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IJGPRM - Introduction to the fourth issue

The fourth issue of IJGPRM gathers 10 contributions centered on the approaches and the tools of Geomatics. The geomatics taught and practiced must be applied to address the vital problems of our society by avoiding the silos and prejudices that make it so difficult to transform the enormous expertise that this science and technology offer in the field of the environment, spatial planning and digital cartography, in terms of spatial planning and development.

Thus, several disciplines, especially mathematics and computer science, formerly called exact sciences are increasingly interested in localized information, environmental data. Similarly, geographers are interested in the tools developed by these science specialists now related to geography for the faster and more reliable processing and analysis of geographic data. The mass of data that needs to be addressed to solve the problems confronting our societies and their environment has become so wide that it can no longer be adequately integrated by a human being. It is necessary to :

  • computerize the process so that it can be handled effectively;
  • synthesize to build models;
  • simulate to check hypotheses;
  • compare scenarios to predict impacts and produce the information needed for decision-making.

It is these considerations that are at the basis of the connection between geography, mathematics and computer sciences carried by Akamba and al., Tatuebu Tagne and al., Muyaya and al., Hamdja Ngoniri and al. in theirs articles.

In practice, spatial planning and resource management are operational, orderly and concerted actions of the various actors, across the different territories of a country, a continent or even the world to mitigate territorial imbalances. propose the substitution of a new order better than the existing, according to a prospective vision, advocating the humanization of growth.

The objective, endogenous development, promoting a better territorial distribution of the population, activities and equipment … for the proper functioning of the internal socio-economic system, in order to harmonize the growth, well-being and development of population. This must go through the political compromise, the social peace and the legitimacy of the actor-producer of territorial development on the basis of spatially referenced data.

This is what we call exogenous development, by a good integration and a good anchoring to the local, regional, continental and global system, favoring the development of exchanges of all kinds.

This new vision of spatial planning and resource management can only succeed in a democratic, decentralized, participatory, anticipatory, transparent and good governance environment in accordance with the expectations, wishes, requirements and / or needs of the stakeholders.

It is through good spatial planning policies and good resource management mechanisms that tropical countries can correct imbalances and guide spatial developments from a holistic perspective and a comprehensive and forward-looking project.

The challenges of territorial development in a context of controlled governance and development reflect the rupture that is now taking place in the conception of development and well-being in tropical societies. The shift of development policies to the local field is shaking up decision-making systems. These dynamics, although of varying rhythms and magnitudes in time and space, produce new realities that transform approaches and paradigms. This is what is highlighted in their contributions by Jiagho and al., Bato and al., Ratnan et al., Mbanmey and al., Nodjignemal Goltob and al., and Kouadio.

These contributions highlight a striving for the enrichment and precision of conceptual and methodological frameworks from classical geography to geomatics, without the tools taking precedence over scientific thinking. These articles, essentially applied, do not neglect fundamental research which constitutes the bases. They combine natural and social sciences with mathematics and computer science. It could not be otherwise, because the dynamics of the territories is the consequence of a game of combinations between the physical and human parameters. In addition, the analysis of the dynamics of territories and natural risks can only be possible if the researcher is able to understand the daily behaviors of the actors.

To choose this way is to compel oneself to acquire the knowledge constantly supplemented by new experiences; it also means mastering and adapting methods and techniques that require lengthy learning. But it is at this price that IJGPRM becomes useful to decentralized local authorities, planners and decision-makers. In this way, more objective, science acquires possibilities of application for a controlled development. The majority of the data as well as some tools that were missing from African or Africanist geomaticists are self-service on the Internet. The argument of the lack of data to not do action research for development on Africa no longer holds!

This what delivers the fourth issue of IJGPRM.