Increasing GIS usage in Laos
Laos, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, has long enjoyed Swedish aid, not least in the forestry and agriculture sector. The assistance has long been a characteristic of and contained components of knowledge transfer both in terms of methods and technologies. ENES (through the GIS Center) has participated since 2005 in a project aimed at increasing the ability to handle geographic data on NAFRI and making more advanced analyzes. NAFRI is called research institute and has the task of providing primarily the Ministry of Agriculture with different types of background materials and studies which then form the basis for planning agricultural production and national development in agriculture and forestry.
NAFRI has its own responsibility for collecting data on soils and soils, while most of the information that is handled comes from other government agencies and institutions. The majority of all data and information handled are mapped and in GIS format. NAFRI has a GIS lab with a number of people who have some education in GIS but none of them have any longer formal GIS education at the bottom. ENES staff helps to develop different solutions for how data is stored and updated, as well as quality assurance of the databases. Remote sensing data is also used in many of NAFRI's projects, and ENES's expertise has also been useful in developing methods to get as good information as possible about different phenomena as easily as possible.
Much of the cooperation is also about developing methods for the various applications that NAFRI is involved in in its daily task of the Ministry of Agriculture. For ENES staff, this often means that you have to study and engage in the ongoing business and then try to find (above all) GIS-based methods to improve and streamline operations.