Justin Saunders: Chief Technologist

Justin Saunders
  • 2020-present France: Chief Technologist, Global MapAid

    Justin has had a long career of more than 30 years in mapping technology, all over the world and successfully co-founded a commercial mapping company in the UK. He is now promoting and expanding drone surveys across Africa.


    Today his role at GMA is creating and overseeing the production of interactive maps and smartphone data collection solutions that help direct aid, while still working as a consultant in Malawi. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, a series of maps were created that tracked cases and front-line activities but also where local resources could, and still can, be used to help.


    A series of other maps have since been created to address youth unemployment, violence, crime, mental illness, air pollution, wildlife conservation and climate change amongst others.

  • 2018-Present UK & Africa: Founder and Investor, GIS and Drone Consultant, Africa Bees Ltd

    Much of Africa is still unmapped, often outdated.  Africa Bees uses new drone technology to capture more accurate mapping and creates an opportunity to empower local pilots to capture data faster and at considerably lower costs. Currently running projects in Malawi, Ivory Coast and eSwatini. Top 10 finalists of 148 in the African Drone Forum Business Challenge, Kigali, Rwanda.

  • 2018 Kenya: Geospatial and UAV Expert, World Bank Mission

    Geospatial expert to assist Kenya government with inventory of dam sites and pans after recent dam failure killed 48 people, Kenya.  Investigated use of UAV / drones for dam survey and safety.

  • 2018 Uganda: UAV / Drone Surveyor, BAM International

    UAV drone survey of 59 km of proposed road in Semuliki area, Western Uganda.  Coordinated with RWA and contractor to provide orthophoto, digital 3D elevation model, digital surface model and point cloud for cut and fill analysis for road design and cost analysis.

  • 2018 Malawi: UAV / Drone Surveyor and GIS Expert, NIRAS

    Drone/UAV mapping and 3D survey for 26 proposed dam sites in 13 districts. Malawi Department of Water Resources.

  • 2016-17 Sierra Leone: UAV / Drone Surveyor, BAM International

    Drone/UAV mapping and 3D survey for 44 km2 of urban Freetown to assist with planning and rehabilitation of water supply for GUMA.

  • 2016-17 Malawi: GIS consultant to Malawi Roads Authority, IMC Worldwide

    Role to build capacity within the Roads Authority to capture, store and manage spatial information and link GIS to existing Roads Database Management (RDM) systems.

  • 2014-2018 Malawi: GIS Technical Expert & UAV / Drone Surveyor (World Bank funded)

    Role to modernise the Department of Surveys and build capacity within the Ministry of Lands to capture, store and manage spatial information to support the Nation Spatial Data Centre (NSDC).  Owing to the multi – sector nature of the program, 10 government departments are involved who require GIS expertise and coordination of spatial data activities.

    UAV / Drone surveyor to map Shire River Basin Management project interventions including roads, barrages, flood dykes, Irish bridges and check dams.

  • 2014-2015 Saudi Arabia: GIS Expert, (Ministry of Agriculture / FAO Funded)

    Role to identify suitable sites for fisheries and aquaculture investment in the Red Sea using GIS based on previous work “Aquaculture Carrying Capacity Study for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

  • 2013 Worldwide: GIS and Mapping Expert, Microsoft plc

    Evaluation and comparative study for mapping in 25 countries to produce a matrix of suppliers, quality and content provision related to mapping.  This included a comparison of functional requirements from over 75 data providers within the market/regions selected.

  • 2012-13 Malawi: Team Leader, emapsite.com

    To improve education quality in Malawi using GIS to support a national school mapping initiative with the Directorate of Planning.  The project includes consolidation of information on the school network, capture of geographical coordinates for all educational institutions; determine catchment areas of schools and to develop a planning tool for network and investment planning.

  • 2011-13 Saudi Arabia: Founder and Technical Director of emapsite middle east llc: (EME)

    A Saudi owned company.  EME provides GIS, mapping and environmental monitoring services to both private and public-sector clients within the Kingdom.

