Personal Information

Areas Of Specialization

GIS, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry

Research Interests

GIS, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Work Experience

  • 20/06/2003 to 23/03/2010   - Senior Lecturer  at  University Of Nairobi
  • 24/03/2010 to 01/01/2021   - Associate Professor  at  University Of Nairobi


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Ouko, E, Omondi S, Mugo R, Wahome A, Kasera K, Kiema JBK, Flores A, Adams EC, Kuraru S, Wambua M.  2020.  Modeling Invasive Plant Species in Kenya’s Northern Rangelands.. Front. Environ. Sci.. :1-10.
Idowu, TE, R. W, Lasisi, K H, Kiema JBK.  2020.  Towards achieving Sustainability of Coastal Environments: Urban Growth Analysis and Prediction of Lagos, State Nigeria.. South African Journal of Geomatics. 9(2):149-162.


Awange, LJ, Kiema JBK.  2019.  Environmental Geoinformatics. Extreme Hydro-Climatic and Food Security Challenges: Exploiting the Big Data. : Springer International Publishing


Konneh, SS, Saleem A, Awange JL, Goncalves RM, Kiema JBK, Hu KX.  2018.  Liberia's coastal erosion vulnerability and LULC change analysis: Post-civil war and Ebola epidemic.. Applied Geography. 101:56-67.


Munyao, B, Kiema JBK.  2016.  Teaching and Learning GIS in a Multiuser Mobile Environment. AshEsed Journal of Engineering. 2(2)(2397-0677):66-74.


Khan, S, Kanyiginya V, Kiema JBK, Lengoiboni M, Tumusherure W, Ngabo V, Hassan RM, Sisi JD.  2015.  Influence of Urban Land Policies on land Markets and People’s Livelihoods in Urban Rwanda, 23-27 March. World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty. , Washington D.C.
Dukuzemariya, T, Kiema JBK, Khan S.  2015.  A Comparative Study of General and Fixed Boundaries in Rwanda, 18-20 November. Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Urban and Rural Development. , Kigali, Rwanda
Ogalo, DPO, Kiema JBK.  2015.  Spatial Analysis of Distribution and Socio-Economic Impacts of Immigration: Case Study of Nairobi, Kenya. Sci-Afric Journal of Scientific Issues, Research and Essays. 3(11)(2311-6188):819-829.


Kiema, JBK.  2014.  Remote Sensing Application Supporting IWRM in Kenya. Kenya: A Natural Outlook: Geo-Environmental Resources and Hazards, Developments in Earth Surface Processes. , Amsterdam: Elsevier Science
Munene, EN, Kiema JBK.  2014.  Optimizing the Location of Base Transceiver Stations in Mobile Communication Network Design: Case study of the Nairobi Central Business District, Kenya. International Interdisciplinary Journal of Scientific Research. 1(2)(2200-9833):113-127.


Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Land Management. AbstractWebsite

Land provides the base upon which social, cultural and economic activities are undertaken and as such is of significant importance in environmental monitoring. Social, cultural and economic activities have to be planned and managed in such a way that the sustainable use of land resources is enhanced. Sustainable land use ensures that economic and socio-cultural activities do not benefit at the expense of the environment (see Sect.28.5). Monitoring of changes in land through indicators could help in policy formulation and management issues for the betterment of the environment. Some of the vital indicators for land management include vegetation, soil quality and health, biosolids and waste disposed on land, land evaluation, land use planning, contaminated land, integrity of the food supply chain, mine closure completion criteria, and catchment management, in particular water balance, salinity, eutrophication, and riparian/wetland vegetation. This Chapter presents the possibility of using geoinformatics to enhance the monitoring of some of these indicators.

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Maps in Environmental Monitoring.
Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Marine and Coastal Resources.
Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Input of GIS Data. AbstractWebsite

Precisely because of the expensive cost of GIS data capture and the fact that the procedures involved in this are also fairly time consuming, the sources for GIS data should always be carefully analyzed before selection in order to suit specific GIS application(s). There are many possible sources for GIS data available today. The criteria for assessing the most appropriate sources for GIS data include firstly, collecting only the necessary data and secondly, for cost effectiveness, accepting the minimum data quality that will get the specific GIS job to be successfully accomplished. Moreover, where geospatial data needs to be integrated, it is important that the various sources be critically examined for compatibility.

