GeoWorld February 2012

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BY PIERRE LACROIX AND DANIEL ERIKSSON How Can GIS Benefit Demining Activity? s long as there's armed conflict, there will be explosive remnants of war (ERW) that may affect civilians, and expertise will be required to develop solutions to this problem. More than 80 countries con- tinue to be affected by landmines and other ERW. The Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) is an international organization established by Switzerland and several other countries as a nonprofit foundation in April 1998. GICHD works to eliminate anti-personnel mines and reduce the humanitarian impact of other landmines and ERW. The center is committed to the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. GICHD, in partnership with others, strives to pro- vide capacity-development support, undertake applied research and develop standards, all aimed at increas- ing the performance and professionalism of mine 26 GEO W ORLD / FEBRUAR Y 2O12 action. In addition, GICHD supports the implementa- tion of relevant instruments of international law. Needing GIS Spatial data relative to mine action are under the respon- sibility of the different contaminated countries. The Information Management System for Mine Action - Next Generation (IMSMANG ) application is based on ArcGIS Engine, and it has been available since 1999. This appli- cation offers useful cartography functions such as digitiz- ing points or polygons, and designing layouts. IMSMANG data are stored in MySQL, and each coun- try can enter information in a customized way with regard to its particular needs; the data, scales and coordinate systems are different from one country to another. The data also may be heterogeneous inside a country. International GIS

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