The Year of Geology 2016

A web application of the maps of Kyrgyzstan

GTK takes Finnish geo-competence to countries, where competence has not yet reached the same level. The important thing in these projects is to train experts in the target countries so that they will have a strong basis for further studies.

System Analyst Harri Issakainen is participating in two projects that aim to improve data management competence in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are former Soviet countries. The printed maps of these countries are being digitised, and local people are being trained to create map applications in the Internet using the digitised material.

“The idea is to improve the availability and increase the openness of geodata. The map applications will be freely available for the citizens and other interested parties,” Issakainen says.

According to Issakainen, there are plenty of maps to scan: the digitisation work in Kyrgyzstan began in 2009, and it will continue as a development cooperation project funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs until the end of 2018. After that, there will be a follow-up project, which received funding until 2021.

“In addition to maps, other geodata will also be digitised.”

Supporting women’s careers

Harri Issakainen trains Kyrgyzstani and Tajikistani geologists and other professionals in Finland. This way, it is possible to get all the trainees in the same place at once. A part of the training is given in English, but sometimes an interpreter translates things to the language of the trainees.

According to Issakainen, the participants are really motivated to learn new things.

“The students are quite enthusiastic and active, and the learning results are good. My experiences of our colleagues from Central Asia are very positive.

One of the objectives of the project funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and led by GTK is to support the careers of women and young people.

“There has been a good number of women and young people working in all jobs,” Issakainen says.

The training projects have also given Issakainen a new perspective on work in Finland.

“We are very progressive. It is great to have the opportunity to share our knowledge to other regions so that they can reach the same level,” Issakainen says.