Saturday, 15 July 2006

Country Almanacs: Geo-Referenced Soil, Social, and other Data for Modelling, Analysis and Policy Planning.

Craig A. Meisner1, Paul Wilkens1, Md. Anwar Iqbal2, A. Kamrul Habib3, D.N.R. Paul4, Abed H. Chowdhury2, and Donbox Sarker5. (1) IFDC, Road 54A, House no. 2, Apt. no. 6, Gulshan 2, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (2) Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, Farm Gate, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (3) Soil Resources Division Institute, Farmgate, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (4) Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Joydebpur, Gazipur, Dhaka, Bangladesh, (5) CIMMYT, Road 4 House 18, Uttara, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Country Almanacs (CA) are user-friendly spatial databases within licensed mapping software from Mud Springs Geographers, Inc™ (who provide the discounted software AWhere ACT for developing countries) that fits on one CD and can be operated by non-GIS trained persons. They usually contain country-based geo-referenced data including soil, land use, topographical, soil fertility, climate but even socioeconomic data. The databases can be queried and analysed for natural resource management, agriculture and other development planning. Additionally, using the same database, modelling can be placed as a ‘tool' within the software, allowing the same non-GIS trained persons to access the data for any modelling required. The Country Almanac has been proliferated in Bangladesh and is being introduced in many other developing countries as a useful tool to allow availability, proliferation, and utilization of spatial databases by persons who might not ordinarily get access to such databases. Demonstration of the CA and its utility and acceptance will be shown.

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