Future of GIS should be empowerment NOT enslavement – Examples needed for Geo4All newsletter

Around six months ago , i send an open letter to AAG humbly requesting to include Open Education principles  firmly in the new Advanced Placement course in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) [1].  I was concerned by the enslavement strategy in geoeducation . I haven’t heard any updates but i really hope AAG will consider my humble request.We have moral responsibility to be the voice for open principles in geoeducation and protect open principles for our future generations.

Inspite of all the technological advancements, it is a sad fact that majority of the world’s poorest living in urban areas do not still have access to basic facilities (clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities , good quality education opportunities etc).
GIS is fundamental technology in infrastructure development and high cost proprietary GIS is unaffordable to governments, town planners and local authorities in developing and economically poor countries. In order to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals it is essential to provide free and open source geospatial tools to universities, government organisations etc in developing countries for helping them achieve these targets .But with the availability of Open Source GIS technologies now it offers a great opportunity for governments and municipal authorities in developing countries also to implement GIS tools for their decision making and implementation needs (without having to pay huge annual licencing costs to proprietary GIS vendors) and help improving the lives of some of the most poorest people and by giving the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their decision making and implementation needs will help in improving the living standards of the people. We need to empower people and communities (NOT enslaving them by forcing them to pay high licencing costs ) to make sure future generations are fully empowered.

Thanks to our Geo4All colleagues, we have already seen lot of examples from our amazing colleagues globally of the potential of Geo technologies in empowering communities and helping improving the lives of some of the most poorest people and by capacity building staff and students and giving the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their infrastructure upgradation programs ( which in the long term will result in providing clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities etc) and will help in improving the living standards of the people. It is with these aims that the Geo4All community decided to work on
OpenCitySmart – The Open platform for Smart Cities [2]. We will have an article on OpenCitySmart for our March 2015 newsletter.

So i request you all to
please send us examples of GIS empowering people, companies, startups and governments worldwide for our Geo4All monthly newsletter http://www.geoforall.org/newsletters 

Geo for All is the Open Source Geospatial Foundation’s Educational outreach and our mission for making geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all. Our monthly newsletters are key to reach out our ideas to thousands of readers and build new collaborations.We request wider geocommunity to share any updates/developments as short reports for next issue of Geo4All newsletter.

Also we want to hightlight the geospatial industry, SMEs and service providers building on OSGeo ecosystem [3]  in our future editions of our newsletter. The aim is to get the wider community know about the excellent companies and startups (generating hundreds of highly skilled jobs) that make the OSGeo ecosystem and encourage more collaborations and startups which will help accelerate digital economy for the future . This will create innovation opportunities globally and locally. For example, the startup community is especially open to the use of open software and data avoiding huge licensing costs and restrictions which may impact on their business plans, raise early start-up costs and restrict their ability to innovate and it frees them of the need to use proprietary software and data allowing them greater branding freedom and product flexibility.


So please email our chief editor [email-  labrinos@eled.auth.gr  ] a short article about your company and how OSGeo software has been empowering you and enabling your growth . We also welcome
usecases and implementation examples of how OSGeo software and open principles in education are empowering universities, government organisations, NGOs etc. We will get your articles published in our newsletter in forthcoming issues. Please make sure you send your articles before 24th of every month to get it published in the next month’s edition.

We are looking forward to your contributions on examples of GIS truly empowering people, communities and organisations.We welcome everyone interested to join synergies and work together to support open principles in geoeducation and enable Geo technologies in empowering communities and helping improving the Quality of Life and standards of living for everyone. Let us all work together to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.


Best wishes,


Suchith Anand

http://www.geoforall.org/

[1] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/ica-osgeo-labs/2015-June/001742.html
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw
[3] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1

Flood Awareness Education Platform

On 16/17 January, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)  organized the first hackathon on a Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS). More than 60 participants from research organizations, universities and industries joined for improving accessibility and visualization of GloFAS data by creating new downstream applications.

Anticipation and preparedness of large-scale flood events play a key role in mitigating their impacts and optimizing the strategic planning of water resources. Although a lot of countries have well-established systems for river monitoring and early flood warning, an increasing number of inhabitants is affected by floods every year. The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) has been set up providing an overview on upcoming floodings in large world river basins.

