Geo-Info & Remote Sensing Institute (GRSI)

Objectives of GRSI

The goal of the Geo-Information and Remote Sensing Institute (GRSI) is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable environmental resource utilization in Zimbabwe and the region.
The objective of GRSI is to provide spatial data analysis solutions that would result in the management of the environment and natural resources in a more sustainable manner than would be possible without considering the spatial aspects.

  • Current Research Areas
    The spatial dimension is a required aspect of informed decision making. The GRSI has capacity to design and develop products that embrace the spatial dimension for informed decision making in:

    • Natural Resources Management;
    • Earth and Water Resources Management; as well as
    • Land Administration and Facility Management.
  • Areas of Collaboration
    The activities of the GRSI cover the Natural Resources Management; Earth and Water Resources Management; as well as Land Administration and Facility Management, and can be grouped as follows:

    • Collaborative research: Research with local or international institutions targeted at applications using spatial data analysis techniques to enhance resources management.
    • Customised service provision: Providing Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) services to the public and private sectors in resources management by designing, developing and implementing methods that include the spatial dimension.
    • Product development: Developing spatial data analysis algorithms, models and software, that result in improved decision making about resource utilisation.
  • Products and Services
    The main activities of the GRSI focuses on research and development utilising the following capabilities:

    • Remote Sensing including: Preprocessing of Satellite Imagery, Geo-referencing and Orthorectification, Image Interpretation and Image Classification
    • Developing and maintaining spatially enabled databases, i.e. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) including: data capture (digitising and GPS surveys), Geo-referencing and Geo-coding, and map design
    • Spatial data analysis including: relational analysis such as overlays, buffering, and neighborhood analysis; spatial statistics such as Geo-statistics, point pattern analysis, spatial regression, and spatial modeling; as well as network analysis.
    • Operational Information Systems design with model application and WebGIS.
    • Open Source software integration.

    GRSI activities are done in collaboration with other Institutes at SIRDC and other Government Departments as part of the Stage Gate Approach, in order to benefit from teamwork and rapid project/product development.

  • GRSI Project Highlights

    • High-Performance Computing for modelling hydrology over Sub-Saharan Africa for the MESA SADC THEMA flood service.
    • Developing a Flood Warning System for the Monitoring of the Environment for Security in Africa (MESA) SADC THEMA flood service.
    • Real-time geo-referenced field data acquisition for “A Situational Assessment of Malaria Risk and Control in Communities along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Border in Manicaland Province”.
    • Biomass Resource Assessment (BRA) for the Nyanga Pine Sawmill– Biomass Co-Gen Power Plant power generation project. The BRA included the following tasks: (1) Mapping Timber Plantations, Natural forests, harvesting sites and sawmilling operations in the area, (2) Modelling biomass distribution based on forest type classes, (3) Assessing the biomass available for the energy generation plant, (4) Mapping the average and standard deviation of remotely sensed dry matter productivity over the study area, and (5) Mapping accessibility, based on digitised roads and distance calculation, indicating the distance and travelling time from the Nyanga plant to any point in the study area.
    • Operational Geo-databases and WebGIS for the Ruwa Town Council.
    • Operational Geo-database for the Petroleum Industry in Zimbabwe based on PostgreSQL, PostGIS and Quantum GIS.
    • Digital GIS and WebGIS of the Zimbabwe high voltage power grid based on Quantum GIS, Mapserver and Apache2.
    • Information System Validation for the MESA SADC THEMA ACTION: Assessment of the performance of selected MESA SADC THEMA drought service products in Zimbabwe through comparison of the products with field measurements and observations (funded by the EU). The MESA was a successor of the AMESD project.
    • Information System Validation for the African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) SADC THEMA ACTION: Assessment of the performance of selected AMESD SADC THEMA drought service products in Zimbabwe through comparison of the products with field measurements and observations (funded by the EU).
    • Environmental evaluation of available tsetse control methods in the Matusadona National Park (funded by the IAEA).
    • Capacity builder and National Focal point for the drought service in the MESA SADC THEMA programme.
    • Capacity builder and National Focal point for the drought service in the AMESD SADC THEMA programme.
    • Customized training in GIS, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Drought Monitoring using Earth Observation (EO), and Monitoring and Evaluation using EO and GIS.
    • Hydrological Modelling for microhydro-power sites in Niassa Province, Mozambique using Quantum GIS.
    • Satellite Imagery and digital geology for Zimbabwe German Graphite Mine and Lynx Mine using Quantum GIS.
    • High Spatial Resolution Satellite Image Map and Digital Terrain Model (DTM) using Quantum GIS.
    • High-resolution Satellite image map for water pipeline design using Quantum GIS.
    • Archive search of High Spatial Resolution Satellite Imagery for the City of Harare.
    • Engineering Profile of a Proposed Water Pipeline: Generated the elevation profile with distances and crossings (rivers and roads) for a proposed water pipeline across 400 kilometres.
    • Project Evaluation for Practical Action Southern Africa: Monitoring Community Success Stories on Soil and Water Management Technologies using GIS and Remote Sensing.
    • Spatially enabling a database for Research Bureau International: Demonstrating how to spatially enable a digital database of small enterprises.
    • Mapping and Habitat Modelling for the Tsetse Control Division (Ministry of Agriculture, Zimbabwe): Modelling Tsetse habitat for the Matusadona area based on mapped Tsetse trap-sites.
    • National Remote Sensing workshop for Zimbabwe stakeholders: Hosting a national Remote sensing workshop on using real-time and long-term-recorded remote sensing imagery to monitor agriculture, drought and fire. The workshop was conducted together with AGRITEX and EMA.
    • Training GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS applications. Participants from Government, NGOs, Public and Private Sectors including: Practical Action, Welthungerhilfe, Goal Zimbabwe, NCU-Wash Sector, International Rescue Committee. Software includes: Mapinfo, ArcGis, ERDAS, ENVI, QGIS, ILWIS, etc.
    • Dust Fallout Modelling to assess the variations in levels of fallout dust from the source (Stack) to the receptor (community) for an International Cement Manufacturer.
    • Design of Geo-databases for spatial data management, e.g. ZEDC, Rural Electrification Agency, Ruwa, Zvimba Rural District Council (RDC), Chegutu RDC, Sanyati RDC, Hurungwe RDC and Mhondoro-Ngezi RDC.
    • Formulate a GIS and RS based methodology for monitoring vegetation changes, Vegetation Resources Information System (VegRIS) for the Forestry Commission, and to integrate this in land use planning. The system uses GIS, RS and GPS techniques for the establishment of a woody cover map series of Zimbabwe.
    • Shangani Ranch Vegetation Species Distribution Mapping. The tasks included: (1) Interpreting and enhancing medium- and high-resolution Satellite Imagery; (2) GPS field surveys; (3) Biodiversity Analysis; and (4) NDVI analysis. These resulted in the production of a Vegetation Species Distribution Map of the Shangani Ranch and a detailed Project Report.
    • Spatial Data Conversion Project for UNICEF, Zimbabwe
    • GIS Needs Analysis for the Department of Roads, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications.
    • Land Use/Cover mapping using high resolution SPOT satellite data for Guruve District, Zimbabwe: a CIRAD supported project
    • Assessment of national socio-economic and development statistics data for GIS as part of the SADC Development GIS project: a survey supported by SARDC
    • A digital environmental database for an international training session on leadership for environment and development: supported by Leadership in Environment and Development (LEAD) Project - Rockefeller Foundation
    • Ground water potential mapping and on-farm resources database for Debshan/De Beers
    • Flood Modelling for Proposed Dams for Hydro-utilities (Pvt) Ltd: digitising contours from 1:50 000 maps, constructing a digital elevation model, Modelling the flooded area and calculating volume of the two proposed dams.
    • Underground Mine Plan for ASCON Africa: Digitising an underground mine plan for use in 3-dimensional modelling.
    • Digital Contours for RIO ZIM: Generating digital contours for a mining claim from ASTER data.

For Further Information Contact:
The Director, GRSI
Landline: + 263(242) 860336 (direct line), 860320, 860322
FCT Lines: +263-778860323, 778860324, 778860327