Young British explorers use GIS to map Himalayas


Young British explorers use GIS to map Himalayas

Antony Savvas

A group of young British explorers are to use a satellite mapping system on their month-long trip to the Himalayas.

The 38 students, aged 16-20, are on a trip with the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) to the remote region of Ladakh.

Using geographic information systems (GIS), they will map new trekking and mountaineering routes for use by future travellers as they attempt to summit unclimbed peaks.

The expedition is supported by ESRI (UK), a supplier of geographic information systems. Laptops donated by ESRI will be running ESRI's ArcGIS software, which will be used to log and analyse the data. Mapping of the Ladakh region is very scarce.

Throughout the expedition, the young explorers will research the environment and analyse their findings by creating "layers of analysis" on digital maps in the GIS.

The effects of altitude on human physiology, plant distribution and climatic change will all be studied.

The findings will be passed on to numerous organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund and individual academics, for use in larger research studies.

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