2014 GSDI Association Small Grants Program Update

Since its launch in 2003, the GSDI Association's Small Grants Program has supported more than 100 projects across the globe. Here is the latest update of the program's work as of 2014.

Through 2012, the program was sponsored via a partnership between the GSDI Association, the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee, and the GISCorps of URISA. Three types of awards are available: a cash award of up to US$ 2500 per project; SDI/GIS consulting services up to the value of US$ 2500; or a combination of cash award and SDI/GIS consulting services. The consulting services are offered through the GISCorps.

In 2014, GSDI secured funding for four Small Grants projects from GeoConnections, a national collaborative initiative led by GSDI Association member Natural Resources Canada. GeoConnections supports the integration and use of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), an on-line resource that improves the sharing, access and use of open geospatial information. The CGDI helps decision-makers from all levels of government, the private sector, non-government organizations and academia make better decisions on social, economic and environmental priorities. The infrastructure itself consists of data, standards, policies, technologies and partnerships that are in place to allow the sharing and visualization of information on the Internet. (See: http://www.geoconnections.nrcan.gc.ca).

With the GeoConnections contribution, a Call for Proposals was issued in March 2014, resulting in 40 proposals, which were reviewed by volunteers from six continents from organizations in over 20 countries. The proposals selected for funding, from Ghana, Uganda, Belize and Armenia, are listed below:

Title: Establishing standards-based web mapping and data access services using open source geospatial software technologies for CERSGIS

Institution: Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS), University of Ghana, Legon.

Project summary: The project is focused on the development of a clearinghouse for spatial data for CERSGIS and is a case study for the full-scale implementation of recommendations and activities for the National Spatial Development Framework for Ghana. Project activities include:

  • Develop data policies and standards.
  • Develop metadata for the datasets based on the defined standards.
  • Implement web-based spatial data infrastructure portal for public access to the datasets.
  • Workshop to present the SDI portal to stakeholders.

Download the final report here (PDF).

Title: Towards GIS Interoperability for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development

Institution: Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Project summary: Develop a structured organization of geodata and geographic information based on internationally accepted OGC and ISO standards to guarantee interoperability in Uganda. Planned activities include:

  • Evaluate the existing spatial datasets and value of geoinformation.
  • Document spatial data according to the ISO 19115 standard.
  • Develop a one-stop gateway to discover, access and evaluate spatial data.

Download the final report here (PDF).

Title: Developing a reliable agriculture GIS database for Belize through partnership with key stakeholder

Institution: Land Information Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Belmopan, Belize.

Project summary: Develop a reliable agriculture GIS database in collaboration with agriculture stakeholders in the country:

  • Establish an Agriculture GIS data integration working group consisting of key stakeholders from governmental, private sector, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Identify the types of agriculture related data and data gaps that exist for large farms (and commercial farms) within the country.
  • Establish standards for data integration exercises based on identified needs of stakeholders, best practices, and international standards.
  • Develop and provide accessibility of the final database through the Belize NSDI geoportal to enable improved decision-making within this sector.

Download the final report here (PDF).

Title: Introducing EnviroSDI for Armenia: Piloting publicly accessible online platform

Institution: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Armenia.

Project summary: The proposed project will create an online SDI open-source based platform (Ushahidi may be one option), enabling the non-profit sector and the wider public to access a wide range of geographic data including base maps and sector specific thematic maps. The main components of the project are:

  • Designing the the online SDI platform concept, with specifics of it use (users) in mind;
  • Developing (customizing an existing open-source platform) and rolling out the SDI (online);
  • Populating it with base maps; and
  • Populating the platform with geographic (environmental, conservation) thematic data collected during the field fieldwork over a pilot area.

Download the final report here (PDF).

There were many additional, very worthy proposals received, but to support those, GSDI needs more funding! We hope that other GSDI Association members, or organizations who are not members but appreciate the value of the Small Grants Program, would consider supporting some of the unfunded proposals this year.

To see details, including final project reports, from all the proposals funded by GSDI Small Grants since 2003, please visit the GSDI website at gsdiassociation.org.

Anyone wishing to support GSDI’s Small Grants Program is encouraged to contact Dr. David Coleman, GSDI President, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Secretary-General Roger Longhorn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Small Grants project leader, Brigitta Urban-Mathieux (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The Small Grants Program has been one of the most successful initiatives of the Association since its founding. For information on how to donate, download the program flyer at this link:

For further information:

GSDI Association, PO Box 213, Gilbertville, IA 50634, USA
phone +1 508-720-0325, fax +1 703-852-7917


Download this update as a PDF file here.

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