Projects Freelance GIS Projects in South East Asia

In October 2016 I relocated to Vientiane in Laos PDR to work as a freelance GIS consultant. The new environment has allowed me to practically implement and experience many of the ideas developed while working as a strategic consultant. It has also given me the opportunity to greatly develop my technical skills. The projects I have worked on in Laos have required extensive use of QGIS as well as Python, R, JavaScript and SQL. I have developed a number of web mapping applications and carried out a number of complex geospatial analyses. I’ve even got my hands on a drone! The below outlines the majority of the substantial projects I have worked on.

Climate Adaptation in Wetlands Areas (CAWA) in Lao PDR

Client: FAO Laos

The Cawa project is to designed help local communities in two important wetland areas of Lao PDR to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and contribute to the sustainability of their livelihoods, by supporting the restoration and sustainable management of two globally important Ramsar-designated wetlands on which they depend.

Example Maps Developed by me for CAWA

Online Data Portal

I developed an online data portal to display a number of relevant global open data layers alongside data on projects active in the Xe Champhone wetland. The purpose of the portal is to promote data sharing and awareness between the various projects operating simultaneously. I developed the portal using JavaScript, HTML and CSS and the free map-data hosting service Carto. View the portal online:


Offline Data Repository and Data Audit

I identified 150 discrete data sets relevant to the wetland via 17 different providers. To make this large data holding available to provincial and district staff with limited bandwidth I developed a spatial data repository that could fit on a memory stick. The repository includes QGIS software to view and analyse the data. The software can be run directly from the USB stick using Portable GIS or installed. The data is stored in a Geopackage database to retain styling.

Agricultural Encroachment Survey

I identified 28 separate areas of encroachment totalling 57 hectares through a manual review of high resolution satellite imagery and orthophotography taken four years apart. The results of my analysis were presented at the CAWA Project Steering Committee. I also developed a web map application, with slider, to showcase the changes.

Enchroachment Web Map

Data Collection Tools

I used high resolution satellite imagery to create a printable atlas of the CAWA wetlands designed to be taken into the field and used in participatory mapping activities. The results of the participatory mapping were subsequently digitised using control points marked on the atlas. I also developed a prototype M&E survey app using the Open Data Kit software for Android smartphones.

River Ecological Sensitivity Multi-Criteria Assessments

Clients: IFC, IUCN, Natural Heritage Institute

Working closely with a wetlands specialist I developed a methodology to classify river reaches for ecological sensitivity. The method combines data on hydrology, species distribution, protected areas and forest cover to create a sensitivity score for each section of river. Alongside this a pressure score was calculated including factors such as irrigation and hydro-power dams, population, agriculture and mining. To date sensitivity analysis have been carried out for the Nam Ou basin in Laos (International Finance Corporation (IFC) Nam Ou Basin Profile), the Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok basins in Laos Cambodia and Vietnam (IUCN 3 S Nexus Project and Natural Heritage Institute) and for all the rivers in Myanmar (IFC Strategic Hydropower Assessment). An example of a completed analysis is available as Figures 9 and 10 (pages 60-61) of the Nam Ou River Basin Profile Summary Document.

Nam Ou Basin Profile

Cambodian Eastern Plains Landscape Ecosystem Services Valuation

Client: World Wildlife Fund

The objective of this study was to examine the watersheds from the Eastern Plains Landscape of Cambodia and to show the type of ecosystem services and economic value that they provide to downstream stakeholders and users. A slideshow of 12 of the maps I made for publication are included at the link below. In addition to these maps I also provided analysis on rates of deforestation, predicted land cover change due to economic land concessions and estimated flood extents.

Map Slide Show

Desktop River Profile Survey

Client: IFC

I used the Open Foris Collect Earth application to develop a survey for collecting information about river features uing Google Earth and the CMGO R package to calculate river width and centrelines. The surveys were carried out for the Nam Ou river and stretches of the Mekong mainstream.