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Geographical Information Systems

DMS offers a range of training options for GIS from an introduction level, GIS for managers to GIS specialists.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) needs no introduction to most government departments or private companies that rely on geographic data. Similarly, the Disaster Risk Management sector of society – whether public or private in nature, also rely on geographic data. What has been missing until now is an easy way to integrate the two and assist both sides of the disciplinary interaction to effectively understand and interpret each others’ needs and requirements. 

The “GIS for DRM” course provide GIS specialists and DRM professionals and operators alike the ability to understand each others’ fields and required data management components to ensure cost-effective and timeous management of spatial and non-spatial data. In this course we guide attendees from the disaster risk management sector to understand and even implement GIS and data management systems, while the GIS specialists get to clearly understand what disaster risk managers require from them. As far as we are aware this is the first short course to date that combine these two disciplines in this manner

Who should attend?

Persons who are skilled in one or the other: GIS or DRM, who needs to improve their capacity to operate and understand the very critical interactions between and requirements of both disciplines. The course is aimed at both operational staff as well as managerial staff who have to implement projects and processes that rely on data and information:

  • Risk Managers
  • Fire fighters and fire safety officers 
  • Disaster Risk Managers
  • Emergency Response Personnel
  • Safety officers
  • Business Continuity Managers
  • General Managers using GIS


The successful learner should be able to use and interpret GIS Maps, assist in the development of risk assessment mapping relevant to their working environment, which includes the ability to:

  • What constitutes GIS and how does it operate effectively?
  • Sourcing data and capturing metadata
  • Working with different data formats 
  • Designing spatial databases
  • Designing data capture forms
  • Capturing spatial and non-spatial data
  • GPS and location-based data collection and capture
  • Using different GIS software 
  • Map making and map book production
  • Considering Disaster Risk in the spatial region where a facility is located 

On a higher level course learners will be able to:

  • Understanding GIS fundamentals
  • The Spatial Data infrastructure (SDI) Act and the responsibilities it places on Managerial staff/senior management
  • Requirements and needs for Geo-Information Systems and databases to operate effectively to reduce physical and operational risks  
  • Integrating GIS effectively into disaster risk reduction and response efforts 
  • Considering whether GIS is needed in a project, what its implementation entails, as well as the costs and human resources involved

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