A SUCCESSFUL CASE OF USING FREE GIS IN AN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
In impoverished countries, the projects to achieve the basic services access like water, energy, communication, etc... require increasingly the use of Geographic Information Technologies (GIT) These tools allow representing data on maps of a wide range of fields (social, economic, cultural, natural resources, etc.), helping its analysis and the planning of interventions.
This article explains the creation and use of some free GIS tools in Honduras, in the framework of a international development program carried out by Enxeñería Sen Fronteiras Galicia (ESF Galicia) in collaboration with CartoLab (University of A Coruña). This firm commitment to use free GIS applied to the management of water resources in these zones can be considered a successful case. In addition to the technical advantages, the software with free license has a philosophy that is totally aligned with the concept of Technology for Human Development (TfHD).
The developments created in this project consist in several extensions of gvSIG that are packed like a new distribution under the name gvSIG-Fonsagua. The modules allow compile a lot of socioeconomic data of the communities as well as technical data related to water resources. Based on this information the application allows the design of different alternatives of water supply and sanitation, do reports and estimate their economic cost. Among its characteristics we can mention the incorporation of data from GPS devices or the dual saved in different formats simultaneously. This software replaces several private applications that were used in previous phases in other countries and provide the communities’ technicians with an own tool without technological dependencies.
In this article is explained more details about the functionalities of those extensions of gvSIG-Fonsagua as well as is reflected on the importance of the use of free GIS in international development programs.
Francisco Alberto Varela García - Universidade da Coruña
Juan Ignacio Varela García - Universidade da Coruña
Carmen Molejón Quintana - Universidade da Coruña
Francisco Puga Alonso - Universidade da Coruña