Open Source Geospatial Lab established at CAGIS, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

We are pleased to announce the establishment of  ICA-OSGeo Lab at the Center for Applied GIScience (CAGIS), University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), USA. CAGIS is an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on using advanced space-time theories, methods, and technologies in cutting-edge Geographic Information Science for complex geographical problem-solving. Based on the synergistic coupling of spatiotemporal and computational thinking, major research themes of CAGIS consist of 1) CyberGIS for large-scale geographical problem-solving, 2) Land use/cover change and sustainability, 3) Complexity theory and geospatial modeling, 4) Big data and space-time analytics, 5) Remote sensing, sensor networks and volunteered geographic information, 6) Computational intelligence for geocomputational modeling, 7) Cartography and geovisualization, and 8) Open source GIS. CAGIS has unique strength in these cutting-edge research themes and has intensive interest in their applications in alternative spatially integrated domains, including environmental studies, ecology, earth science, hydrology, spatial epidemiology, social science, transportation, urban regional analysis and policies. More details at http://gis.uncc.edu

This open source geospatial laboratory (https://gis.uncc.edu/osgl) is a joint initiative of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). The lab will be led by Dr. Wenwu Tang (Executive director of CAGIS) and Dr. Xingjian Liu with support from two full-time permanent positions: Director of Research & Outreach (John B. Vogler) and Resident Systems Administrator (Jason Watson). The facility has a well-equipped computational laboratory specializing in technologies for spatial analysis and geocomputation, spatial cyberinfrastructure, and big spatial data. It has also has access to advanced supercomputing computing resources held by US NSF XSEDE (https://www.xsede.org/), Open Science Grid (http://www.opensciencegrid.org/), RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute; http://www.renci.org/), and URC (University Research Computing; http://www.urc.uncc.edu/) at UNC Charlotte.

OSGeo is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.

ICA is the world authoritative body for cartography, the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps.

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This is our second lab in North Carolina. The first one was established  by Dr.Helena Mitasova at the Center for Earth Observation, North Carolina State University in Oct 2012.

We now have 40 labs established across the planet and will have over 100 labs established by this time next year. Our biggest growth countrywise is  USA (7 labs established already and plans in place for establishing over 20 research labs in the biggest universities in US by 2015). Region wise the biggest growth is in Europe  with 14 labs established (4 in the UK alone at Universities of Southampton, Newcastle, Warwick and Nottingham). We will have over 50 labs established in European universities by 2015.

We are very happy this education initiative is transforming geospatial education in both developed and developing countries in such a short time since its launch. In addition to providing high impact research in geospatial science , we are also working on developing open learning platforms and open educational resources (For example, ELOGeo –  http://elogeo.nottingham.ac.uk/xmlui ) to help open doors for GIS education opportunities for students from economically poor background worldwide to study GIS.

This rapid  growth and interest has been beyond our  expectation. When we started on this initative our aim was to establish 5 labs in 5 years ! Thanks to all of you for your strong support for making this initiative a great success. The key principle of all of our labs is developing high impact geospatial research and providing GIS education opportunities for all. We are looking forward to your university joining us soon.

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