Locust Watch

GIS - Geographic Information Systems

What is RAMSES?
RAMSES (Reconnaissance And Management System of the Environment of Schistocerca) is a custom software application that consists of a database and a geographic information system (GIS). The database stores the results of survey and control operations and the GIS displays this data on maps.
Who uses RAMSES?
RAMSES has been developed to help nationally designated Desert Locust information officers (DLIOs) in locust-affected countries to manage data that is collected by their field teams during survey and control operations. DLIOs use RAMSES on a daily basis in the national locust centre of the country.
How does RAMSES work?
DLIOs can query locust and ecology data that have been imported or manually entered in the database. The data is displayed as overlays on different static and dynamic maps and satellite imagery. Static maps and imagery consist of individual layers of country boundaries, sub-national boundaries, wadis, lakes, roads, railroads, elevation contours, towns, weather stations, Landsat imagery and Tactical Pilotage Charts. Dynamic imagery consists of individual layers of rainfall estimates, MODIS imagery (NDVI, EVI, composite) and dynamic greenness maps. DLIOs download the dynamic imagery from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). The locust data consist of separate layers for each locust type (hopper, band, adult, swarm) and maturity. The DLIO can reorder the layers.
Why is RAMSES important?
RAMSES links the data from the field to the global information system at FAO Headquarters. In the field, national locust officers use eLocust3 to record their observations during survey and control operations and transmit them in real time to the national locust centre in their country. The DLIO checks the data before it is imported into RAMSES and enters other reports manually. The DLIO assesses the current locust situation and forecast its developments by analyzing the field data with satellite imagery on rainfall and vegetation, and historical locust data in RAMSES. The data is then exported from RAMSES and sent by email to the Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) at FAO Headquarters in Rome where it is imported into the SWARMS global GIS for further analysis, summary and forecasting, and to warn locust-affected countries and the international donor community. RAMSES can easily manage different types of data as well as large volumes of data common during increased periods of locust activity such as outbreaks, upsurges and control campaigns. This allows more time for DLIOs to analyze the data and provide necessary advice to the National Locust Director.
When did RAMSES start?
DLIS commissioned the development of a custom GIS for use by DLIOs in locust-affected countries in the late 1990s. RAMSES was first delivered to users in 2000 as two separate versions, English and French, and was subsequently updated several times to RAMSESv3. It used ArcView 3.x as the GIS software and Microsoft Access as the database. By 2012, it became obvious that RAMSESv3 was no longer current, new technologies had developed, ArcView was no longer supported and had become obsolete, and MS Access was insufficient. The decision was taken to rewrite RAMSES and take advantage of the latest developments in GIS and spatial databases, to use open-source software that does not require commercial licenses and can be more readily customized and easily updated to meet the needs of the locust-affected countries. The first basic operational version of RAMSESv4 was released on 1 January 2015. RAMSESv4 uses OpenJump GIS and PostGISPostgreSQL as the spatial database. The release coincided with the commencement of eLocust3 on an operational basis, which was necessary because eLocust3 data was not compatible with RAMSESv3.
What are the advantages of RAMSESv4
RAMSESv4 offers a number of substantial advantages compared to RAMSESv3: open source software that does not require licenses and has a large community of available programmers, plug-in architecture for easy updating and expansion, spatial database for faster retrieval of records and added ability for spatial analysis, modern programming language (Java), platform independent so it can operate on any type of computer, user interface in three languages (English, French, Arabic) that can be expanded to include other local languages, and a single harmonized database to facilitate data exchange and analysis.
Can RAMSES be maintained and sustained?
Recently, FAO's three regional Desert Locust commissions (CLCPRO, CRC, SWAC) agreed to set aside a small portion of their annual budget for the support and upgrading of RAMSESv4. In this way, when countries have new needs, technologies improve and new satellite-derived products become available, RAMSESv4 can respond accordingly and continue to grow and evolve as a modern operational GIS used for Desert Locust monitoring and early warning.
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See also
Données d’observation de la Terre

(en anglais)

Suivi depuis l’espace de l’évolution des précipitations, de la végétation et de l’humidité du sol.

Outils numériques

(en anglais)

Suite eLocust3: transmission en temps réel de données de terrain aux centres nationaux de lutte contre les acridiens.


(en anglais)

Estimation de la vitesse de l’évolution acridienne, migrations, outils 3D et interventions optimales.

Prévisions climatiques

(en anglais)

Utilisation des prévisions de précipitations et de températures sur six mois pour déterminer l’évolution acridienne.


(en anglais)

dLocust: drone longue portée pour cartographier la végétation et détecter la présence de criquets pèlerins.

Opérations d’urgence

(en anglais)

EarthRanger: suivi des opérations aériennes de prospection et de lutte contre les acridiens.