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Microwave Remote Sensing.
Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Modernization of GNSS.
Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Image Interpretation and Analysis. AbstractWebsite

The interpretation and analysis of remote sensing imagery involves the identification and/or measurement of various targets or objects in an image in order to extract useful information about them. More specifically, this seeks to extract qualitative (thematic) and quantitative (metric) information from remote sensing data. Qualitative information provides descriptive data about earth surface features like structure, characteristics, quality, condition, relationship of and between objects.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  The Global Positioning System. AbstractWebsite

The Global Positioning System or GPS is the oldest and most widely used GNSS system, and as such will be extensively discussed in this and the next chapter. The development of GPS satellites dates from the 1960s.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  GIS Database. AbstractWebsite

Once digitized and edited GIS data are stored in a spatial database. Evidently, the quality of the decisions made from a GIS will depend on the quality of the data contained in the database. A spatial database is defined as a pool of integrated and structured geospatial data, which is a model of reality, and from which data may be retrieved to provide useful information to users. Hence, a spatial database is comprised of inter-related geospatial data that is maintained efficiently and which is shareable between different GIS applications.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Geodata and Geoinformatics. AbstractWebsite

Understanding the characteristics of and possibilities in using geodata is premised on proper comprehension of the underlying concepts of space, time and scale, contextualized within the Earth’s framework. Although these concepts are used in everyday parlance, often without much afterthought, they are not trivial at all. For instance, looking back throughout the entire history of mankind, the concepts of space and time have been the subject of animated philosophical, religious and scientific debates. In this section, we attempt to present a background of each of these dimensions of geodata, both independently and collectively, as well as highlight their relevance in influencing the character of geodata.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Fundamentals of Surveying and Geodesy. AbstractWebsite

Although the environment has remained at the forefront of scientific interest for well over four decades (e.g., Lein (2012)), it is not until this decade that remote sensing of the environment using geodetic methods started gaining momentum. This has largely been fuelled by the launching and modernization of satellites that enable the environment to be measured, mapped, and modelled.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Fundamentals of Remote Sensing. AbstractWebsite

Remote sensing is defined as the art, science and technology through which the characteristics of object features/targets either on, above or even below the earth’s surface are identified, measured and analyzed without direct contact existing between the sensors and the targets or events being observed, see e.g., (Jensen 2009; Lillesand et al. 2010; Richards 1994; Murai 1999) etc.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Fundamentals of Photogrammetry. AbstractWebsite

Like in many other disciplines, there is no universally accepted definition of the term photogrammetry. The Manual of Photogrammetry (2003) defines photogrammetry as the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images and patterns of electromagnetic (EM) radiant energy and other phenomena. Notably, the extracted information could be of a geometric, physical, semantic or even temporal nature, although in many photogrammetric applications the geometric information is more relevant. Other popular definitions of this non-contact discipline are given e.g., in Moffit and Mikhail (1980),Wolf (1980),Kraus (1994), Schenk (2005) etc. In a very broad sense, and from a network design point of view, (Fraser 2000) reckons that a photogrammetric system is one that meets the following basic requirements:

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Fundamentals of GIS. Website
Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Optical Remote Sensing.
Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Protection and Conservation of Animals and Vegetation.
Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Environmental Surveying and Surveillance. AbstractWebsite

In this section, we discuss the quantitative and qualitative data that could be collected using GNSS satellites, and in so doing, attempt to answer the question “what can GNSS satellites deliver that is of use to environmental monitoring?” The observed parameters necessary for environmental monitoring vary, depending upon the indicators being assessed.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Environmental Pollution. AbstractWebsite

There exist various definitions to the word pollution depending on one’s jurisdiction and the laws of a particular country. Springer (1977, see references therein) looks at the meaningful concept of defining pollution in international law by posing the questions: “What are you talking about when you are talking about pollution? What is pollution? How would you define it if you are going to remove the concept of damage from it?” These questions are not easily answerable and as Springer (1977) acknowledges, the term pollution is a word whose precise meaning in law, particularly international law, is not easily discerned Springer (1977). It has been used in a wide variety of contexts, from international conventions to pessimistic speeches about the state of the environment, to describe different levels and kinds of man-induced changes in the natural world Springer (1977).

