Eleza Kollannur

Architect| Environmental Planner| GIS Professional

About Me

Eleza Kollannur is a GIS Professional (GISP-AP), Chartered Geographer (C.Geog (GIS) working in water sector for 13 years. She has experience in remote sensing and GIS for urban infrastructure master planning and design, including potable water, foul sewerage, and surface/ground water drainage for projects across Middle East, UK and India.


The portfolio shares details on Eleza's educational and professional background, projects, awards and associations/ contributions/ membership institutes.

International Women's Day 2020-2021

Presented on the topic ‘Grow your career’ as part of Stantec Middle East International Women's Day | TedX Presentations

Mentor at Women in Geospatial+ Mentorship Programme 2020-2021


GIS Day 2020

Celebrated GIS Day 2020 in Qatar on 18th November from 5:00 PM Qatar Time. This is a great opportunity to learn more about professional development in GIS and working towards being a Chartered Geographer (GIS) and GIS Professional (GISP-AP).

When I gained a few years into my career, it was a challenge just to understand what are the different avenues for working towards professional accreditation. Being from India, I had to explore the options out there like GISP, GISP-AP, CGI, ASPRS and Chartered Geographer (GIS). This event would help answer some of your queries and help you work towards professional development.

Publications & Presentations

GIS-Based Decision Support System for Integrated Flood Management, Breckenridge Conference, Colorado, US, 2012.

Abstract: ( Eleza Kollannur, Priya Gaikwad)

Flooding has become a recurring natural calamity in the past few years and has claimed many lives, damaged property and crop. This scenario calls for the urgent need for a decision support system to provide up-to-date warning and emergency services to the flood victim as well as the governing bodies in the area to effectively overcome this disaster as well as minimize damage.

Let’s take the recent tsunami flooding across the world in the past few years like India, Japan. In the coastal town of Tamil Nadu, India integrated coastal zone management plans and vulnerability maps were prepared using software like GIS and MIKE21. It helped in assessing the shoreline changes, surge levels, wave run up along the coast by analyzing historical data. This study along with the contour survey of the site and satellite data helped in identifying the emergency relocation sites, rehabilitation sites as well as design suitable sand bars along the shoreline for preventing further damage in case of a future occurrence.

We would like to take up this challenge to share some of our past experience in this field and elaborate various decision support capabilities of GIS for planning and management.

Spatial Decision Modelling Tool for Identification of Rain Water Harvesting Zones And Suitable Sites for Structures, (American Water Works Association) AWWA Sustainable Water Management Conference, Rhode Island, 2016.

Abstract: (Kulkarni,A , Kollannur,E, Loya,A.)

The essence of the topic is to provide innovative solutions for conserving water by harvesting rainwater in arid and semi arid regions using a decision based model on Geospatial technologies and multi criteria analysis. The spatial decision modeling tool (SDMT) will help identify rain water harvesting zones with suitable sites for various structures like check dams, farm ponds and percolation tanks.

AWWA is the largest non profit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water in US, since 1881.

Improved Operational Efficiencies with Geospatial Analysis in waste water sector, ESRI User Conference, New Delhi, India, 2018. Full Paper

Abstract: (Eleza Kollannur, Tim Clay, Amol Kulkarni)

Geospatial analysis and programming is improving operational efficiencies in the Wastewater Sector resulting in faster and higher-quality decision-making, saving both time and money. As such, we have developed a suite of ArcGIS based routines using Python Scripting and Model Builder, to identify catchment needs and opportunities across a study area on current and future scenarios, considering factors such as climate change and population growth.

These tools identify opportunities to remove surface water from drainage network and areas of new development, which forms a key part of an environmentally friendly and sustainable future, whilst also ensuring resilience around critical infrastructure such as hospitals. One of the routines also help auto generate standard forms and maps for survey data collected through ArcCollector.

These tools combine the strength of programming with geoprocessing to clean, check and consolidate input data from various sources into a structured dataset for further geospatial analysis. It has helped share information with other stakeholders, allowing quick decisions and sharing of information, using ArcOnline.

The tools have used several geospatial analysis techniques including:

·Calculating distance and gradient from the lowest point of development to the nearest drainage option using raster processing, proximity analysis and attribute querying,

· Identifying flooding extent caused by sewer blockage using hydrology tools,

· Iteratively tracing and querying geometric network to generate hydraulically independent areas.

All these tools have given Stantec a competitive edge in the Wastewater Sector. The abstract will share details on how several water companies have opted for these technologies over their current practices to provide reliable drainage solutions to the communities they serve. It will discuss upon advantages and challenges of combining geospatial analysis with programming. It will also touch upon a checklist to follow when you develop a customized GIS toolbox for a client.

Python- Simplifying Utility Network Surveys, ESRI User Conference, New Delhi, India, 2019.

Abstract: (Eleza Kollannur, Andrew Sitti)

The challenge of collecting Utility Network during mobile ArcCollector survey is that flow direction, ancillaries and connectivity must be correctly represented during the survey in understanding the data collectively. It is important to capture connected assets like incoming and outgoing pipes, update additional pipe data and even represent photos with bearing during a survey.

Python along with geospatial analysis helps putting the ‘what’ to ‘where’. As such we created a set of tools using GIS automation and programming tools, which first creates data structure for survey data collection, followed by post-processing tools which re-engineers standard survey forms to correctly represent mobile survey network data based on flow direction and connectivity, as automated forms and maps.

The tools use python programming to sort spatial data across excel tabs based on incoming and outgoing pipe data collected from a manhole, along with autogenerated pipe clocks. This helps the engineers in familiarizing data collected as per traditional survey form layouts. It also has the capability of arranging and tagging photos collected to node names to corelate with the data collected.

The abstract will share details on how several water companies in UK have opted for these tools over their current practices and generated solutions 60% faster giving Stantec a competitive operational advantage. It will elaborate on how Python can automatically generate all standard deliverables for a project which can bring huge time and cost savings.

Blogs | Articles

Geospatial Awareness Hub: 'Developing as a GIS Professional in India' , 2019

Sharing my insights to young buds aspiring to growing career in the Geospatial Industry.

I’m a GIS Professional (CGeog (GIS), GISP-AP) working in Water Sector for the past decade. I’ve taken up an international opportunity to work as a GIS Specialist with Stantec Doha, Qatar this June. In the past I have worked with Stantec ResourceNet, Pune; Symbiosis Institute of Geomatics (SIG) and DHI (India) Water & Environment, Delhi.

When I stared my career with MWH (now part of Stantec) in 2010, I felt there was a need to explore innovative ways to make the data flowing between different software, be it CAD, GIS or Modelling Software. It could be to get pipe direction arrow to CAD drawing or setting a method to join upstream/downstream asset data to connecting nodes or something that can be solved with data driven maps. Like I say, trying to make the Engineers life a bit easier.

There is always something new to learn in GIS field, and when you learn you keep growing. Going by what I learned at Stantec, there are 3Es to develop as a GIS Professional, Experience, Exposure and Education. Some of the avenues I explored

Ideating: I feel that to learn new things, don’t just read about it, but also try implementing it. This way you try to resolve the issue using your own logic. Catch hold of people who have gone through similar struggle or google and see if someone has resolved a similar issue.

Teaching: In 2014, I took up the challenge to teach Facility and utility management as a Visiting Faculty at SIG. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to build students interest and enthusiasm in GIS and its applications. It gave me great personal satisfaction from teaching them and being a part of their journey towards being the next generation of GIS professionals.

Reviewing: In 2015, after attending a series of free or online webinars within budget, felt that only the basics of the tools are getting covered. But how to get to the next level. So, volunteered to work on Pre-publication Technical Review of book ‘ArcGIS Blueprints’ by Eric Pimpler. I learned that the possibilities of integrating GIS Programming with Python is vast, and I was just still making baby steps.

Mentoring: In 2016, completed mentorship course at Coursera and provided mentorship to learners on UCDavis GIS Course on Geospatial & Environmental Analysis. It helped identify some of the GIS struggles which learners go through and help me become a better mentor in my job role. These activities have helped me in being more succinct in providing feedbacks, giving actionable comments and to respond to a query in a reasonable timeframe.

Conferences and Networking: Being a woman in the geospatial industry, sometimes you must show that you can step out of your comfort zone. Present a paper, Network with the like-minded, be it Python conference, Industry Academia meet, ESRI User Conference or Geo Business Show; share your ideas, lead/chair meetings as a Developing Professional and stand out as a technical expert in your field.

Professional Accreditation: After going this process and more, I felt it was time to log in my professional journey and get accreditation for the same. In 2016, I received GISP-AP from SSSI, Australia and C.Geog (GIS) , Royal Geographical Society with IBG,UK in April 2019, biggest highlights of my career.

Spreading Awareness on Geospatial Technology to future generations