The Research Program of the University of the Philippines College of Architecture (UPCA), in cooperation with the National Engineering Center, organized a training workshop for UPCA Faculty and REPS on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) using the free software, Quantum GIS or QGIS. The three-day workshop was held last September 15 and 29 and October 6, 2014 (Mondays) at the Board Room of UPCA. The resource person was Prof. Julius Bañgate from the Geodetic Engineering Department of the UP College of Engineering. The workshop was designed especially for UPCA Faculty and REPS to give a fast and basic introduction to GIS, with lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises to develop skill in using GIS software.
The aim of this training workshop is to prepare and familiarize the UPCA Faculty and REPS with the GIS system prior to the target purchasing of software by the College for academic use. The said software is envisioned to be used in establishing a digital mapping database of existing sites and structures, works done by the students in various courses (Architecture and Landscape Architecture) that include thesis works, as well as researches, creative works and extension services done by UPCA Faculty and REPS. The database may serve as digital source of information for future projects, studies and endeavors of the College community (faculty, REPS, and students).
The first day was allotted for a good and concise introduction to GIS, including the definition, components and applications. Also included in the morning lecture are spatial data models and GIS workflows, as well as the introduction to the software QGIS. Hands-on exercises in the afternoon include QGIS user interface basics, creating base map through registration and georeferencing of a scanned map, creating vector data, and adding or editing attributes.
The second day focused on attribute data, vector GIS datasets and related analysis tools. A lecture on GIS analysis had been given in the morning, with the remainder of the day allotted for the workshop. Exercises included digitizing features from satellite imagery, working with attribute data, creating heatmaps and interpolating points, geoprocessing tools, and site selection based on criteria.
The last day of the workshop included discussions on raster data processing and terrain analysis with GIS. Laboratory exercises were focused on working with raster data (loading, clipping and extracting contours, raster to vector conversion), raster analysis (raster calculator), terrain modeling (hillshade, slope, aspect), and creating analysis map layouts. Before the end of the workshop, the participants were requested to give their feedback on the training sessions through evaluation forms.
Overall, the workshop was a success as shown in the appreciation given by the participants to the organizers and Prof. Bañgate for the meaningful lectures and hands-on exercises. The rate of attendance per session was still high despite the changes in schedules of the workshop due to funding issues at the start, as well as training sessions coinciding with the suspensions of classes and work caused by typhoon (first day of workshop) and holiday (final day). Towards the end of the workshop, some of the participants had already contributed to the free online database of the Open Street Map. Also, others were able to apply the skills that they have learned from the workshop to their current academic-related projects afterwards.
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