  • 2011 Saudi Arabia: GIS Consultant role to digital exploration unit

    Advise and review the Geospatial Technical Units (GTU) roles, processes, data management and issues within the division/unit with respect to supporting both the exploration activities and other departments within ARAMCO.

  • 2011 Saudi Arabia: GIS Expert to support baseline survey for fisheries potential, KPMG / Poseidon Agricultural Development Fund (ADF)

    GIS based Aquaculture Carrying Capacity Study for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Satellite interpretation of habitat and human resource features to identify potential areas for aquaculture.

  • 2010-12 Saudi Arabia: GIS and Mapping advisor to the Presidency of Saudi Arabia Meteorology and Environment, emapsite.com

    Coastal resources baseline assessment for the Red Sea coastal areas of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Satellite interpretation of detailed coastal and terrestrial habitats from Quick Bird imagery and ground truthing to assist with the production of Environmental Sensitivity Indexing (ESI) and Atlas mapping for the whole Saudi red sea coastline.

  • 2009 Africa: GIS Advisor, emapsite.com

    GIS Advisor for selection of suitable sites for landing WACS fibre cable to landing sites in Africa for Alcatel. Environmental Sensitivity Study: Satellite Interpretation and GIS consultancy to investigate the environmental sensitivity of a proposed 13,000 km cable project along the West African coast from Portugal to South Africa.

  • 2000-Present UK: Director of emapsite.com

    Co-founder and Technical Director of emapsite.com.  emapsite UK provided the first seamless, online digital mapping service.  Users can select and merge online maps, aerial photography and satellite images.  Management, design and execution of GIS and mapping web services:

  • 1993-2006 Namibia: GIS Consultant, GISL Ltd (DFID funded)

    Remote Sensing and GIS Technical Assistance for Agricultural Crop Area Estimates and Classification using Satellite Imagery and Airborne Videography. Investigation into the use of airborne videography to assist with crop area estimation in the Northern Namibia Communal Lands.

  • 1993-2006 Brunei, France, Ghana, Mongolia, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom: Professional GIS Trainer

    Authorised GIS training and hand over of GIS capability. Image processing and satellite interpretation expert.

  • 1993-2006 China: GIS and Environmental Expert, GISL Ltd (Asian Development Bank Funded)

    Bohai Sea Coastal Resource Conservation and Environmental Management Project. Technical assistance to provide integrated coastal management planning and environmental monitoring expertise to increase MoA capacity to manage the living natural resources of the Bohai Sea at central and local levels.

  • 1993-2006 UK: Director and Founder GISL Ltd

    GISL and Geographic Information Services Limited: Company Co-Founder and Director: Co-Founder of GISL, a UK based GIS/remote sensing and information services company with a core of British partners with specialist GIS, remote sensing and informatics skills and the expertise to apply these skills to improved management and decision making.

  • 1997-98 Namibia: Remote Sensing / GIS Consultant, GISL Ltd

    Remote Sensing, Image Processing and GIS Training for Environmental Project. Training and support in ArcView GIS and ERMapper image processing for environmental applications to assist with the analysis and dissemination of digital datasets for planning and monitoring in the Etosha region of Namibia.

  • 1996-98 Mongolia: GIS and Cadastral Expert, GISL Ltd

    Strengthening Land Use Policies. Appointed to implement this 21 man-month technical assistance programme to the Ministry of Nature and Environment (MNE) in Ulaanbaatar.  The core objective was to link legislative changes arising out of recent political changes to the capabilities of the fragile resource base of the country through an inter-connected web of regulatory advice derived from the requirements of land tenure changes and concerns about environmental degradation.

  • 1998 Egypt: Remote Sensing / GIS Consultant, GISL Ltd

    Image Processing and GIS. Technical Assistance Services for the Red Sea Coastal and Marine Resource Management Project – Geographic Information System Evaluation and Implementation.

  • 1997-98 Egypt: Remote Sensing / GIS Consultant, GISL Ltd

    The study involved a feasibility and technical assessment of the GIS requirements to assist the Global Environment Fund office in Cairo. A further site visit included spatial analysis of coastal zone baseline data and image processing of Landsat satellite imagery as part of the overall Coastal Zone Management Plan.

