The field of Geographic Information has been a somewhat dispersed exercise in Honduras, which is not different from other countries in Latin America where many projects make heavy investments with external resources or cooperation but eventually end up discontinuing in government institutions with a waste Of the utility of information and without fulfilling the basic purpose of preventing duplicity of efforts.
However, I want to rescue an initiative that in my opinion may be the engine that concentrates different actors and that in time will emulate part of the role that represents in Guatemala the University San Carlos, the guild scope in Costa Rica with the Colegio de Ingenieros Topógrafos And the institutional strength of INETER In Nicaragua. All very good references but with a weakness of being disintegrated not only in the local but also regional environment.
And it is that what it deals with is not a gigantic institution that knows how to do everything, but an entity that brings together and sustains it in a weak point: academic accreditation. I am referring to the Faculty of Space Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Honduras, where efforts converge to date that I hope to deepen in future articles:
The Master of Territorial Planning.
This began around 2004 with the support of the University of Alcalá and the Spanish Agency for Cooperation in the years of formulation of Phase II of PATH. As a result of this work and other research projects, publications such as:
- The multimedia Atlas prototype of the Historic Center of the Central District of Honduras.
- The spatial analysis for the identification of zones with priority of intervention for the development and improvement of the Historical Center of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela.
- The study of spatial distribution of surface ozone patterns in the urban environment of the Central District.
- Characterization of hydrothermal and dynamic alteration of soil cover by remote sensing methods in the Choluteca valley.
- The establishment of the geodetic network of Tegucigalpa, using GPS technologies and liaison with the official reference networks of Central America.
- The Conformation of a Spatial Data Infrastructure for the UNAH with projection at national level within the framework of the Multidisciplinary Projects Program: Territory, Population and Sustainability.
- The creation of new SEXTANTE and about gvSIG, Focusing on improving the application GvSIG-FONSAGUA For the planning of actions for water supply and sanitation in rural areas of Honduras UDC-UNAH-UNEX.
The last two are processes currently under development, which attract attention. I spoke about one of them before in an article, although not with the approach that the University has now taken up.
The Career of Geographic Information Sciences and Technologies.
Currently the Faculty serves general classes that are at an optional level:
- Introduction to Global Geopocision Systems
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
- Introduction to Remote Sensing
But from the year 2013 is expected to start the offer of the Degree known as CTIG with which the University innovates in this area in order to instruct academically the human resource with optimal mastery in the areas of Geographic Information Science and Technologies as :
- Geographic information systems
- Global Geo-Positioning Systems
- Remote Perception
- Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Informatics Sciences related to the field of Science and Geographic Information Technologies, to support the different sectors of the country.
The career has 52 subjects, 231 value units and is planned to take 5 years. The best thing about this is that the academy is in its field of action, in the establishment of the criteria that the graduate must meet to qualify in the labor field related to it. Action that is not the same when it is developed by the private company or by public accreditation bodies.
And of course the best impact of this is the strengthening of the functioning of existing institutions, whose professional development is directed within the field as:
Property Institute, Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Forest Conservation Institute, General Directorate of Risks and Natural Disasters, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Permanent Contingency Commission, Directorate of Mining Promotion, Ministry of the Interior and Population, Company National Energy and Electricity Company, Honduran Telecommunications Company, Honduran Tourism Institute, National Institute of Statistics. Additionally, the same universities and the private sector.
The Short Career Technician in Cadastre.
This is a project that seeks to disintegrate from the previous degree a technician who takes the offer to a broader level, in the case of the municipal cadastre chiefs where the vast majority of local governments are not in a position to pay the fee for a bachelor's degree. Also to fill a void where the National Cadastre has neglected a potential role in the accreditation of human resources based on competencies.
This career consists of around 28 classes, with some subjects on fiscal and regulatory issues with greater intensity. Although with the potential to be scalable to the degree.
The subject is still on the design table but is expected to walk in the next few years as the degree is promoted.
Your link with Open Source Software
The most attractive thing about this initiative is its openness to free software.
It is a subject in which I hope to be involved from another sector, but possibly in the coming years this faculty will concentrate efforts for the formation of the gvSIG user community, not only because some of their exercises have been with these tools but because of their link with the support of public funds from Spain, where the initiative was born but that without a doubt will be able to position itself in the American continent with more interesting impacts than those seen in Europe and Africa.
Latin America is a fertile continent for free software, we have already seen it in the southern cone. This is quite obvious not only because of the savings that proprietary software licensing represents but also because of the high rates of piracy, discontinuity of efforts due to the weakness in the administrative career and the potential represented by an entire continent that officially speaks only two languages: Spanish and Portuguese; the same as the Iberian Peninsula where gvSIG was born.
In good time for this effort, we want important results not only in Honduras but in the Central American region taking advantage of spaces that already exist and where what is needed is agreement.