GroupMappers organized GIS for beginners: introduction to GIS, a 4-week GIS course held over weekends from 19 April-4 May in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The 32 attendees, students aspiring to pursue a career in GIS, came from across the country. A Bangladesh-based organization set up in 2017 by MORU Epidemiology, GroupMappers coordinates efforts to map Bangladesh and arranges training workshops and seminars on GIS with the support of MORU, Wellcome (UK) and the CDC, DGHS, Bangladesh.

Technical sessions were run by GIS experts and active GroupMappers from organizations that includethe Bangladesh government. Sazid Ibna Zaman of MORU Epidemiology took the lead with Md. Sabbir Hasan of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), M.I.M. Farhad of the Land Record & Survey Department and Md. Majed Sajib of the Bangladesh Geographical Information Technology. Together, they conducted highly interactive classes that leveraged their professional experience using GIS for a variety of real-world applications. MSc final year students Himu, Abonty, Raisa, Dola, Sadia, Flora and Nurullah, from the Department of Geography & Environment, University of Dhaka, served as facilitators.

The closing ceremony featured motivational speeches about careers in geospatial sciences and emerging technologies from prestigious senior researchers and scientists Md. Nazmul Hasan, Soil Expert, Crop Zoning Project, BARC; K.M. Khalid Ahsan, Sr System Analyst (GIS), WASA; Mohammad Abdul Hadi, Business Development Manager, ESRI South Asia; Anjan Kumar Saha, National Malaria Elimination Program, CDC, DGHS; and Assoc Prof Mohammad Abdul Quader, Jagannath University.

– Text and photos courtesy of Sazid Ibna Zaman

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