  • 1996-97 Italy & Portugal: GIS and Environmental Systems Analyst, GISL Ltd

    GIS study for evaluating the feasibility of management of a 1-million object parcel identification system under IACS. The study is to evaluate the feasibility of managing agricultural parcel identifiers, declared under the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) for the justification of European Union area-based subsidies using Geographic Information Systems.

  • 1995-96 Namibia: Remote Sensing Analyst, GISL Ltd

    DWA Satellite Image Procurement, Processing and Analysis. Processing of satellite imagery and analysis for Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in the Ministry of Agriculture.

  • 1995 Ghana: GIS Expert, GISL Ltd

    Forestry Inventory and Management Project.  Production of a series of image-maps including Landsat TM imagery at 1:100,000 scale with the specific aim of providing up-to-date information to FIMP for forestry reserve management.

  • 1995-96 Yemen: GIS Support and Project Manager, GISL Ltd

    Coastal Zone Habitat Mapping and GIS.  Installation of ArcINFO based GIS, digital image analysis, hardcopy interpretation, preparation of digital map and attribute databases and development of AML based protocols for data capture, collation, analysis and dissemination.

  • 1995 Belize: GIS Support and Project Manager, GISL Ltd

    Coastal Zone Management Project. Installation of GIS for coastal zone mapping, management and monitoring. Training on PC based GIS (ARC/INFO) and integration, analysis of coastal zone datasets.

  • 1993-94 Oman: GIS and Image Processing Expert, GISL Ltd

    Assisted the Ministry of Water Resources with satellite image map preparation using ERMapper. Classification of satellite imagery for an international consultancy firm to identify Falaj systems and associated date palm gardens in Northern Oman as part of a regional resource inventory. Integration of digital orthophotos with digital mapping data and preparation of hardcopy for seismic crews of the Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO).


  • 1993-96 Ethiopia: GIS Expert and Project Manager, GISL Ltd

    GIS / Omo-Gibe River Basin Master Plan (EVDSA). Appointed to provide all the remote sensing, GIS and cartographic inputs to the programme.

  • 1994 Azerbaijan: GIS and Image Processing Expert, GISL Ltd

    Land Use Mapping Project. Responsible for the production of digital and hardcopy (1:20,000) land use maps for 6 Sovkhoz locations.

  • 1989-93 UK: GIS Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners

    Responsible for project management and design of remote sensing and GIS applications in agricultural/ environmental monitoring, resource appraisal, regional and rural development planning and training/ consultation within SWK and MASCOTT Ltd.

  • 1992 Barbados: Natural Resources and GIS Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners

    Agricultural Land Information System Implementation. Land use mapping consultancy as part of an Agricultural Development Project. Installation of GIS in Bridgetown. Production of digital land use map and Land Information System (LIS) from aerial photography, satellite imagery and field investigations.

  • 1992 Ghana: GIS Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners

    Accra Planning and Development Programme (APDP). Urban planning consultancy with the Town and Country Planning Department in Accra. Hardware and software installation of multiple GIS and drafting workstations using ILWIS, GEO/SQL and AutoCAD.

  • 1991-92 Sudan: Natural Resources and GIS Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners (now Aecom)

    Southern Kassala Agricultural Development Project (SKAP). Land use survey and planning consultancy for SKAP using remote sensing, GIS and GPS.

  • 1990-92 China: GIS and Image Processing Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners

    Monitoring projects and training with the Academy of Science, Beijing, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Hunan Remote Sensing Centre, Dong Ting Lake Region, Yeuyang Environmental Monitoring Station, the Hunan Bureau of Environmental Protection and the Hunan Remote Sensing Centre.

  • 1989-90 Paraguay: GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners

    Cotton and Boll Weevil Mapping, pilot study (1989) in Parana State, and cotton mapping study (1990) for monitoring pest migration using remote sensing and GIS techniques.