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CATHALAC course on Mapping and Application of GPS


Panama City, February 24th 2014. The fourth edition of the basic GPS course “Mapping and Application of GPS” came to an end last weekend with the participation of professionals whose goal was to earn a deeper understanding about this valuable tool. With that in mind, participants learned different GPS applications and data edition, in particular.

This interactive course gave participants the opportunity to learn and strengthen their basic understanding of cartography, so that it could be easily applied in their daily activities with the use of GPS (Global Positioning Systems).

Along the course, participants had the opportunity to handle GPS navigation systems, take coordinates such as “waypoint", "Route" and "track" parameters, as well as learn how to use the GPS tool for smartphones and how to export the GPS data to GIS format using open source application. In more detail, participants learned to download data from the GPS to the computer in order to display the information using “Google Earth”, and to introduce it in the Geographic Information System through GPS data conversion into “shape file” format.

Overall, the group showed their satisfaction with the labs and field visits. Here are some of the testimonials

Francisco Javier Santos Castillo: Agronomist, Technical Consultant (Consultorías Especializadas G&G, S.A) – I think it’s perfect that [CATHALAC] imparts this course in order to acquire new knowledge about different software which I did not know. Thank you for the support provided along the course.

Rogelio Samudio Fernández: Biologist, Freelance Consultant- As a biologist, I can now locate through “waypoints” the registered species during sampling, and take pictures to later georeference both in a map. I feel satisfied since it is a good course because it can be applied in a practical way to the work we do.

Luis Gastón Menéndez González: Industrial Engineer, (GLOBAL TRENDS, INC)- Educational, pleasant, satisfactory. In the accuracy and presentation of the field data; before I would limit myself to take coordinates, without doing much but enumerate them in a final report.

Ricardo De León Ortega: Civil Engineer, (Technological University of Panama, UTP)- In my professional development, the topics covered, apart from providing me with an update, I am able to apply them with my students in the classroom and do additional work that previously I could only do using complex equipment (black boxes), which were also limiting due to their cost.

As a basic course, it was perfect; I would not take out or add neither time nor more activities. Maybe there could be a second part that includes use of geodesic GPS and its application on a larger scale project or in inaccessible areas.

CATHALAC will continue with the development of this and other related training courses, therefore helping to strengthen the knowledge of professionals of the Latin American and Caribbean region. For those interested, CATHALAC also offers specialized courses in different topics; for more information you can visit: or e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .