A different view of Earth

Sansa will debut satellite imagery tools called mini Fundisa, which aim to launch schoolchildren “into the world of geospatial information”

By - October 19, 2013 Share on LinkedIn
Earth

The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) will on Tuesday, as part of Global Space Week, launch Fundisa: satellite imagery tools to support the high school geography curriculum.

Earth observation and space science are seen as important ways to monitor South Africa’s land usage, resources, urban development, among many other things, but a lack of skills in the field is a constant problem, both in government, research institutions and the private sector.

At the launch of Global Space Week on October 3 at the Hartebeesthoek site, Sansa chief executive Sandile Malinga was more effusive when addressing learners: “These are the new technologies, the new skills that will drive our country and our economy. It requires learners to step up to the plate and rise to the challenge. The opportunities are there for you.”

The Fundisa education programme and disc – already distributed to universities – “are set to help increase understanding of Earth observations among grade 10 to 12 learners”, Sansa said. “These resources, which include a portal for students, will also help raise awareness about the value satellite imagery adds to geographic information system analysis.”

In Fundisa, there is a “wealth of imagery, open-source processing tools”, Malinga said. Sansa disburses this resource every year to universities, but this is the first time that it is going to schools. “We call it mini-Fundisa,” he said. “We want to initiate [school learners] into the world of geospatial information. You don’t just want them to see a pretty picture. [In the long run, once they have graduated], we want them to extract information that will allow us to plan better, mitigate disasters better and stimulate the economy.”

Sansa is the country’s major hub of satellite imagery, which it shares with many groups in South Africa. Sansa Earth observation managing director Jane Olwoch said: “Sansa provides the satellite data, products and services from various earth observation satellites to government department and other stakeholders for use in addressing numerous societal deficiencies such as provision of formal housing while understanding the movement of informal settlements, managing our scarce resources like water and providing real-time data for monitoring and management of disaster and recovery.”

‘Investment in space science’

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s information and communications technology unit, the Meraka Institute, uses imagery provided by Sansa to track, monitor and predict fires around the world. Government departments on both a national and provincial level also receive satellite imagery so that they can better plan and deliver services.

“Space impacts our daily lives and it is important to understand that investment in space science and technology is important for our people and economy,” said Humbulani Mudau, chief director of space science at the department of science and technology.

Space is one of the department’s grand challenges; it is seen as a way to train highly skilled researchers and professionals, and to get young people interested in science, technology and engineering-related fields.

Source: Mail & Guardian

More space news

NASA tests new Mars Rover prototype

NASA’s Curiosity rover starts road trip

Mars rover Curiosity forges onwards after computer problems

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Do you watch movies at a cinema at least once a month?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

South African companies look overseas for ICT skills

ICT

New data shows that South Africa faces a growing Information and communications technology skills crisis of immense proportions.

Don’t download the new “premium version” of WhatsApp

Whatsapp on phone in hand

A security firm is warning of a new WhatsApp scam which is continuing to do the rounds.

Most expensive traffic fines you can get in South Africa

SA traffic police in Free State

Traffic fines in South Africa range from a few hundred rand to the tens of thousands, depending on the infringement you commit.

ZACR celebrates its 28th birthday

ZACR logo

South Africa’s ZA Central Registry celebrates its crown birthday today after being incorporated 28 years ago as UniForum SA on 28 July 1988.

Free MyBroadband Newsletter
×