Purpose and History

The newsletter started in 1993 as Fiji GIS and Remote Sensing to document the meetings of the GIS&RS User Group in Fiji. Phillip Mueller (at this time SOPAC’s director) explained during one of the user group meetings that SOPAC will assist in the production and the user group nominated Wolf Forstreuter (at that time part of the Forestry Department) in collaboration with Les Allinson (ICT SOPAC) to produce the newsletter as user group publication. In 1994, Lala Bukarau (professional editor at SOPAC) joined the Les and Wolf team and she still screens most articles today. In 1998, James Britton (at this time head of USP GIS section) replaced Les Allinson and during these years the newsletter slowly became a Pacific Islands GIS&RS Newsletter. The main purpose changed to publish GIS and RS applications where often new methods have to be modified when adapting the tools RS, GIS, GPS for Pacific Island conditions. Since James Britton returned to Canada in 2001 Wolf continues the newsletter with a frequently changing team.

Recipients and Distribution

Originally the newsletter was mailed through French funding directly to the recipients, however, it is still essential to print the newsletter as many Pacific Islanders do not have access to Internet outside their office. Today, the newsletter is delivered via air mail to distributors who then hand out to the recipients (in cases SOPAC staff travels to a particular country it is possible to hand deliver). All recipients actively subscribe to receive the publication and a database keeps track of the distribution. For many years the newsletter can be also downloaded from SOPAC’s web site. However, for Pacific Islanders this is often difficult due to the speed of SOPAC’s web site. Therefore the newsletter will be also available through this web site based on the PICISOC server in Port Villa, Vanuatu.

Production of the Newsletter

The newsletter is the only publication where Pacific Island GIS operators publish articles and the editorial team concentrates with the major effort in convincing Islanders to write articles about their applications. Normally several e-mails forward and backward are necessary until somebody finally delivers article and picture. The next step is the editorial work, to correct spelling and grammar leaving writers to concentrate on technical issues. To do the layout takes much less time. Finally the newsletter has to be printed, where an intelligent duplex A3 size colour printer is required. To capture remote sensing applications colour is essential as black and white does not show this clearly.


Though 260 and 300 prints of the newsletter are produced at SOPAC for distribution in Pacific Island Countries it is probable that three times more readers access the newsletter, as it is shared between GIS operators. The importance of the GIS&RS newsletter is that Pacific Islanders write regularly articles; in many countries it is also the only publication available for technicians in the fields of GIS, RS and GPS applications. So far, the newsletter did not need any advertisements to finance the production and distribution and is still available for free for subscribed recipients. The production always found supporters who contribute with their free time.

Download issues

  1. 1993-01
  2. 1994-01
  3. 1994-02
  4. 1994-03
  5. 1994-04
  6. 1994-06
  7. 1994-07
  8. 1995-01
  9. 1995-02
  10. 1995-03
  11. 1995-04
  12. 1996-01
  13. 1996-02
  14. 1998-01
  15. 1998-02
  16. 1998-03
  17. 1998-01
  18. 1998-02
  19. 2000-01
  20. 2000-02
  21. 2000-03
  22. 2000-01
  23. 2000-02
  24. 2001-01
  25. 2003-01
  26. 2003-02
  27. 2003-03
  28. 2004-01
  29. 2006-01
  30. 2006-02
  31. 2007-01
  32. 2007-02
  33. 2008-01
  34. 2008-02
  35. 2009-01

Newsletter Distributors

Country First Name Surname E-mail Phone
Australia Matt McIntyre mattmcintyre@bigpond.com +61-7-54296439, 408072821
Cook Islands Timoti Tangiruaine t.tangiruaine@mow.gov.ck +682-20034
FSM Eleanor Samuel samueleleanor@yahoo.com +691320-2646
Fiji Vilisi Tokalauvere vtokalauvere@mrd.gov.fj +679-3381611 ext 477
Kiribati Titeem Auatabu titeem03@yahoo.com +686-21099(o) 22768(h)
Marshall Islands Albon (Tregar) Ishoda aishdoa@yahoo.com +692-625-8262
New Caledonia Myriam Galois mg@empreintes.nc +687-287474
Niue Richard Siataga tongatules@mail.gov.nu
PNG Dominic Afuyave dafuyave@pngpower.com.pg
Solomon Islands Robinson T Wood robinson@siea.com.sb +677-23918(h) 39442(direct) 79250(m)
Tonga Emeline (Winnie) Veikoso winnie@lands.gov.to
Tuvalu Loia Tausi Loia_tausi@yahoo.com +688-20170(o)
Hawaii Craig Clouet cclouet@esri.com +1-808-947-0993 ext. 16
Vanuatu Doreen Leona doreen.leona@tvl.net.vu +678-23777, 23000, 41034(m)
Samoa Siosinamele (Sina) Lui SLui@meteorology.gov.ws +685-20856, 20850, 20855, 7784610(m)

We currently missing distributors for: American Samoa, Guam, Nauru and New Zealand