Opening Ceremony of Opening Specialization GIS Programme, Bogota

On 22 April 2013, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), in agreement with the Distrital University (Francisco Jose de Caldas), welcomed new students specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the auditorium of the Research and Investigation Centre (CIAF).

The event was attended by the Director general of IGAC, Dr. Juan Antonio Nieto Escalante, the rector of the University District, Dr. Innocent Bahamon Calderon, the GIS Programme Coordinator, Germán Cifuentes, the Chief of the CIAF Office, Mr. William Martinez, and the CIAF teachers, Jaime Silva and Alberto Boada, among others.

IGAC's Director General stressed the importance of the agreement between the two entities under which about 448 national and foreign professionals have graduated between 1994 and 2012.

For the current year, another 30 students are expected to graduate from the GIS Specialization Programme, who will take this course at the CIAF.

More information on the GIS... read more

Publishing Date: 30/04/2013
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Degree Erosion Map of Paipa, Boyacá, Colombia

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia IGAC (Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute) is currently working on elaborating approaches of using remote sensing and GIS for monitoring soil erosion. Reducing land degradation is a major issue for the environment and sustainable development in the XXI century. Erosion is the main cause for the degradation of soils and rock in Colombia. Experts estimate that approximately 60% of the country are affected by a meaningful degree of erosion. In consequence, the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia (MAVDT) created the “following and monitoring for the land degradation program”.

One of the main goals of the programme consists in mapping the erosion grade (light, moderate, severe and strong) in Colombia on a scale of 1:100.000. This map is being built with RapidEye satellite images trough visual interpretation. This research shows two image processing methods to identify the degree of degradation.

... read more
Publishing Date: 23/04/2013
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In February 2013, the Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute in Colombia, host of a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, launched a new web site allowing access to the National Bank of Images of Colombia (BNI):

The BNI is a union of organizations, policies, standards and technology which works together to produce, share and use geographic and satellite information to foster development in Colombia.Through the internet, the BNI aims to integrate and share data, metadata, web services, cartographic and satellite information around the country, also looking for the optimization of the State investment made in the use and acquisition of satellite and Remote Sensing data.

To accomplish this objective, the BNI relies on the support of each of the state entities that uses geographic information and especially remote sensing information. Most of the images of... read more

Publishing Date: 15/03/2013
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) is doing a research project about LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging Laser). LiDAR is a type of active remote sensor whose processing is not yet very common neither in Colombia nor in the countries of our region. These sensors emit millions of laser pulses which then backscatter to the sensor. The information of these laser pulses can then be used to create Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for large land extents with the best spatial resolution available at the moment.

DTMs and DEMs of LiDAR generate more accurate flooding models than any other remote sensing application. These flooding models also have the best spatial resolution, less than 1 meter, allowing for a very precise identification of risk areas. This is a necessary characteristic of flooding models of urban areas because in these places the differences in centimeters define significant... read more

Publishing Date: 04/12/2012
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UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), is currently researching automatic flooded area extraction. The experts are implementing the Adaboost algorithm, which is a change detection procedure. This algorithm consists in creating a strong classifier that is built from a small group of weak classifiers. IGAC's approach uses the medium, mean and variance filters, each of these calculated using three different windows sizes: 3x3, 5x5, and 7x7. Then the experts calculate the difference-image between the filtered after-flood image and the filtered before-flood image.

The algorithm consists of two parts: The training and the application. In the first part, the algorithm is trained to create a model using the two differences-images and a ground truth image. For the application part, the experts used the differences-images and the model generated in the training part. Although some flooded parts were not detected, the algorithm... read more

Publishing Date: 21/11/2012
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

The Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC), host of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, conducted a case study to identify flooded areas in Colombia during the maximum rainfall period of the years 2010-2012. This activity was carried out in order to promote the importance of remote sensing techniques and the application of digital satellite imagery for the extraction of flooded areas. The researchers visualized and monitored the behavior of the phenomenon by visual interpretation of optical and radar sensor data.

