS champion for most of his study and research life, since the late 1990s, to be precise, no period can yet be dropped on his GIS CV. It is now time for him to tell his own unaltered story: how he crossed the sticky love path of GIS and has never looked back since, even graduating organically to be the putative Father of GIS championship and respectfully bequeathing Prof. Simon Onywere the deserved and revered title of Grandfather of GIS in this region. However, these self-pronounced titles, with their signature of Kenyan originality, humour, and optimism, cannot take away from Roger Tomlinson’s rightful claim to the crown of global GIS fatherhood. With the local theme chosen for his home university of Taita Taveta this year, will the international #gisday2023 see him pass for a dreamer of an elusive geospatial title or a visionary champion of GIS for systems thinking and shared prosperity in the age of Big Data and AI? Read on to truly understand his GIS journey. And I beg to remain, readers, yours truly.

From the assertion above, everything else he has accomplished and championed in GIS follows. From popularising GIS at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) through a successful 2011-2012 pilot project on service level mapping in Mavoko, a municipality covering more than 840, working with the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), a private think tank, to power MSME business decisions with spatial intelligence, to advancing GIS evangelism in universities while inspiring teaching and mentorship for GIS-based solutions and innovations by students through their clubs, such as #Enactus and #GIS Club, the years have been a journey of fulfilling spatial detours, the path underlining the fallacy of perceiving success as a linear journey.

Read the full story of the IBD Founder’s experience in crossing the sticky love path of GIS, getting immersed in the GIS world, and emerging as a consummate GIS champion to whom GIS is a passion and vocation as opposed to a duty and profession. Post | Feed | LinkedIn

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