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Using GIS to Diffuse Landmines

Using GIS to Diffuse Landmines

In many of our past blog postings, we have profiled companies from all over the world. All of these business entities have come out with some of the latest, cutting edge tools which can be used by just about any professional who deals with maps, landmarks, geosciences, aviation, and even the atmosphere.

Some of these tools include new breakthroughs in 3-D map creation and the methods by which they can be stored and accessed (for instance, one posting detailed how the Adobe Creative Cloud can be used in this process). Other topics have been about the topographic features of the earth which can be taken by UAV vehicles, as well as the almost instantaneous access to very rich, informative, and up to date geospatial datasets.

It is not just new GIS technologies that we’ve discussed, however. There are also new start-up businesses being launched. For example, the market here in the United States is already fairly saturated in this regard, but some explosive geographic areas of growth are those in the Pacific Rim, Asia, and even some nations on the African continent.

It is important to keep in mind that, with all of these businesses and organizations, the bottom line and the earnings per share (EPS) are always on the minds of CEOs. Apart from the corporate objectives, there is the social aspect, as well. This is probably best exemplified by the recent announcement of the partnership between the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and Esri Software.

By pooling together the resources of these two business entities, and available GIS technology, it is hoped that land mines and other remnants of war (such as unexploded artillery pieces) can be eradicated from the face of the earth.

With the tools available from Esri Software it is anticipated that, rather than simply guessing the rough location of landmines, they can be exactly pinpointed. The primary advantage of this is that there will be no further damage or loss of life to landmine ordinance personnel as they try to diffuse and dispose of them.

According to Ambassador Stefano Toscano, director at the GICHD, “Mine Action is inherently geographic. It relies on identifying the location and spatial extent of explosive hazards and analyzing their proximity to vulnerable communities and assets. GIS is ideally suited to support this work . . . saving and enhancing people’s lives across the world depends upon accurate, up-to-date GIS solutions and information.” (SOURCE:

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen