December 22, 2016
Daniel Baah

Last week, Kim and I traveled to Ethiopia to visit our partners at the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in Addis Ababa. For the past two years, SpatialDev and ATA teamed up to create a suite of software tools, built to enhance survey collection and visualization. The Visual Institutional Survey and Summary Tool for Agriculture (VISSTA) is a web-based mapping application intended to provide an online portal for access to real- time and periodic agricultural data that allows policy-makers, implementers, and various agricultural stakeholders’ access to information about Ethiopian agricultural institutions and other sector data.

The purpose of our trip was to transition the VISSTA application to the ATA team. My job was to replicate & transfer our production environment, hosted on AWS, to their self-hosted servers. This meticulous process prompted a lot of documentation, research, and problem solving. Imagine installing 20 pieces of software without internet connection! With a Civil Unrest unfolding, the Ethiopian government has blocked access to all social media, as well as many other sites, including all those hosted by AWS. With that in mind, I made sure to bring with me the binary installations of all software dependencies (node, postgres/postgis, phantomjs, nginx, etc,.).

With the help of ATA’s local partners, Mesay Zegeye, Technical Manager at eCom Technologies, Ms. Hudad, Project Officer II, and Mekonne, we were able to successfully launch a custom instance of PGRestAPI, url2png print server, OpenMapKit Server, a PostgreSQL & SQLite database, and an AngularJS application.

Addis Ababa is a beautiful setting with a rich history. During our stay, we were showered with injera, a traditional Ethiopian dish, and first class hospitality! We were also able to visit the National Museum of Ethiopia, home of Haile Selassie’s throne, Lucy, Ardi & Selam - the world’s 3 oldest recordings of human skeletons!

SpatialDev and ATA continue to work together on several other initiatives related to investment mapping, visualizing integrated voice recording surveys, and integrating the VISSTA system into a larger MIS system. We are excited to continue working on this exciting and meaningful work with ATA, and look forward to our next visit to Addis Ababa!

Slack for iOS Upload.jpg

dbaah_ethiopiatrip.png Found some time for play between work sessions.

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