Some reflections and lessons learnt from the GPS training

At the end of the training participants made some reflection about what they have learnt. Some of these reflections and discussions have been filmed.

Lesson 1 :
Google earth allows spatio-temporal visualization of data, it is simple and looks good.

Lesson 2
GPS in Android phone use a hybrid system, i.e. next to relying on satellites, they make use of mobile and wifi networks to locate the phone. However the later are very acculturate. Therefore one should wait until location is assessed with the satellite information (i.e the GPS logo is not blinking anymore)

Lesson 3
Installing open-source software always requires an internet access, i.e. the installation file (.exe) automatically connect to internet and download the relevant files. This can be very slow in developing countries with poor internet connection.

participants ended up working in bigger groups on laptops which had the software previously installed.

Lesson 4
the direct import from a garmin GPS (with coordinate system set for WGS84) does not always work smoothly. We have not yet really figured out what went wrong with this importation (i will have to test this)

Lesson 5
GPS rely on satellite signals, therefore the smartphone continues tracking even without wiki or data connection. However, the map (provided by google) which shows where one is in mytracks relies on an internet connection

From my side as a trainer, i have learnt that smartphone are revolutionizing the way we can work in developing countries. Never it has been so easy to collect and visualize geo-data with google earth. And one does not even need to understand basic principle of GIS such as coordinate systems. Despite of this, Garmin has not yet lost battle. Smartphones have limited battery time, how are we going to recharge them in rural Ethiopia without electricity? (i had tested in the past small solar panel, but this did not work) For garmins one can just carry a bunch of batteries.