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3nd International Conference on Geographical Science for Resilient Communities, Ecosystems and Livelihoods under Global Environmental Change (GORILLA) 2024


Pre-GORILLA Conference Hackathon

Geospatial Based Cloud Computing for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience

Call for Applications

Introduction: Satellite Earth Observation (EO) provides a wide range of environmental data information which are key to the effective planning and monitoring of the environment. The proposed Hackathon/Datathon activity is to catalyse the development of EO services in a virtual computing and collaborative environment. A three-day pre-GORILLA hackathon is designed to generate scalable solutions to the identified few challenges using EO applications. Participants will Team up to collaborate on viable projects tailored to one of the selected challenges.  The hackathon will be conducted at Makerere University.

Challenges to be addressed

  1. Earth observation applications in biodiversity and ecosystem resilience
  2. Effective monitoring and managing wetlands using earth observation data
  3. Improving Agricultural Productivity and performance using earth observation data


The aim is to engage early career scientists, researchers and practitioners with diverse backgrounds to foster collaboration in the use of geospatial technology and earth observation to address sustainable development issues especially on biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. Each team includes participants with expertise in EO data processing/GIS, and thematic experts (land use land cover, agriculture, forestry, etc).


Each participant brings their own computer and other dependents for the Hackathon/Datathon.  The hackathon will utilize freely available archived EO data from providers such as ESA, NASA etc. The Gorilla team will also offer technical Support on

  1. Access to open-source software (SNAP, QGIS, Python (+ selected packages – GDAL, numpy, scipy, Jupiter Lab etc.), Anaconda, R + RStudio) to allow participants to use preferred SW or coding environment.

  2. EO scientific support – 1-2 Person

Target participants:

This activity targets young and early-career scientists and practitioners with interest in the utility of emerging geospatial technology. Participants are expected to have some skills relevant to software development, e.g. computer programmers, graphic and interface designers, Geographic Information Systems and Earth Observation experts, project managers and thematic experts (e.g. biodiversity, ecosystems, agriculture, climate, energy, environment and natural resources, forestry), data analysts.

Learning pattern:

The procedure is to admit teams that will work collaboratively to address one of the specific challenges highlighted above. Teams must demonstrate at least technical capabilities in the solutions they seek to provide. This is a hands-on activity that requires concentration and dedication. Prior to the physical Hackathon/Datathon, there will be an orientation to warm up the participants and make them familiar with the computing environment.


The major logistics for the hackathon will be covered with funding from JRS Biodiversity Foundation as well as support the organizing partners. The funding covers training materials, field activity, meals and refreshments, data and prize. The selected participants will cover their other personal needs. The hackathon will accommodate a maximum of 25 participants.   A prior kick off webinar will be organized to convey the challenges and desired outcomes.

Expected results:

The expected outcome is to provide innovative solutions applicable to each of the thematic areas highlighted in the challenges.

Application Process

Interested participants should submit their applications online by Sunday 27th November 2022 : Application Form

Contact: More information about the hackathon can be obtained from Dr. Allan Mazimwe ( or Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze (