Google – OSGeo Summer of Code program 2014

Thanks to all the mentors, students and especially to OSGeo GSoC Administrators 2014(Anne Ghisla, Hamish Bowman and Dustan Adkins) for another successful organisation of OSGeo Google Summer of Code 2014  http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Google_Summer_of_Code_2014_Ideas

All the projects done are excellent but i would to highlight one project which we did this year with the aim to build ideas for collaborative research for ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS labs for the future .

We have strong automated map generalization/schematization research in some of our research labs and thanks to Dr Luciene Delazari (Federal University of Parana, Brazil),  Piotr Pociask (GIS Support Sp, Warsaw) and Dr Mark Ware (University of South Wales) for supervising this excellent work on building the Schematization Plugin for QGIS and student Nishith Maheshwari (IIIT Hyderabad, India) for building this. This will now  enable more collaborative research ideas for the map generalization research community for extending this as an open schematization platform which other students in future can use to build upon. It is an excellent example of how we can build ideas for collaborative research for ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS labs for the future.

This will also help us build ideas for next year’s GSoC by having members of ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS labs network collaborate on other interesting ideas.

http://hub.qgis.org/wiki/quantum-gis/Nishithm

Great work all  and thanks for your contributions which help build the momentum for sharing knowledge for the benefit of all.

ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Award for Open Geospatial Science

The Big 3 of the Geospatial World (the International Cartographic Association, Open Source Geospatial Foundation  and  International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing)  have joined forces in our common aim to make geospatial education and opportunities available for all.

From 2015, we have decided to award ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Award for Open Geospatial Science at key conferences to students doing excellent research in this area. We have also set up a committee for this.

  •         Prof. Georg Gartner (President, ICA)
  •         Mr. Jeff McKenna (President, OSGeo)
  •         Prof. Chen Jun (President, ISPRS)
  •         Prof. Charlie Schweik (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA)
  •         Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
  •         Dr. Xinyue Ye (Kent State University, USA)
  •         Dr. Luciene Delazari (Federal University of Paraná, Brazil)
  •         Dr. Tuong-Thuy Vu (UNMC, Malaysia)
  •         Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan (Osaka City University, Japan)
  •         Prof. Ivana Ivánová (FCT/UNESP, Brazil)
  •         Mr. Jeroen Ticheler (GeoCat)
  •         Dr. Serena Coetzee (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
  •         Prof. Helena Mitasova (North Carolina State University, USA )
  •         Dr. Suchith Anand (University of Nottingham, UK)

Professor Maria Brovelli is organising FOSS4G-Europe 2015 in Como, Italy (July 2015) and will be running the third edition of the very successful NASA World Wind 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. Details at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/

So the inaugural ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Award for Open Geospatial Science will be for the best student winning team at this competition.

“Building up Open Access, Open Education and Open Data for Open Science” – Presentations now online

The recordings of presentations for OSGIS 2014 “Building up Open Access, Open Education and Open Data for Open Science”  are now available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/osgis/home.aspx  for the benefit of the wider community.

or go directly to http://uilapech01.nottingham.ac.uk:8080/ess/portal/section/02fba582-968a-4437-b279-f9e76072e544

I would like to invite you to watch Professor Stuart Marsh’s (Nottingham Geospatial Institute) presentation to get an overview of the research in this theme at Nottingham

https://lecturecapture.nottingham.ac.uk:8443/ess/echo/presentation/80abcb78-9997-4bf6-b2e8-cf9a99c99810

and also Professor John Wood’s (Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities) keynote presentation on “Research Data revolution and the Open Science phenomenon” to get an overview of future research directions in this theme.

https://lecturecapture.nottingham.ac.uk:8443/ess/echo/presentation/b17563f3-97f3-4807-a824-308b6d08a4a2

I would like to thank all our colleagues and students at the University of Nottingham for their help and support over the years  for building up Open Geospatial Science.

Through the Research Data Alliance (RDA) we are now building Geospatial Data Science as a key research focus for expanding our research for the future and will have this as a key focus for our next meeting  (Sep 22nd) . Details and agenda at https://www.rd-alliance.org/geospatial-ig.html

The program of RDA Plenary 4 is at https://www.rd-alliance.org/plenary4-programme.html

I am also pleased to inform that we will be having FOSS4G – Europe 2015 in Como, Italy in July 2015 (Thanks to Professor Maria Brovelli for organising this ) to further accelerate Open Geospatial Science across Europe. Como is also near JRC and it will be also a good opportunity for planning  meeting of all our European labs to build future research collaborations. We will inform more details later.