On 16/17 January ECMWF hosted a hackathon aimed at improving GloFAS by developing innovative ideas and approaches. More than 3.5 TB of data have been prepared, partly served in an OGC-compliant Web Coverage Service Standard (WCS) for easier data access and retrieval. In the EarthServer-2 project, this WCS service is currently set up at ECMWF and further institutions in Great Britain.

Five teams submitted their work, most of them based on the Big Datacube server rasdaman running at ECMWF which offers 5-dimensional river discharge data, among others:

FloodIT: Providing more intuitive information based on GLOFAS which helps forecasting local floodings and pre-empting a catastrophe.
GloFAQ – Global Flood Awareness Queries: Innovative ways of providing end users with key information on potentially impacted infrastructures due to flooding.
Interception: A flood awareness education platform which helps informing people about alternative courses of action when a flood watch/warning alert is issued.
LIVE – Logistic and Infrastructure Visual Evaluation: Using GloFAS forecast information to create a ‘time to respond’ map.
The (flooded) Italian Job: An automatised modification of fixed GloFAS thresholds for warnings.

The winning team, LIVE, used GloFAS information creating a “time to respond map” that helps prioritizing decision making before or during a flood event. The second prize went to FloodIT, the third winner was Interception.

The GloFAS system is currently used by the International Red Cross in a pilot project in Daares-Salaam, Tanzania for finance forecasting which enables Red Cross to spot early on where flood disaster support is required. The FloodHack price money – in total 1,050 GBP – was donated to this project.

I would like to request colleagues  to please help with expanding ideas for  Flood Awareness Education Platform  that was developed at this event, so more educators and school teachers worldwide can make use of these resources for increasing awareness of extreme flood events and to help inform students about what they should be doing when a flood watch/warning alert is issued in their region. Overview at
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1p6LPj5nZAGzyI7jpRfdUScsnOVFDQyowWgoxqlkMR00/edit#slide=id.ged8e06e1a_1_0

Read more of the event at http://floodhack.devpost.com/

ecmwf

On behalf of Geo for All , i would like to thank  Julia and all our ECMWF colleagues for hosting an excellent event and all volunteers who gave thier time and time and expertise for helping improve the Global Flood Awareness System.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

OpenCitySmart – The Open platform for Smart Cities

Inspite of all the technological advancements, it is a sad fact that majority of the world’s poorest living in urban areas do not still have access to basic facilities (clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities , good quality education opportunities etc).  In order to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals it is essential to develop infrastructure facilities, strengthen the muncipal authorities and local city government organisations ( reduce corruption etc) in the developing world for helping improving the living standards of the people.

GIS is fundamental technology in infrastructure development and high cost proprietary GIS is unaffordable to governments, town planners and local authorities in developing and economically poor countries. With the availability of free and open source GIS technologies it now offers a great opportunity for governments and municipal authorities in developing countries also to implement GIS tools for their decision making and implementation needs (without having to pay huge licencing costs to proprietary GIS vendors) and help improving the lives of some of the most poorest people and by giving the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their decision making and implementation needs will help in improving the living standards of the people. We need to empower people and communities (NOT enslaving them by continuing forcing them to pay high licencing costs) to make sure our future generations are fully empowered .

Thanks to our Geo4All colleagues globally, we have already seen many examples  of the potential of Geo technologies in empowering communities and helping improving the lives of some of the most poorest people . By capacity building staff and students and by providing the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their infrastructure upgradation programs etc ( which in the long term will result in providing clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities, electricity etc)  will help in improving the living standards of the people.

It is with these aims that the Geo4All community decided to work on OpenCitySmart – The Open platform for Smart Cities. Thanks to the leadership shown by Patrick Hogan (NASA) and Prof.Chris Pettit (University of South Wales) and our amazing team of volunteers, we are now rapidly expanding this in collaborations with universities, government organisations and industry.