The digital products derived from the original images characterize and estimate the affected areas by making visible information on geomorphology, geology, topography, hydrology and soil units. These products are the results of the application of processing techniques, such as vegetation indexes and segmentation, the generation of topographic images of aspect or slope, the digital elevation model, and... read more

Publishing Date: 04/09/2012
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On June 30th, the volcano Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia erupted causing small volcano-related earthquakes and emitting a column of ash approximately eight kilometers high. But thanks to the Volcano Disaster Assistance Programme (VDAP), it was possible to prevent injuries and limit property damage. The VDAP was established following the disastrous eruption of Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia in 1985, since then it has been working to reduce fatalities and economic losses in countries experiencing a volcano emergency. Between crises, VDAP scientists work with international partners to build and improve volcano monitoring systems and to conduct joint activities to reduce volcanic risk and improve understanding of volcanic hazards. This, together with the partnership between the U.S. and Colombian governments, has led to better informed and prepared citizens for disaster management.

Publishing Date: 13/08/2012
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

The Colombian Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute - IGAC and their Center of Research and Development of Geographic Information – CIAF, recently did a series of projects based on risk management. One of those was focused on indentifying zones in the process of decertification using optical remote sensing in the Andean dry region of Villa de Leyva (Boyacá), Colombia. For this, the experts analyzed the values of the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) from 60 rasters per month (from January 2006 to December 2010) obtained from a MODIS sensor (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer). Based on the results of this analysis, zones in process of desertification were identified through linear and nonlinear regressions between the years 2000 and 2010 based on the values of the index in a certain season of the year. Finally, the IGAC experts estimated change between 2000 and 2010 for three categories that are usually employed to calculate the spatial change in... read more

Publishing Date: 26/07/2012
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On June 5th, 2012, the Geographic Institute “Agustin Codazzi” (IGAC) was officially registered as member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). IGAC acts also as the Colombian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ICDE) coordinator, and is therefore well aware of the importance of participating in the construction of standards and technical guidelines to ensure geographic information interoperability.  Becoming a member of the OGC is important both for the IGAC and the ICDE, because this supports participation in research processes, and the development of related geospatial technology topics, thus encouraging the advancement of new processes framed in the context of interoperability. This also backs the ICDE guidelines for using standards, the promotion of exchange, and access to geographic information, linked to standards set by the Government Online Program (GEL).

Publishing Date: 12/07/2012
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

UN-SPIDER present in the II Hemispheric Encounter on National Mechanisms and Networks for Risk Reduction. “Encounter of Santa Marta: From Theory to Practice”, 14 – 16 April 2010.

Special Session: Space-based Applications for Managing Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Latin America and the Caribbean


Taking advantage of the 2nd Hemispheric Encounter of Santa Marta, the UN-SPIDER Programme organized and conducted a special session during this event to promote the SPIDER Thematic Partnership for Latin America & Caribbean. The session allowed UN-SPIDER to bridge the space community represented through the Colombian Space Commission (CSC) and the Argentinean National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE); and the community which focuses its efforts on the topic of disaster-risk management. The session benefited 34 participants from a variety of agencies working at the national, regional, and international levels such as the Civil Defense,... read more

Publishing Date: 27/04/2010

Advisory Support

Mission dates: 01/08/2020 to 30/11/2020
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

Colombia is exposed to a variety of hazards including earthquakes, landslides, debris flows, volcanic eruptions, floods and droughts. This Expert Mission was conducted with the aim of visiting several Government agencies, to hold discussions with the Colombian Space Commission on the establishment of a regional support office in Colombia and to establish better links with the Risk Management Secretariat.