Pre-conference workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2015)

Call for extended abstracts

27th International Cartographic Conference

Pre-conference workshop on

Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial

(SDI-Open 2015)

jointly organized by the

Commission on Geoinformation Infrastructures and Standards and the

Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies

Date: Friday, 21 August 2015

Venue: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Rio de Jaineiro, Brazil

The discovery, access, exchange and sharing of geographic information and services among stakeholders from different levels in the spatial data community is facilitated through a spatial data infrastructure (SDI). Standards are key for the quality and development of interoperable geographic information and geospatial software. The drive for access to geographic information has led to its publication as open data, i.e. freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. According to a report by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), the use of opensource solutions is likely to increase significantly in the future as a viable alternative to proprietary suppliers. Open source software for geospatial, geographic information standards and open data policies are therefore significant for SDI development and implementation. This workshop aims to record examples of current SDI practice with an aim to identify benefits and challenges to implementing free and open source software for geospatial, geographic information standards and open (spatial) data in an SDI.

SDI resarchers and practitioners are invited to submit extended abstracts of 1,000-1,500 words that describe SDI case studies where

  • open source software for geospatial is used in the technical implementation; and/or
  • geospatial standards are implemented; and/or
  • geographic information is accessible as open data.

The case studies shall include the following:

  • Background information about the SDI, including the relevant policies.
  • A description of how open source, standards and/or open data are implemented in the SDI.
  • An evaluation of the motivators, benefits, barriers and challenges concerning implementation of open source software, standards and/or open data.
  • Based on the evaluation, provide recommendations for improvements and/or further work.
  • Conclusions.

Extended abstracts have to be written in English. Contributions must be original and previously unpublished. Author guidelines are available at http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/. Abstracts have to be submitted through the online submission system, available at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=sdiopen2015. Abstracts will be reviewed by members of the organizing ICA Commissions. Upon acceptance, a revised abstract has to be submitted for inclusion in the workshop proceedings. At least one of the authors of an accepted abstract must register for the workshop and make an oral presentation at the workshop.

Accepted abstracts will be published in the online workshop proceedings with an ISBN number and will be openly archived on the ICA website under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows others to freely access, use, and share the work, with an acknowledgment of the work’s authorship and its initial publication in the online workshop proceedings. Authors of a selected number of high quality abstracts may be invited to submit an extended paper to a peer-reviewed journal.

Important dates

Call for abstracts opens:                                                     1 September 2014

Abstract submission:                                                          2 March 2015

Notification of acceptance:                                                1 June 2015

Submission of revised abstracts:                                      6 July 2015

Full workshop registration payment for presenters:          6 July 2015

27th ICC 2015 Conference                                                 23-28 August 2015

 

SDI-Open2015_AuthorGuidelines_20140828

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact Antony Cooper acooper@csir.co.za, Serena Coetzee serena.coetzee@up.ac.za, Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand@nottingham.ac.uk, Luciene Delazari luciene@ufpr.br or Silvana Camboim   silvanacamboim@gmail.com

Launch of ICA-OSGeo Lab in India at AGSE 2013 and Season’s Greetings from “Geo for All” Initiative

We are pleased to inform that the ICA-OSGeo Lab  was launched  at CEPT University , Ahmedabad, India on the concluding day of the AGSE 2013 conference[0], on 19th December 2013.  This Laboratory is part of the international ICA-OSGeo Open Source Geospatial Labs Network [1]. The aim of this worldwide network is to provide on global basis collaboration opportunities for academia, industry and government organizations in open source GIS software and data based on the Memorandum of Understanding [2] of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). The aim of ICA-OSGeo “Geo for All” initiative is to bring more opportunities for geospatial education worldwide.

Dr. Anjana Vyas, chair of AGSE 2013 conference and Professor CEPT University, gave an overview about the future plans of Open Source Geo Lab at CEPT University , India and launched the website [3]. Photos of the event are at  [4] [5]. Guest speakers contributed to the discussions at the launch event. Dr. D Schroeder (HFT Stuttgart) gave his views on the benefits of open source and explained about its success stories in the field of Information Technology. He also added that the philosophy behind open source development is the importance of freedom to use the software.  Dr. FJ Behr (HFT Stuttgart) gave a talk on open source in the context of GIS and the need to promote  it. He included in his presentation about the OSGeo foundation , its mission , goals and its activities on a global scale and local scale. As Head of the first ICA-OSGeo laboratory in Germany he outlined the work and importance of the OSGeo Foundation.  M. G Koenig (TU Berlin) presented the power of the open CityGML standard as an example to visualize 3D data to support management and development of cities. He provided city GML as an example of open consensus driven OGC standard.

We congratulate Prof. Anjana Vyas and her team at  CEPT University for leading the establishment of  Open Source Geospatial Lab in India and working to provide opportunities for staff and students to learn the latest geospatial technologies. We are sure more universities in India will establish OSGeo labs and create geospatial education programs  to help to provide the supply of skilled labour that is needed to meet the requirements of Geo industry and drive the digital economy.