Open City Smart builds and uses open solutions to build richer toolboxes that empower organisations and people all around the globe to handle spatial (and non-spatial) data.This will create innovation opportunities globally and locally. For example, the startup community is especially open to the use of open software and data avoiding huge licensing costs and restrictions which may impact on their business plans, raise early start-up costs and restrict their ability to innovate and it frees them of the need to use proprietary software and data allowing them greater branding freedom and product flexibility. If you look through our Geo4All labs lists, you will see there is already good examples of cross fertilisation of activities from universities/industry happening. For example, the Open Source Geospatial Laboratory at ETH Zurich [1] is linked with SourcePole [2] and more university labs are working to expand collaborations with industry and also help their students to create more startups in the future  expanding the digital economy creating more highly skilled jobs both locally and globally . If you look at OSGeo UK Chapter and there are now many SMEs in the UK (generating hundreds of highly skilled jobs) who are service providers [3] and doing training [4] etc in this and we need to think of ways to expand more opportunities and help create more new highly skilled jobs locally and globally .

GeoforAll have at our disposal all the most advanced and powerful geospatial software from the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, NASA’s World Wind, AURIN’s What if and many more open solutions (build on open standards and open data) to build richer toolboxes that empower people all around the globe to handle spatial (and non-spatial) data for Open City Smart. We also have dedicated global infrastructure through over 100 ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS research labs now established across the planet in the top research universities (mostly in USA and Europe but we are rapidly expanding in Asia and globally) and more importanly we have the amazing, dedicated and talented people power making this happen.

So we warmly welcome you to join us and expand collaborations through joint research projects and bids that our colleagues are actively working on. If you and your research group have the expertise in urban science, smart cities, and wish to be part of these collaborations, please make you add your details and expertise to our list at https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Opencitysmart  and we will contact those with needed expertise for our various bids (to H2020, NSF and other national research funding organisations) that we are working on.

We also welcome active participation from universities and SMEs for our NASA Europa CitySmart Challenge . Details at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it  (Thanks to Prof. Maria Brovelli and Patrick Hogan for thier help)

We will have a dedicated session on OpenCitySmart at the GeoBigData workshop organised by the Geospatial IG of the Research Data Alliance https://rd-alliance.org/groups/geospatial-ig.html  on 8th June 2016 at University of Nottingham (coinciding with RDA Chairs meeting which will be hosted jointly by the University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey in Nottingham).

You can view overview of OpenCitySmart at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw  (This was presented at European Space Agency’s Earth Observation Science 2.0 conference at ESRIN, Frascati, Italy) . Thanks to Ant Beck for the video.

We welcome everyone interested to join synergies and work together to expand OpenCitySmart opportunities and enable Geo technologies in empowering communities and helping improving the Quality of Life and standards of living for everyone. Let us all work together to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org

[1] http://osgl.ethz.ch/osgl/index.html
[2] http://www.sourcepole.com
[3] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1&MUL_COUNTRY%5B%5D=00002
[4] http://www.osgeo.org/uk/training_providers

Invitation to NASA CitySmart Challenge – Solutions For Sustainable Cities

On behalf of “Geo for All”   , we would like to welcome strong global participation for the fourth edition of the NASA Europa challenge. The aim of this challenge is to inspire ideas for building great applications that serves the INSPIRE Directive and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology World Wind.

This NASA challenge attracts the best minds to develop their ideas covering a broad range of domains from transportation to air quality to linked data. The previous competition winners work is available at

http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/projects2013
http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/projects2014
http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/projects2015

We thank Professor Maria Brovelli (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Patrick Hogan (NASA) for their efforts for this initiative which adds great momentum to our efforts to promote openness in education and research worldwide. The Europa Challenge has always had Europe’s INSPIRE Directive to guide project development. This year we continue to have INSPIRE guide us and more specifically, we are looking for solutions specific to urban management. The CitySmart Europa Challenge is challenging the world’s *best and brightest* to deliver sustainable solutions serving city needs.

Almost every city needs the same data management tools as every other city. How can we help cities work together to be more sustainable, more livable and more resilient? If cities were able to share their solutions with each other, this would multiply their investment by the number of cities participating. Each city could develop different functionalities and then ‘share’ these with each other, massively increasing our planet’s collective productivity.

Simply build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart [1] [2] [3] design and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind. Whether you win or not, you will advance a platform that allows every city to win! This challenge is open to all on our home planet. See the 2015 Projects, 2014 Projects and 2013 Projects. China had top teams these past two years, India had an excellent team last year and Italy every year! A USA High School team from Alaska won First Place in 2015!  So students and SMEs are welcome to join the competition this year.

This year’s Europa Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the global community to begin working in collaboration and prepare for the increasing climate change scenarios in cities context.   Students are our future and looking at previous year’s contributions from Global Earthquake forecasts systems ( developed by some high school students from Alaska who went on to win the first prize in 2015!) http://www.edlinesites.net/pages/America_Bridge_Project/Europa_Challenge  to Urban Traffic Visual Analytics Simulator , it just shows the amazing contributions of these students and SMEs made for the global good and for the benefit of all.

Details at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/

Those interested in being part of this global enterprise, please subscribe here http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opencitysmart . Your participation is very welcome.

We look forward to your strong participation for the NASA CitySmart Challenge 2016 and joining our mission to make geospatial education and opportunities available for all.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org

[1] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Opencitysmart
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw
[3] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/ica-osgeo-labs/2016-January/005027.html

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation turns 10

The Board of Directors of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation have send their greetings to everyone on the happy occassion of 10th Anniversary of when our  Foundation was founded (4th Feb 2006) at http://www.osgeo.org/node/1672 

Also i take this opportunity to welcome our  new OSGeo President Professor Venkatesh Raghavan and our new  Vice Presidents Professor Helena Mitasova and Dirk Frigne.

Details at http://www.osgeo.org/node/1667

By coincidence, i was reading  the  United Nations report on  Future trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision report that some  colleagues send me this week . It is very interesting and relevant.

Executive Summary
. . .the most significant changes in the geospatial industry will come not through a single technology, but rather from linking multiple technologies and policies. [ this is exactly what OSGeo & Geo4All are doing :)]

and
Due to increased global urbanisation, it is expected that more focus will be placed on urban environments. The integration of smart technologies and efficient governance models will increase and the mantra of ‘doing more for less’ is more relevant than ever before. The emerging trends of Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, coupled with of smart resource management and interoperable services, will lead to a focus on citizen services, better land management, and the sustainability of resources. [ This is exactly our OpenCitySmart – – The Open platform for Smart Cities ideas in action [1], [2]  :) ]

Details at http://ggim.un.org/docs/UN-GGIM-Future-trends_Second%20edition.pdf

Happy birthday to OSGeo Foundation and may God’s grace and blessings be with all of us and OSGeo for our efforts to empower everyone with open geo principles  to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org/

[1]  http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2016-January/015555.html
[2]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw

ICA-OSGeo MoU renewal for expanding “Geo for All”

On behalf of “Geo for All” , we are happy to inform  the renewal of  the Memorandum of Understanding between the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and the International Cartographic Association  (ICA) by Professor Georg Gartner (President ICA) and Jeff McKenna ( President OSGeo) on 16 July 2015 at FOSS4G Europe, in Como, Italy. Details at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/MOU_ICA

This builds upon the ICA-OSGeo MoU of Sep 2011  and reflects our expansion plans for the future.  We thank the ICA Executive and the OSGeo Board for supporting the MoU and Professor Helena Mitasova for her efforts to get this MoU updated and renewed. We also thank Arnulf Christl (former OSGeo President) who took the initiative of ICA-OSGeo collaborations many years back. This is an excellent example of the power of bringing together communities on a shared mission – “Making geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all”.

This MoU renewal will be formally announced by Georg Gartner (President ICA) [1] at the  27th International Cartographic Conference  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  next week and by Jeff McKenna ( President OSGeo) at FOSS4G 2015 in Seoul. This will further develop the GeoForAll initiative, through expanding partnerships.  We  welcome Governments, Industry, SME’s , NGOs etc who support Geo4All’s education mission and criteria [2] to join us as “Partners”  and be part of a  global network of  Open Geospatial Science Research and Education ‘Labs’ and ‘Partners’ to expand more collaborations for the future [3] .  We will work to bring together all key players (Government organisations, Industry, SMEs, NGOs) on the common mission of education and opportunities for all.

We started from nothing and it is 100 percent the dedication and efforts of all our colleagues globally which helped us .We are grateful to all our colleagues globally for their help and efforts which enabled us to build this initiative.

We look forward to working and building collaborations with all interested on this education mission. Access to quality education and opportunities is key for getting rid of extreme poverty and enable  broadly shared prosperity for all.

[1] http://icaci.org/presidents-blog-ica-and-osgeo-renew-their-memorandum-of-understanding/

[2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Geoforall_criteria

[3] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2015/07/geo4all-welcomes-ideas-for-building-global-synergies-and-collaborations-for-access-to-quality-education-and-opportunities-for-all/

United Nations Special Session @ FOSS4G 2015, Seoul

It is our great pleasure to inform  the final program of “Open Source GIS for the United Nations and Developing Countries” special session on 16th September 2015 at FOSS4G Seoul. It was made possible thanks esp. to the efforts of Dr. Junyoung Choi, Sanghee Shin and many colleagues. There is a really great program lined up with examples of Open Source GIS from climate change to improving public health delivery. It is great to see the focus also on smart cities esp. the work on Open source and open data for smart cities in developing countries by Prof. Serena Coetzee ( University of Pretoria, South Africa ) will be really useful for our future.

More details at http://2015.foss4g.org/united-nations-special-session/

During the session, we’ll talk about the adoptions/experiences of open source GIS in UN and developing countries. Also there will be panel discussions on how to utilise the open source GIS for the sustainable development.

On behalf of ‘Geo for All’ we are determined  to build ideas and make this a regular session at all future main FOSS4G Global events. We want all our Geo4All labs to support and work towards the work towards the vision of the UN Millennium Development Goals [1] for building a better world and this session will help us build more collaborations and activities in the future. It is key part of our criteria and principles [2].

Service for the benefit and betterment of humanity is a key fundamental principle of “Geo for All”  and we want to contribute and focus our efforts for the UN Millennium Development Goals.

There are  four areas that we can contribute our joint expertise for global development and eradicating extreme poverty. Even though the scale of these global challenges are big , together we can combine forces and efforts contributing to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Details at http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2015/05/geo-for-all-service-for-the-benifit-and-betterment-of-humanity/

So this UN focussed session at FOSS4G Seoul is great start for expanding our  collaborations .

There will also be “Geo for All” [3] meetings that will be chaired by Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan (Osaka City University, Japan) during FOSS4G Seoul where we will discuss and plan future collaborations. Everyone planning to attend FOSS4G Seoul are welcome.

[1] http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
[2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Geoforall_criteria
[3] http://www.geoforall.org

Free GIS Info Workshop for UK government organisations, SMEs and startups @ The University of Nottingham

The market for Geo services has been estimated to be worth up to $270 billion per year [1]. The high cost of proprietary software can be a limiting factor for many government organisations, SMEs and start-ups. Developments in Open Source, Open Standards and Open Data mean that there are now huge cost savings and big opportunities for organisations using open Geospatial software and technologies.

Are you a government organisation, local authority, SME or Individuals / groups thinking of initiating their own start-ups and  interested in exploring opportunities of using Open geospatial technologies in your work and operations? Then apply to be considered to take part in a free Workshops on Open Source, Open Standards, Open Data in Geospatial for  government organisations, SMEs  and startups on the 8th October 2015 at the University of Nottingham. Details at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/genius/documents/gis-workshop.pdf

The aim is to bring together all interested players to learn, share and discuss ideas in for future collaboration opportunities in Open Source, Open Standards, Open Data in Geospatial including exploring opportunities for participating in joint H2020 and other bids.

Open principles are now implemented by the UK Government and delivering huge cost savings for government -£409 million in the first half of the year it was implemented (six months in 2012 alone) [2].  Open source GIS software will help  the local authorities and various government departments in reducing huge annual licence fee costs for proprietary software and the UK Government and taxpayers as a whole will  benefit from cost efficiencies,  reduce the cost of lock-in to suppliers and products. This is especially important for future IT investments (for example Cloud Computing) , so that more options are explored and choices available.

