2.5 NE.T.GIS Nepal Trekking GIS Project
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Università degli Studi di Brescia
Principal investigator: Prof. Giorgio Vassena
Objectives of the project
a) to Investigate on the innovative technologies of survey by means of GPS-GIS
b) to define and to apply innovative standard to the survey of trekking routes and of
c) to form the Nepalese partners to the methodologies of surveying and updating of
Geographical Information Systems by means of GPS-GIS integrated tools.
d) to form the Nepalese partners to the treks surveying methodologies, to the data
validation techniques and to the data insertion inside a Geographical Information
System, as a first step of a database creation and publication of the data by means
e) to produce a digital tourist-environmental cartography, of new tourist areas, not yet
f) to evaluate the environmental impact caused from the tourist use of the Park
g) to realize a study on the capacity of develop of low environmental impact sport
activities inside the Park.
The knowledge of the territory is an indispensable base for its correct management, to
plan a correct use of the resources and to make possible a sustainable economical
growth to the populations present in the territory. Such knowledge, particularly in the
mountains areas, asks for the well planned and organised work of the different
operators, everyone according to the actual specific knowledge. It is particularly useful
to remember that new technologically advanced tools, if well used, can help the data
acquisition on the field and the data elaboration, management and “distribution” to the
final users. The working group of the University of Brescia, focuses on the correct use
and application of these technologies also in remote areas The 3 years NE.T.GIS.
research project, is organised as a teaching and operating form, in order to introduce
the Nepali personnel to the use of technologically advanced systems for the survey and
georeferencing of data acquired in the territory, but also and first of all to the
management and use of databases and GIS. The main object of NE.T.GIS. is the survey,
the management and the diffusion of information related to Nepali trekking routes,
chosen both within the list of the more famous ones and the list of new routes just
open in the last two years to the public of the “trekkers”.
The main task of the research, is to develop some tools to help the correct touristic use
of the Nepali National Parks. It is planned to carry on this study through the surveying
of the primary net of trekking routes, starting from the trekking routes structure
recently proposed by the Italian Mountain Club (project SIWGREI).
It is important to underline that for trekking-surveying we do not intend only the
registration of the footpath route, but mainly the survey and the acquisition of all the
information and data pertaining to the track and that are necessary for a good
maintenance of the trekking routes and their related environment. With the study of the
possible introduction of echo-compatible sport activities and cultural trekking activities,
we intend to help the growth of a sustainable tourist economy not only along the main
trekking route, but in all the areas of the Parks. A typical example of this is the situation
is the Sagarmatha National Park, where thousands of tourists, every year, move mainly
along the main track from Lukla to Everest base camp, avoiding any other “secondary”
route. Since 2002 the surveying group has been working on Sagarmatha National Park.
At the moment the routes surveying is completed and partially published in a Web-GIS
(http://topotek.ing.unibs.it/). In the next years we intend to proceed with the surveying
of several trekking areas, starting from the Annapurna ring. The surveying team should
be composed mainly by Nepalese surveyors, even if, in the starting period, the local
personnel should work together with Italian experts for a training-on-the-field course.
To carry on this surveying task, the work will be planned in collaboration with Dr. Tirtha
Man Maskey, of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. We had the
possibility to meet Dr. Maskey during our presence at the Pyramid Laboratory in
October 2003, during the 2003 Changri Nup Expedition. He found the research -
surveying – training project interesting and declared his interest to start a common
project finalised to share common GIS data on Nepali National Parks.
The procedure for acquiring and memorizing georeferenced data foresees the use of a
dedicated database intended for both trekkers and park managers. This database is
intended to be used with simple GPS, rather than with PDA-GPS of middle-high cost,
albeit able to manage relevant data on the quality and features of the path, the road
signs, and all other useful information for the management of the trekking routes.