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GIS Day 2000 Nepal Celebration

More than 2,500 Observed GIS Day 2000 in Nepal

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), together with the Institute of Engineering (IoE), the Central Department of Geography, Tribhuvan photo of Himalayan mountainsUniversity, and the Nepal GIS Society, jointly organized the first-ever GIS Day in Nepal to mark International GIS Day 2000. The GIS Day 2000 Nepal celebration was aimed at creating a greater awareness of GIS technology and its usefulness to the public at large in Nepal. The theme of this year was "Promoting Geographic Literacy Through GIS." Several programs and events were organized to mark the event. The leading newspapers gave priority to the events, and live programs were aired on many local radio stations.

Programs and Events of GIS Day 2000 Nepal

On the occasion of GIS Day 2000 Nepal, a four-day training course for beginning users of GIS was presented. More than 120 participants from different schools, colleges, Business organizations, government organizations, and other areas of interest took part in the training course. The training course aimed to educate and build awareness of GIS technology and its applications with a special emphasis for school and college students. The training course provided an introduction to GIS concepts and applications for a wide range of audiences. The participants learned about various spatial problems with illustrations of everyday life situations and basic mapping and GIS concepts. All of the exercises were based on Esri ArcExplorer free software with data sets for the local region.

The GIS/Mapping Exhibition was the major attraction of the event. The exhibition brought together the majority of the GIS and mapping community in Nepal, providing a forum for them to share their activities. Twenty different institutions, government groups, researchers, and private sector groups participated in the exhibition and appreciated the opportunity to interact with the GIS/mapping community in Nepal. More than 2,500 school children, GIS/mapping professionals, and visitors celebrated GIS Day 2000 Nepal. More than 85 schools, 30 government departments, 26 INGOs/NGOs, and 30 Business organizations participated in the exhibition. Videos were shown at regular intervals on GIS and its many applications.

In addition, 20 project works were displayed in the exhibition by the trainees of the GIS for Beginners training course. Three prominent geographers of Nepal evaluated the projects and distributed prizes to the three best projects.

To mark the event, the GIS for Beginners book and CD-ROM was released by Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel, the honorable member of the National Planning Commission of Nepal. It is envisioned that the materials developed will be useful as supplementary materials to teach geography and related courses in schools and colleges.

More than 250 students from schools across the country participated in a GIS quiz competition and prizes were awarded to competitors with the three highest scores.

For more information about ICIMOD, contact Basanta Shrestha, acting division head (tel.: 977-1-525316, e-mail: basanta@icimod.org.np) or visit www.icimod.org.


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