Humanitarian mapping course

MapAction is running a course in May to help develop the mapping skills and knowledge for Humanitarian and Development workers using open source software including QGIS and Google Earth.


From: Tuesday 9 May 2017
To: Thursday 11 May 2017
Where: MapAction, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4BF, United Kingdom

About the course

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and related tools are crucial tools in disaster preparedness and response in affected countries. However, humanitarian and development organisations need simple, low cost methods to collect and map information about needs and assistance programmes.

This three-day course has been developed by the international humanitarian NGO MapAction. It aims to give practical training on tools and methods proven in the field, and suitable for humanitarian or development practitioners who have little or no previous experience of GIS and without the use of expensive tools and software.

What will I learn?

On completing the course, delegates will have the knowledge needed to carry out spatial data collection, spatial analysis and basic mapping. They will also have an understanding of how to find the necessary free/open-source tools and software needed to set up a GIS project. Typical applications include:

  • Field-based navigation and needs assessment
  • Identifying areas in priority need of aid and gaps in delivery
  • Planning and monitoring programmes
  • Support to logistics
  • Identifying hazards and security risks
  • Reporting, communication and advocacy

Outline syllabus

The course will cover the following topics:
  • Mapping and information management for humanitarian work
  • Creating base maps using open-source mapping and QGIS software and online data sources
  • Creating thematic maps showing humanitarian situations
  • Undertaking a field data collection survey
  • Sharing information through a web map

The principal instructors will be GIS practitioners with MapAction field experience in humanitarian emergencies. All course materials and software will be provided. Computers and GPS units can be loaned if needed but you are encouraged to bring your own laptops on which open-source software can be installed. During the course you will be able to search for data and setup a project around your area of interest so making it easier to apply what you have learned directly to your work.

Practicalities, fees and registration

The course will be held at the MapAction office in Saunderton which is easily reached by train from central London. Accommodation is not included, lunch and refreshments will be provided.
Course fees are shown in the table below (all in pounds sterling).
Band A: Student / Unemployed / Small Charity* £360
Band B: Self–funding Individuals / Medium Charity** £480
Band C: Large Charity / Commercial & State Organisations £950
* Defined by having fewer than 25 employees ** Defined by having fewer than 45 employees

To book a place on the course please click through to the Eventbrite page.

To find out more please contact Jonny Douch (Training Coordinator) at:
Telephone: +44 (0)1494 56 88 99