Highlighting the career of Prof Willem van Riet, directing innovative conservation initiatives in Africa, illustrating his experiences and approach through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

An all-inclusive approach to conservation was instigated by numerous adventures on wild rivers in the 60’s and developed through academic research at Universities in Philadelphia (USA) and Pretoria (South Africa). GIS software, data and processes were harnessed throughout his career in support of planning, scientific analyses and fundraising.  Projects and programmes will be illustrated through a number themes. This approach was implemented during his years on the SANParks Board and on transboundary initiatives in Southern Africa during his 10 years as the CEO of the Peace Parks Foundation. Recently he has functioned as a consulted through the Swedish entity (Transboundary Conservation Foundation).

"I hope that the review of these conservation projects, as a journey of discovery through the use of GIS and maps, will be of assistance to conservation development in many parts of the world. I would like to iterate that the content of this site reflects my own personal point of view and is based on my personal experiences."

As a firm believer in the value of maps, I found this article very illuminating. A map is a three-dimensional image on paper and often tells many stories through the layers of information each maps can be composed of. Pictures are more superficial and are more based on colour, texture and composition rather than content. National Geographic has been at the forefront of the science of mapping but in the recent past we have had NASA and their various satellites producing more and more maps of extreme quality and depth of knowledge. In the science of GIS, the individual layers are often grouped together from separate layers of information to become, through overlays, one single image with vast depth of knowledge available to the viewer. 

Click Here for the Full Article

Published in GIS in Conservation
Monday, 22 June 2015 05:40

Rainfall & Snow Maps of the Globe

NASA is one of the most influential organizations in the global environmental sphere. The fact that they make information available to the public domain is even more important as there is no government interference and the scientific impact of their research is far reaching. This news release, one of the most important global sites, illustrates the size and impact of the most important non-biological ecosystems service that for many countries will soon become the most limiting of all services. This site and the visible effects of processes that drive our rainfall and hydrological capital will be important for years to come. It is truly fabulous to see functional nature on a global scale.

Click Here: NASA Releases First Global Rainfall and Snowfall Map from New Mission

Published in Atlas of the Globe
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 06:50

Nasa And Environmental Conditions

This site gives a good overview of NASA and the use of satellites to detect environmental changes and impact on a continental scale. The use of EVI sensitive sensors gives the opportunity to scope the effects of land use types and gives a good overview of the technology used.

Click here for the full article: California Landscape is Mix of Green and Brown

Published in Atlas of the Globe
Sunday, 25 January 2015 19:15

Flooding in Mozambique

Recent news on the floods in Mozambique and Malawi due to an exceptional low-pressure system over central Mozambique. The resultant floods were captured by satellites from NASA and made available for flood management actions. I place the link to these images as well alternative sites for further study. The MODIS Rapid Response Team has made these images available. They are available on a global scale and have supported flood relief efforts globally.

I have found these sites fascinating to visit during the various flood events happening continuously globally. It is one of the best opportunities to study the natural processes so influential in landscape development.


Published in Atlas of the Globe

“SANCTUARY Exploring the world’s protected areas from space”

We have been remote sensing for many years through the use of our eyes. That was the first activity during my river expeditions. At first you just look around and appreciate the aesthetics of the unfolding landscape as you paddle down the river. As you become more experienced, the images begin to obtain meaning and they transfer knowledge on which one begins to react.

Due to this transferring of knowledge through one’s eyes, I have become enthralled by the images obtained during flights to various parts of the world. Just ensure  that you are next to a window on the plane and orientated away from the sun.

Published in Atlas of the Globe