Regional Training Workshop Use of Geographical Information Systems for Agricultural Statistics


From Monday, December 17 2018
To Friday, December 21, 2018

 Venue: Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

Background :

    As part of the regional activities of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), together with the ASIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY is organizing this Regional Training Workshop on the use of Geographical Information Systems for Agricultural Statistics to be held from Dec. 17 to Dec. 21, 2018 at the Geoinformatics Center of the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.

Course Schedule: 17 – 21 DEC 2019


Training Place:

Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand



     The course tends to enhance the capacity of the relevant ministries by strengthening the use of earth observation and statistical data for agricultural risk management purposes. It will further facilitate technological cooperation and technological awareness in this field.

Towards the end of the training, the participants are expected to:

• Understand the various integrations of remote sensing, GIS and statistical data in the agriculture sector;
• Understand digital image processing techniques;
• Satellite image processing and image interpretations;
• Gather knowledge on the use of QGIS for data analysis;
• Gather knowledge on working with data from different sources;
• Gather knowledge on working in different data formats;
• Gather knowledge on the use of CAPI to collect information and coordinates from the field;
• Conduct overlay analysis in GIS software;
• Create intersects, buffers, unions and clips in the geo-processing wizard;
• Generate presentation and quality maps.

Course Contents:

     The course is focused on familiarizing the participants with image processing and analytical techniques using QGIS followed by hands-on exercises. Each of the modules will cover theoretical aspects of the topics followed by hands-on exercises. The details of the course content can be found in section 4.

Detailed Course Modules

      Module 1 – Introduction

i. Introduction to GIS and QGIS.
    • Introduce participants to QGIS project and explain why QGIS option has been selected to conduct the training.

ii. Overview of how GIS is used in Survey Cycle
    • Present examples of surveys conducted during the last 20 years in the region, from hand drawn maps to GPS+PAPI and CAPI.

iii. Installation, setting up, and intro to GIS software.
    • Participants will we provided with USB keys with the software and training material (manual, presentations and files for the different exercises).
    • Download and install all the plugins that will be used during the training.

Hands on:

• Load shapefile, set style, labels. Review menu properties.
• Data/Project management basic approach.
• Projections, how to deal with projections in QGIS. Set projection in the project, OTF CRS transformation, modify shapefile’s projection.
• Load Satellite images background.
• First EA map layout. (Basic)


Module 2.1 – GPS points and Delineation of Enumeration Areas.

i. Introduction to land use classifications. Techniques. Available global datasets that can be used in the region. MODIS, FAO Global, USGCS).
ii. Work with Household / Plots.
    • Explain different sources and methods to collect GPS locations in the field.
    • Accuracy and most common projections.
iii. Enumeration Areas (EA). Best management practices for demarcation, split and code assignment.

Hands on:

• Clean EA framework shapefile, generate village’s codes, dissolve to create village layer and add village’s names from external table.
• EA demarcation by number of HH or number of selected plots. Split / Merge advance editing tools.

Module 3 – Area frame sampling methods in Agriculture

i. Overview of use of area frames in agricultural statistical activities
ii. Types of layers used for stratification
    • Cropland maps
    • Classified Satellite imagery
    • Google base maps
iii. Overview of sampling units for selection in area frame
    • Point
    • Grid
    • Segments
iv. Sample selection methods
    • SRS and Stratification


• Import base maps, EA and admin boundaries
• Import existing crop map
• Using the Random points function for SRS and stratified random sampling
• Export and prepare selected sample points for CAPI data collection

Module 4 – Field data collection

i. Use CAPI to collect information and coordinates from the field.
    • Introduction to CAPI. (GPS as well?). Survey Solutions and other products available (ESRI, Fulcrum).
    • Introduction to a Basic CAPI questionnaire.
    • Tablet / GPS accuracy. Best management practices.
ii. CAPI data processing.
    • Download and upload field data into GIS software.
    • Data correction / cleaning.

Hands on:

• Participants will work in groups and will conduct a field survey collecting GPS coordinates, area measurement, photos.
• Download data from server (Stata format), upload into QGIS project and discuss the results, accuracy.
• Listing data correction. Error detection and cleaning methods.

Module 5 – Dissemination

i. Layers styles management.
   • Styles.
   • Advanced labelling.
   • Presets
ii. Layouts and atlas generation.
   • Landscape / Portrait assignment using expressions.
   • Rule based style and labels.
   • Miscellaneous elements (scale bar, legend, automatic titles).
   • Tables with contents controlled by atlas.

Hands on:

• Prepare a set 50 of field maps to conduct a survey.
• Draft a data dissemination report using data and shapefiles extracted from PopGIS2.

Module 6 – Advanced vector and raster analysis

i. Processing toolbox and vector geoprocessing.
   • Access, find tools, manage tools providers
   • Extended plugins.
   • Geoprocessing
   • Buffers, dissolve, clip and other basic examples.
   • Closest distance to a point, spatial statistics.
ii. Introduction to raster
   • Types of rasters and utilities.
   • Display rasters in QGIS.
   • DEMs, elevation data. Global elevation datasets.

Hands on:

• Clip raster using polygons.
• Work with points and elevation data.
• Georeference satellite or topographic maps images.

Course Schedule for 2018 QGIS for Statistics Data Collection and Dissemination

Duration and Instructional Methodology

5 Days: 17 – 21 December 2018

     This is a full-time, face-to-face course with lectures and hands-on exercises using local datasets and real case scenarios (50% lectures and discussions and 50% hands-on exercises,). This course is divided into six modules (see course outline). Each module is structured into sessions and hands-on exercises.

     The whole course is designed in a way to have a balanced approach between theoretical and practical methodologies, which will enable the participants to gain maximum knowledge on the subject. It will be taught in lecture/discussion formats illustrated with Power Point presentations, live demos, videos, maps, diagrams, field visits, and interactive sessions and so on.

Expected Participants and Prerequisites

     The participating team will be comprised of selected members of key Government ministries with the aim to improve the cross-sectoral exchange, learning and joint knowledge production.

     It is recommended that participants taking the course have a working knowledge of English including basic awareness about GIS and Remote Sensing applications.




Hands-on exercises will be based on QGIS.

Class Size

The number of participants is limited to not more than 30 to ensure quality support is provided.


Participants will be given a certificate on successful completion of the course.

Training Venue

Geoinformatics Center – Asian Institute of Technology
P.O. Box 4, 58 Moo 9, Km. 42, Paholyothin Highway
Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120


   This course is offered jointly by resource persons from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Geoinformatics Center of Asian Institute of Technology.

   Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 197 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. It is a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

   Geoinformatics Center (GIC) is a leading Remote Sensing and GIS organization in South East Asia. GIC was established in Asian Institute of Technology in 1995 with the aim to create an environment that would help the need of the region in terms of short-term training courses that are tailored to address potential applications in the regions. Since its inception, the training center trained more than 1,000 professionals from the region with the support of various national and international agencies. Over the years, it has been serving the region with appropriate and timely training courses designed specifically for the needs of participants. GIC has also been helping the region in capacity building activities in the field of Geoinformatics.

Course Coordination

Dr. Rishiraj Dutta
Senior Programme Specialist
Geoinformatics Center
Asian Institute of Technology

Mr. Anthony Burgard
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Logistics Coordination

Mrs. Sudchai Naikaset
Senior Administrative Officer
Geoinformatics Center
Asian Institute of Technology