Village Management--The village management project is  designed to assist small Village Map With Legend municipalities to prepare maps from open source satellite photography, to extract management data from the maps and to combine that data with data from more traditional sources. The technologies involved have been tested using satellite imagery available for selected Canadian First Nations settlements.  The project uses satellite data made available by the open source project Open Street Maps (OSM) and creates project maps using the open source software QGIS.  The mapping is designed to allow the creation of "new" data through strategically planned mapping-- for example, by mapping individual buildings on the satellite data and enclosing the buildings in residential, commercial or industrial areas.

The map to the right shows four residential areas (dark green) enclosing a collection of buildings in a portion of a map from one of the First Nations.. It also shows individual farm yards (light purple) with the buildings on the farm yards. With the QGIS software it is possible to create spreadsheet lists of all the buildings with their id codes linked to the id codes of the  residential areas or farm yards on which they are located. The second image shows a small section of a residential area with building id codes in black and the residential id code in red. Using the software it is also possible to calculate the surface areas of the residential areas, as well as other entities in the map--in this case residential areas (dark green), farm yard areas (light purple) , farm land (light brown) forest (light green), QGIS provides routines to calculate the ground surface area of all of this Sample Map Showing Building and Residential IDs data and to download it in spread sheet format. This data can also provide important information on the size and composition of residential, commercial and industrial areas. If satellite imagery is available for different time periods, the software also permits the calculation of changes in farmland area, farm numbers, forest coverage, etc. over time.

The Open Street Map satellite mapping is normally carried out by volunteers, and can be done from anywhere in the world with reasonable internet access. However, mappers who are not familiar with the settlements may not be able to distinguish between houses and commercial buildings, or to identify schools, clinics and churches, etc. Ideally, for this project,  the original mapping should be carried out by people from the relevant First Nations familiar with the area--however, the original mapping can be done by volunteers anywhere in the world with good internet connections, with local organizations later identifying buildings by type, residential areas, etc. from the the original draft maps. In addition, buildings may have been added or had a change in use since the creation of the provision of the satellite imagery was provided --this new data is easily collected by an individual with a smart phone which can give GPS locations.(The free imagery provided by OSM is often one or two years out of date.)

The project will provide provide online training or links to existing online training for basic mapping as well as the use of QGIS. Examples will also be given for creating spreadsheets/databases of buildings by residential area and the areas of land use. The project will also contact universities with significant numbers of First Nation students and encourage Geography Departments to promote mapping of the reserves in their assignment of student projects. The training and other material will be available free on a separate web site managed by . While the application, related software and training will be provided free, GRI will seek financial assistance from international and other organizations to cover development and management costs. The recent launch of the Starlink satellite initiative will mean that within the foreseeable future high speed internet will become available to many currently unserved areas in rural areas and developing countries as well as in the Canadian north.

GRI is updating a web site at to provide links to data used in this project as well as providing training or links to training for the data management activities involved.