We are especially interested in training/capacity building local and regional authorities to make use of open technologies (esp in GIS) for helping reduce the annual proprietary GIS licence costs as it is one of the biggest IT expenses in GIS . There are 433 principal authorities in the UK: 27 county councils, 55 unitary authorities, 32 London boroughs, 36 Metropolitan boroughs, 201 districts, 32 Scottish unitary authorities, 22 Welsh unitary authorities, and 26 Northern Ireland districts . All of them need GIS for their  operations. So you can imagine the cumulative annual costs for the UK government for keeping buying proprietary GIS . Now imagine the costs for  not just one year but in the future 5, 10 , 25 years. The savings will be millions of pounds  and with the UK government action plan on Open Principles implemented, we are in a good position to help these local authorities make transition .

At the University of Nottingham, we  have already experience of running successful  Mentoring program focussed on “Open Source, Open Standards, Open Data in Geospatial”  through the FP7 THE ISSUE  http://www.theissue.eu/  and found it very productive . The  mentoring program enabled us to bring in colleagues from other organisations to work closely  for short periods at Nottingham for building up local capacity and also helped build future collaborations (for example we are now in various H2020 bids with many of them).

Some examples below:

·         Open source GIS Capacity Building for Local Authorities – Dr Agata Ciolkosz-Styk and Pawel Kwiatkowski ((IGiK, Poland) and Fatima Manjra (Leicester City Council)
·         The Integration of GIS, Open Source and Sustainability of the Environment – Dr Rossella Nocera (University of Molise, Italy) and  Dr Teresa Raventos (University of Leicester)

There should also be capacity building  in the national,regional and local government so that “Open first” policy is implemented

* Selecting open standards to minimise dependence on specific suppliers.
* Choosing open source software in the case of equal suitability.

We will be pleased to work with the all interested to expand the Mentoring Program focussed on Open Data, Open Source, Open Standards in Geospatial for Regional and Local Authorities in the UK to  enable huge savings in IT but also ensure we are in line with the UK government policies on open principles.

If you look through our Geo4All  labs lists, you will see there is already good examples of cross fertilisation of activities from universities/industry happening. For example, the Open Source Geospatial Laboratory at at ETH Zurich [3] is linked with  SourcePole [4]  and hopefully this will inspire more university labs in the UK (and globally) to expand collaborations with industry and also help their students to create more startups in the future. If you look at OSGeo UK Chapter and there are now many SMEs in the UK (ranging from one staff to 100 staff) who are  service providers [5] and doing training [6] etc in this and we need to think of ways to expand more opportunities and help create more new highly skilled jobs in the UK .

As more and more government organisations, regional and local authorities rapidly move to QGIS and other Open source solutions for enhanced efficiency and lower costs , there is a need for support services and an ecosystem at the local level which is in fact the BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY for SMEs and startups in the UK to fill in .  There should be a strong ecosystem (universities, local government, SMEs etc)  to enable create conditions  for  many  RedHat [7] opportunities  to be created in Open Geospatial ecosystem in the UK  , so that there will be lot of jobs creation as well as innovation opportunities.

Also this will create innovation opportunities locally. For example the startup  community is especially open to the use of open software and data avoiding licensing restrictions which may impact on their business plans, raise early start-up costs and restrict their ability to innovate and it frees them of the need to use proprietary software and data  allowing them greater branding freedom and product flexibility.

This Workshop is free (but limited to only 20 participants ONLY as we have limited venue space) so book your place ASAP (use registration link) at
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/grace/events/eventsarticles/open-geo-info-workshop.aspx

Selected participants (from a mix of government staff,SMEs and startups) will be confirmed by email before 30 August 2015.

