Project progress

Yesterday, we had a great meeting about our project with Julie, the country director, and Aaron, our program manager. We gave a presentation about maps in the context of public health and development, and explained what Quantum GIS is capable of. The presentation was really well received by the staff – they were so excited about incorporating maps into their work – and we had a great brainstorming session all together. In order to decide what information would be most useful to visualize, we talked a lot about the key questions that the organization is answering. What progress is being made? Where do the most at-risk patients live? Where are the water sources within the communities? Where should we expand? Where do staff members have to switch from a car to a motorcycle to a footpath? What is the terrain like that certain families must cover in order to come pick up their seedlings at the health center? Is there a way we could bring the seedlings or trainings closer to those people?

Together, we decided to focus on making maps that will serve two specific purposes: programmatic and development/fundraising.

For both of these maps, we’re going to start collecting data on Monday. Our original idea was to collect the exact coordinates of all the households that GHI works with, so we could join the health indicator data to those points and make thematic health maps. On Tuesday next week we’re going to start doing just that at one health center, but first, we’re going to see if the agricultural agents can identify families using some Bing map imagery. The imagery you can find on Bing and Google maps for Rwanda is amazing, so we want to see if we can reduce the amount of time we need to spend collecting data by just identifying the houses on the Bing maps. We’ll cross check this on Tuesday when we collect data ourselves using the GPS.

In the meantime, we’re at the Kigali Airport, utilizing the fast(er) internet, and trying to find some more data online….