WeMAST Phase 2 Online Training Unveils the Power of Google Earth Engine, Cloud- Computing, and Earth Observation Expertise

Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) has concluded an interactive WeMAST Phase II Online Training on Earth Observation that took place on the 15th and 16th of November 2023.

The Online Training accommodates close to 60 participants from diverse fields of river basin organizations, national water/ environmental authorities, academic and research institutions, private sector, local communities’ representatives, non-governmental organizations, women in natural and water resources management across 30 Africa countries.

The training focused on leveraging the potential of Google Earth Engine (GEE), Cloud Computing and Earth Observation (EO) application in the intricate domain of wetlands monitoring and assessment.

The primary role of WeMAST’s capability development is to equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of GEE and remote sensing contribution to effective wetlands monitoring and assessment and how EO satellite data can be harnessed to gain insights into wetland ecosystems.

In a duration of two days, participants delved into the mechanics of GEE, gaining a profound understanding of its capabilities and functionalities. The immersive sessions ensure navigation WeMAST Geoportal to get an idea of cloud-based Earth Observation platforms.

The WeMAST training placed a strong emphasis on Wetland mapping using EO Data and GEE cloud-computing platform:

  • EO data access/ image collection
  • EO data wetland data filtering using the GEE platform.
  • EO based wetlands Product Development, Display and Visualization Analysis of temporal wetland changes.
  • EO wetland product development and Displaying on the GEE platform.
  • EO wetland product Visualization and interpretation on the GEE platform

Through open discussions and questions and answers sessions, participants honed their skills in data analysis, image collection and processing, the interpretation of wetlands features, amongst other benefits.

The online training also served a purpose for cross-fertilization of experience and knowledge and a place of networking for participants.

Renowned experts in the field of google earth engine, cloud-computing, and earth observation, Prof Timothy Dube from University from the University of Western Cape, South Africa and Dr Thomas Marambanyika from Midlands State University, Zimbabwe shared their insights and provided participants with valuable perspectives to effective EO applications in wetlands.

SASSCAL equipped participants with a robust skill set and a deeper appreciation for the role of GEE and remote sensing in wetlands monitoring and assessment and remains committed to driving earth observation technologies for positive impact in Africa.

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