Google Oxera’s  report on the economic impact of Geo Services report [6] published in January 2013  estimates the revenues from global Geo services at $150 billion to $270 billion per year. This study is one of the first to consider Geo services as an industry in itself, encompassing all digital mapping and location-based services. It clearly shows the potential for thousands of skilled jobs being created by GIS. But unfortunately, the number of universities offering GIS programs in developing countries is very low and hence developing countries have been lagging behind in benefiting from the opportunities created by the global geo services. This is very disappointing that so many staff and students in the developing and poor countries and regions in our planet not having access to this rapidly growing area and we needed to take action so that everyone can study and benefit from geospatial opportunities. High cost proprietary GIS software packages are unaffordable for majority of users in developing and poor countries and has been a big stumbling block for developing and poor countries to take advantage of the immense opportunities provided by GIS technologies. Hence our “Geo for All” initiative is very timely as by using free and open source based GIS will help in the spreading geospatial education among the economically disadvantaged people and countries (removing the need for high cost proprietary GI  vendor softwares)  . Free and Open source GIS provides accessibility, low cost solutions and lowers the entry barriers for the use of geospatial technologies for all.Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries to be also able to get geospatial education.

On the same day (19th Dec) we also welcomed our 64th ICA-OSGeo lab at the University of Geneva. Big welcome to Dr. Gregory Giuliani, Prof.Anthony Lehmann , Dr.Nicolas Ray and colleagues at Institute for Environmental Sciences [7] at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

As 2013 is nearly over, we take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support and contributions which helped to build up the “Geo for All”    initiative. It has been amazing to see our humble initiative grow rapidly and this has been due to the dedication of all of you and we would like to thank you for your continued contribution. We have now put strong foundations for our “Geo for All” initiative from Australia to Uruguay and we are  looking forward to working with you all in 2014 to rapidly build upon this.

On behalf of everyone at “Geo for All” initiative, we wish you and your families very happy holidays and Happy New Year.

Best wishes,

Suchith

[0] http://agse2013-cept.in
[1]  http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/MOU_ICA
[2]  http://www.geoforall.org
[3] http://www.geomaticsindia-cept.org
[4]  https://docs.google.com/a/cept.ac.in/file/d/0Bw-0H_COGuskMm0wbHF1RDYtRVE/edit?pli=1
[5]  https://docs.google.com/a/cept.ac.in/file/d/0Bw-0H_COGuskNEpvZEc5SDBXVWc/edit?pli=1
[6]  http://www.oxera.com/Oxera/media/Oxera/downloads/reports/What-is-the-economic-impact-of-Geo-services_1.pdf
[7]  http://www.unige.ch/envirospace

 

Season’s greetings

As 2013 is nearly over, let me take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support and contributions which helped to build up the “Geo for All” http://www.geoforall.org/   initiative. It has been amazing to see our humble initiative grow rapidly and this has been due to the dedication of all of you and I would like to thank you for your continued contribution.

I remember reading the Google Oxera report in the start of this year (Jan 2013) that estimated the revenues from global Geo services at $150 billion to $270 billion per year. This study is one of the first to consider Geo services as an industry in itself, encompassing all digital mapping and location-based services. Details at

http://www.oxera.com/Oxera/media/Oxera/downloads/reports/What-is-the-economic-impact-of-Geo-services_1.pdf

It clearly showed the excellent progress made by GIS and its significant contribution to jobs creation and digital economy. There was also a table listing the use of GIS in higher education (Table 5.2 ; Page 23) which clearly showed that very few universities in developing countries were currently running courses in GIS.  This is very disappointing that so many staff and students in the developing and poor countries and regions in our planet not having access to this rapidly growing area and we needed to take action so that everyone can study and benefit from geospatial opportunities. High cost proprietary GIS software packages are unaffordable for majority of users in developing and poor countries. Hence our Geo for All initiative is very timely as by using free and open source based GIS will help in the spreading geospatial education among the economically disadvantaged people and countries (without having to pay proprietary GIS vendors). In order to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals (in particular Goal 7) on themes like environmental sustainability, 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. Free and Open source GIS provides accessibility, low cost solutions and lowers the entry barriers for the use of geospatial technologies for all.

Today morning we welcomed our 64th ICA-OSGeo lab at the University of Geneva. Big welcome to Dr. Gregory Giuliani, Prof.Anthony Lehmann , Dr.Nicolas Ray and colleagues at Institute for Environmental Sciences http://www.unige.ch/envirospace  at the University of Geneva. I understand that they are also part of UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Geneva http://www.grid.unep.ch   (we already have UNEP Warsaw http://www.gridw.pl/  in our network , so it is good to see more collaborations developing at UN organisations).

