“Geo for All” education mission is launched

FOSS4G 2013 has been a great success (28 Workshops, 180 Presentations., 833 delegates  ) thanks to the countless hours of efforts put in by our dedicated volunteers. Special thanks to our team members Abi, Addy, Antony, Barend, Barry, Claire, Franz-Josef, Jeremy, Jo, IanH, IanE, Mark, Matt, Rollo and Steven who not only made FOSS4G 2013 http://2013.foss4g.org/about-foss4g/committee/   a great success  but also has given firm foundation for the “Geo for All” Education initiative .

We also launched OSGeo Live 7.0 at FOSS4G 2013 in  Nottingham. Thanks to the selfless efforts and dedication of hundreds of volunteers worldwide that help make this excellent resource possible for the benefit of the wider community . Details at http://live.osgeo.org/en/index.html   Having free and open GI software is key for making possible for students in developing and poor countries  to be also able to get geospatial education (without the need for high cost  proprietary GI software ) and OSGeo Live is central to our education efforts. Our Education Team will now with full dedication and focus will carry on the “Geo for All” initiative to all across the world. Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries  to be also able to get geospatial education. By 2015, we will  have 50 Open Source Geospatial Labs established in universities in Africa alone and they will all be  teaching GIS courses to hundreds of students. We also will be starting work on “Train the Trainer” GIS program for school teachers all over the world.

We also launched our latest ICA-OSGeo research lab in Switzerland at  ETH Zurich at FOSS4G 2013 . The Open Source Geospatial Laboratory at ETH Zurich is part is part of the Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation, chair of Cartography . Details at http://www.ikg.ethz.ch/karto/index_EN
The preceding Institute of Cartography was founded in 1925 by Professor Eduard Imhof, one of the main founders of modern academic cartography. It is therefore the oldest university institute in cartography world-wide. In 2011, with the establishment of the new chair of Geoinformation Engineering, the scope of activities of the institute was expanded and its name was adapted. In cartography, the institute strives to maintain its leading position in topographic cartography (relief representation), thematic cartography, and atlas cartography (school atlases, national atlases) by exploiting and further developing cartographic knowledge and adapting it to new interactive technologies and application domains. Geoinformation Engineering aims at analyzing, representing, modelling, and visualizing spatio-temporal decision processes and integrates such models in mobile geoinformation services and spatial information technologies.It also aims to provide support for increasing the number and quality of open source teaching and training materials for Cartography and GIS. As a proud member of the ICA-OSGeo Network , the ETH Zurich OSGL is focusing on Education, Open Geodata and on Cartographic and Geospatial Research. The lab website at http://karlinapp.ethz.ch/osgl/index.html

Thanks to the momentum build by FOSS4G 2013, we have got many new applications from  universities in this week alone for establishing research labs, so we are well in track to keep bringing investment for staff and infrastructure to  establish over 100 research labs in universities world wide by Sep 2014 (the time of the next  FOSS4G conference which will be in USA).  We  will be  now working to setup a brand new website for our rapidly  expanding education initiative and take this to the next level.

Once again many thanks to all of you who helped for making FOSS4G 2013 a great success. Without all of your help, we would not have been able to make this possible. Also thanks to all volunteers who made and kept their pledges at FOSS4G 2013  http://2013.foss4g.org/conf/pledge/

Best wishes,

Suchith (on behalf of “Geo for All” Team of FOSS4G 2013)

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