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Environmental Monitoring and Management. AbstractWebsite

A natural way to begin this monogram is by posing several pertinent questions. Firstly, what exactly does the term “monitoring” mean. Furthermore, is monitoring synonymous to measuring or observing? And more specifically, what does it mean within an environmental perspective? Monitoring has been defined by James (2003) as observing, detecting, or recording the operation of a system; watching closely for purposes of control; surveillance; keeping track of; checking continually; detecting change.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Environmental Impact Assessment. AbstractWebsite

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is defined by Munn (1979) as the need to identify and predict the impact on the environment and on man’s health and well-being of legislative proposals, policies, programs, projects, and operational procedures, and to interpret and communicate information about the impact.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Disaster Monitoring and Management. AbstractWebsite

Since time immemorial, natural disasters have continued to plague the history of mankind. They have varied in type, frequency, coverage and severity ranging from earthquakes, landslides, droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions etc. Over the last century, the frequency, severity and impact of natural disasters has increased substantially.

Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Digital Photogrammetry. AbstractWebsite

One of the most fundamental developments in the history of photogrammetry has been the transition from analytical to digital photogrammetry. This was realized in the early 1990s through softcopy-based systems or Digital Photogrammetric Workstations (DPWs). Today, on the one hand, initial applications of digital photogrammetry in performing routine and operational procedures, such as aerial triangulation and map revision, as well as in generating geospatial datasets, including digital elevation models (DEMs) and digital orthophotos, have been essentially standardized. On the other hand, system development in automated feature extraction for diverse geospatial features have been continually improved and refined.

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Satellite Environmental Sensing.
Awange, JL, Kyalo Kiema JB.  2013.  Data Models and Structure. AbstractWebsite

By convention, data in the real world is deemed to exist in a continuous or analogue form usually in three dimensional space as discussed in Sect. 2.1. Such data needs to be digitized or made discrete before it can be input and processed by a digital computer. A GIS database can be viewed as an abstraction of reality. To convert object features observed or measured in the real world into the digital realm in a GIS database it is necessary to structure the data appropriately. Four (4) different generic types of primitive object features can be distinguished, namely: point features (0-D), line features (1-D), area features/polygons (2-D), and surface features (3-D). Incidentally, when surface features are captured in a discrete or non-continuous manner, this is then referred to as 2.5D. In general, an object feature is defined by three (3) properties in GIS, namely: position, attributes and relationship with other features referred to as topology.

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Spatial Analysis .
Awange, JL, Forootan E, Kusche J, Kiema JBK, Omondi PA, Heck B, Fleming K, Ohanya SO, Goncalves RM.  2013.  Understanding the decline of water storage across the Ramser-Lake Naivasha using satellite-based methods. Advances in Water Resources. 60:7-23.
Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Water Resources. Abstract

Fresh water is one of the basic necessities without which human beings cannot survive since water is key to the sustainability of all kinds of lifeforms. Water has multiple uses namely; nutritional, domestic, recreational, navigational, waste disposal and ecological as it is a habitat for living and non-living organisms (biodiversity) etc. And, because it is indispensable to different sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, wildlife survival, tourism and hydroelectric power generation, it is a vital factor of economic production. For many countries, most freshwater endowments encompass surface waters, groundwater, wetlands and glaciers.

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Weather, Climate and Global Warming. Abstract

In order to fully appreciate the contribution of geoinformatics in monitoring climate change caused by increase in temperature, a distinction between weather and climate, on one hand, and climate variability and climate change, on the other hand, is essential. Burroughs (2007) points out that weather is what is happening to the atmosphere at any given time (i.e., what one gets), whereas climate is what would be expected to occur at any given time of the year based on statistics built up over many years (i.e., what one expects).

Awange, Joseph L; Kyalo Kiema, JB.  2013.  Web GIS and Mapping. Abstract

The Internet and web-based technology has dramatically influenced the access to and dissemination of information among communities, locally and globally. This is no less true in the domain of geographic information systems (GIS) which have traditionally been constrained in terms of information access and the communities that use them. Geospatial data has traditionally been captured and managed within individual and separate organizational databases with access by a limited number of expert users. Now, with the integrated use of the web, not just geospatial data, but also the functionality of GIS can be accessed globally by citizens and non-experts.

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