Thank you to all of you, we have now put strong foundations for our “Geo for All” initiative from Australia to Uruguay and i am looking forward to working with you all in 2014 to rapidly build upon this. I also request all established labs to also help other universities in your region to establish Open Source Geospatial Labs as a new year resolution and be the ambassador of the initiative in your regions/country.

I wish you and your families very happy holidays and Happy New Year.

Best wishes,

Suchith

Open Initiatives in Agriculture

At the 10th Anniversary of Berlin declaration last month, staff of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation met me to discuss ideas and i shared some thoughts with them on the current developments in open access in Geospatial at http://aims.fao.org/interviews/enhancing-use-geospatial-technologies-agriculture-interview-drsuchith-anand-geo-all-initi

AgriGIS research including the BBSRC funded GRASP http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ngi/research/geospatial-science/projects/grasp-gfs.aspx that we are doing at NGI will have open and free technologies at its heart.

Advisory Board of the “Geo for All” initiative

We are pleased to announce the Advisory Board of the “Geo for All” initiative.

* Professor Georg Gartner (ICA President & co-chair)
* Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President & co-chair)
* Professor Josef Strobl
* Professor Marguerite Madden
* Professor Mike Jackson
* Sven Schade
* Gavin Fleming
* Sergio Acosta y Lara
* Dr Chris Pettit
* Professor Venkatesh Raghavan
* Geoff Zeiss
* Jeroen Ticheler
* Phillip Davis
* Arnulf Christl
* Professor Maria Brovelli
* Dr Rafael Moreno

The ICA-OSGeo Lab network is a joint initiative of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA). The ICA and OSGeo Presidents will be the co-chairs and permanent members of the Advisory Board. Others will have 3 year term starting date of the Advisory Board being constituted (1 Dec 2013). The Advisory Board has brought together excellent range of expertise (academia, government, industry) and geographical distribution (we have nearly all continents covered). Also it brought together members from other key communities ISPRS, AGILE, INSPIRE, UNIGIS etc. which will make sure is it a fully inclusive global initiative. The Advisory Board will meet once every six months by telemeeting and AB members will keep an eye on the developments and provide strategic advice to the initiative through various forums.

While there has been tremendous growth in geospatial technology over the last few decades, the number of universities offering courses in geospatial science has not kept pace. Free and open geographic information (GI) software helps make geospatial education available to students from economically poor backgrounds worldwide (removing the need for high cost proprietary GI software). Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries to be also able to get geospatial education. This initiative will bring more opportunities for geospatial education worldwide. Over 50 Open Source Geospatial Labs have already been established in universities around the world as part of this initiative in just two year’s time, and we will be establishing over 100 research labs worldwide by September 2014.

We will have over 500 labs established worldwide in the next five years making us the biggest geospatial education and research network in the planet and we now have a good team of experts to guide us for the future. Welcome to all members of the Advisory Board and we are looking forward for their advice and ideas for expanding this education initiative globally.

We thank all of you for your strong support for this education initiative and it is very happy for us that our initiative has now grown rapidly from very humble beginnings and is helping to widen the benefits of geospatial education opportunities to thousands of students worldwide.

10th Anniversary of Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The 10th Anniversary of the Berlin Open Access Declaration http://openaccess.mpg.de/286432/Berlin-Declaration was held in Berlin . The two day deliberations http://www.berlin11.org/ was a good opportunity to bring together all key players to reflect, share ideas and discuss future plans at a global level. There was also strong representation from UK by RCUK, senior academics from major universities, government and policy makers. David Willetts (Minister for science and universities) gave talk on UK’s policy on Open Access.

It was very inspiring event for me and it was really happy to see the momentum building up globally and to learn more about the latest developments and discuss ideas for future collaborations. It gives us more inspiration to further build up our Open Access initiative ELOGeo http://elogeo.nottingham.ac.uk/ for the benefit of the geospatial community worldwide. Thanks to Amir, Adam, Jeremy and to all the contributors and users of ELOGeo and also JISC for funding and supporting the ELOGeo initiative.
Thanks again to the initiators of the Berlin Declaration for their farsighted vision and noble aspiration to make knowledge and information resources available to everyone.

Building EU-Australia Research synergies

The 3rd EU – Australia Research Infrastructure meetings and workshop in Canberra in November was an excellent success. Professor Octavi Quintana (Director for the European Research Area, Directorate General for Research & Innovation, European Commission) led the EU delegation. For the Sustainable Cities research theme, i am pleased to see more research collaborations building esp. the aim to establish open source sustainability cities research labs in key universities in Australia. I believe this will be an excellent way to build up the education and research collaborations between EU and Australia in Geospatial Science.

I would like to thank Prof. Chris Pettit and Australian Academy of Sciences for inviting me and Open Source Geospatial Lab http://www.abp.unimelb.edu.au/osgeolab at the University of Melbourne and the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) http://aurin.org.au/ for funding my visit and meetings.