Best wishes,

Suchith

[1] http://www.oxera.com/Oxera/media/Oxera/downloads/reports/What-is-the-economic-impact-of-Geo-services_1.pdf
[2] http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/government-bodies-must-comply-open-standards-principles
[3] http://osgl.ethz.ch/osgl/index.html
[4] http://www.sourcepole.com
[5] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1&MUL_COUNTRY%5B%5D=00002
[6]  http://www.osgeo.org/uk/training_providers
[7]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat

Inviting more UK universities to join and expand Open Geospatial Science

Starting from nothing,  4 years back our aim was to establish 5 Open Source Geospatial labs in 5 years globally. Today  we have established 7 Open Source Geospatial Labs established  in  universities in the UK alone

* University of Newcastle
* University College London
* University of South Wales
* University of Southampton
* University of Warwick
* University of Gloucestershire
* University of Nottingham

We thank all our colleagues whose efforts made this possible. This will ensure that all these universities will lead in providing world class research and teaching in Geospatial Science for the future. We want all of them to be centres of innovation bringing together academics, industry and government organisations to collaborate and build up Open Principles in Geospatial Science.
We are especially interested in hearing from universities and research groups  who have focus on Big Data research to establish Open Source Geospatial Labs to rapidly expand their research and teaching in the  following themes building on Open Principles (Open Data, Open Software, Open standards, Open Access to Research publications etc).



  – Transport Science & Applications    

  – Environment and Climate Science 

  –  Urban Data Science
      

We welcome more universities in the UK to join and expand our collaborations. Please contact our Europe chairs Professor Maria Brovelli ( Email: maria.brovelli@polimi.it ) and Dr Peter Mooney (Email- petermooney78@gmail.com ) and they will be pleased to guide you.

Best wishes,

Suchith
http://www.geoforall.org

Inviting examples of Open Principles in empowering people and organisations and creating new opportunities

We would like to invite articles from Industry , Universities/Education, Startups, NGOs,  Governments  on examples of how Open Geospatial Software and Open Data is empowering them and created many new opportunities for  the”Geo for All” http://www.geoforall.org/   monthly newsletters.

Even proprietary GIS vendors and their business partners make huge use of and rely heavily on open source for their business[1] . That is true empowerment and we want to get more examples from the wider community for our newsletter

* Examples of  Open Source Geospatial and Open Data empowering and creating new opportunities for Geospatial Industry
* Examples of  Open Source Geospatial and Open Data empowering and creating new opportunities for Startups
* Examples of  Open Source Geospatial and Open Data empowering and creating new opportunities for Universities/Education
* Examples of  Open Source Geospatial and Open Data empowering  and creating new opportunities for Government organisations
* Examples of  Open Source Geospatial and Open Data empowering and creating new opportunities for NGOs

We are especially  interested to hear from government organisations/regional/local authorities on  how Open source GIS software helped the local authorities and various government departments in reducing huge annual licence fee costs for proprietary  software and the taxpayers as a whole benifitted from cost efficiencies,  reduce the cost of lock-in to suppliers and products. Now imagine the costs for  not just one year but in the future 5, 10 , 25 years. The savings will be billions of dollars of taxpayers money globally which can be invested by governments in  education, healthcare etc.

As more and more government organisations, national, regional and local authorities rapidly move to QGIS and other Open source solutions for enhanced efficiency and lower costs , there is a need for support services and an ecosystem at the local level which is in fact the BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY for SMEs and startups  to fill in .  There should be a strong ecosystem (universities, local government, SMEs etc)  to enable create conditions  for  many  new opportunities [2]   to be created in Open Geospatial ecosystem  , so that there will be lot of jobs creation as well as innovation opportunities. So examples from Startups in OSGeo ecosystem are very welcome. There is already a great list of service providers of OSGeo ecosystem and this is just the start.

Open Principles will make sure our current and future generations are empowered and education and opportunities are available to all…

So please do send examples of how Open Source Geospatial and Open Data is empowering and creating new opportunities from Geospatial Industry, Startups, Education, NGOs, Government organisations to our chief editor of “Geo for All” newsletter -Dr. Nikos Lambrinos, Dept. of Primary Education Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (  Email – labrinos@eled.auth.gr )

Best wishes,

Suchith

PS: Be a “Geo for All” Ambassador . Details at http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2015/08/be-a-geo-for-all-ambassador/
[1] http://www.gogeomatics.ca/magazine/osgeo-presents-geo-for-all-initiative-may-30-ottawa-social.htm
[2]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat
[3] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1