• Some GPS/GIS tools


    The following list is not exhaustive:

    GPS – to get locations using longitude, latitude and altitude measurements

    • Inexpensive handhelds, e.g. Garmin, Magellan.
    • US$ 300 with antenna.
    • Easily learned; typically half a day for an extension agent.

    GIS – for creating a spatial database and mapping. Mapping software is optional. Could use regular database or even paper files to store data.

    • US$ 600–1,000 for the software, e.g. ArcView by ESRI. More likely used by cooperative, group of cooperatives, or large estate producer.
    • More rigorous training required.

    Internet – for staging maps on the Internet.

    • Static maps easily put into website.
    • Interactive maps (move around, zoom in and out, query based on particular characteristics of interest, etc.) require special software and training. Again, more likely used by cooperatives, groups of cooperatives or large estates.

    NB: For an introduction to longitude/latitude visit http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Slatlong.htm For detailed educational and technical information on GPS/GIS use any Internet search engine combining the words Geographical Positioning Systems or visit www.trimble.com/gps/index.shtml.

    To illustrate, here is a GPS reading example: "N 07 01 44.0; E 038 80 16.1; 1,720 m".

    The numbers refer to:
    (1) the latitude North of Equator. 07 are degrees (from 0 to 90), 01 refers to minutes (from 0 to 59) and 44.0 are seconds (from 0 to 59),
    (2) the longitude East of the Greenwich line (which goes North-South through Greenwich in London, United Kingdom), also in degrees (from 0 to 180), minutes and seconds, and
    (3) the altitude above sea level.
    The coordinates shown here as an example are from a coffee growing area in the Southern part of Ethiopia.

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