Mission dates: 14/04/2010 to 17/04/2010

Colombia está expuesta a una variedad de amenazas que incluye terremotos, maremotos o tsunamis, erupciones volcánicas, deslizamientos, incendios forestales, inundaciones y sequías. La erupción del Nevado del Ruiz en 1985 derritió la nieve en la cima del cono,desencadenando un flujo de escombros que destruyó la ciudad de Armero,lo que causó la muerte de más de 20,000 de sus habitantes. En contraste,la inundación de Noviembre de 1970 afectó a más de cinco millones de sus habitantes,mientras que la de Abril del 2010 perjudicó a más de dos millones. Esta Misión de Expertos se realizó con el propósito de visitar varias instituciones del Estado,para charlar con la Comisión Colombiana del Espacio sobre el establecimiento de una Oficina Regional de Apoyo en Colombia y para reforzar las relaciones con la Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos.

Mission dates: 14/04/2010 to 17/04/2010


The Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) of Colombia, is organizing the 7th International Geomatic Week from 14th to 18th of August, 2017 in the city of Bogotá, D.C., Colombia.

This year the International Geomatic Week is focused on "Information technologies for the environmental and productive consolidation of the territory", as the theme and purpose of the event. The event will consist of master lectures, oral presentations, panel discussions, poster exhibitions, theoretical-practical workshops, and an academic and technological exhibition. The general objective is to show the evolution of Geomatics and its applications in order to contribute to the transformation of society in the search of creating better conditions of well-being in the population, higher levels of governance, and social and productive land planning.

The main subjects for this version of the Geomatic Week are:

  • Innovative alternatives for detailed knowledge of the territory... read more

Since two years ago, the Research and Investigation Centre Remote Sensing Group and Geographic Applications (CIAF) of the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) has been conducting efforts in the area of ​​remote sensing applications using unmanned platforms (UAV-DRONES) with the support of German Aerospace Agency "DLR".  These efforts are conducted under the umbrella of a tripartite agreement among DLR,  IGAC, and the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (IDEAM), which aims to support technology transfer and scientific field remote sensors.

While there have been enormous advances in remote sensing in recent years, a vast majority of applications still rely on basic image processing concepts developed in the early 70s: classification of single pixels in a multi-dimensional feature space. Although the techniques are well developed and sophisticated variations include soft classifiers, sub-pixel classifiers and spectral un-mixing... read more

The regional office UNSIPER support for Colombia RSO - IGAC in collaboration with the Colombian Corporation for Agricultural Research “CORPOICA” show the paper called: "Using satellite images to identify areas affected by drought" at the international seminar: ADAPTATION AGRICULTURAL SECTOR TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY, which includes the participation of international speakers from Germany, Austria, Chile and Panama; and the participation of national entities. The event is organized by the Research and the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Cundinamarca (Colombia) and will be held on 5 to 9 October.

The main goal is to expose the use of spectral indices such as EVI, NDVI, VCI and DNDVI obtained from satellite multispectral images in determining abnormalities associated with dry conditions weather events.

The main topics are:

- Climate change and its impact on the agricultural sector.

- Early warning... read more

In recent years, Central American countries have been facing more severe and frequent droughts. Every two years IGAC conducts an international conference entitled “Semana Geomatica Internacional.”  This year, IGAC celebrated its 80th anniversary of its establishment and the SM was invited to attend the event and to give a presentation regarding the UN-SPIDER programme. The UN-SPIDER used this opportunity to co-organize with IGAC a Regional Expert Meeting bringing together experts from the Caribbean, Central America, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia. 

The expert meeting included presentations, discussion sessions and three training session on step-by-step procedures to process satellite imagery as a way to generate relevant maps applicable in case of droughts and floods. The UN-SPIDER has advanced in its efforts related to the provision of Technical Advisory Support (TAS) in Central America and the Dominican Republic and also in implementation and fund seeking for the... read more

Regional Support Office

The Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) of Colombia and UNOOSA recently signed a cooperation agreement making IGAC the newest UN-SPIDER RSO. IGAC has been promoting the use of space-based information within Colombia for a variety of purposes and has also been supporting UN-SPIDER in activities conducted in Latin America and the Caribbean. As an RSO, IGAC will continue to provide support in terms of experts towards the provision of technical advisory support to countries within the region and will contribute to capacity building efforts in this region.


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