Seasons Greetings from GeoForAll

As 2016 is nearly over, i wish to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support and contributions which helped to build up the “GeoFor All”    initiative. Our thanks to an incredible 2016.  2016 has been an important year for us as it exactly 10 years ago we started putting initial ideas for Open Geospatial Science [1]. We went through lot of hardships and struggles (some laughed at us initially!) but it has been an incredibly amazing journey over the last decade.

We had to take this one step at a time to make this possible . We started by building the community (started workshops, conferences), then we started establishing dedicated open source research labs in universities so we have universities globally invested to the idea, then we started dedicated journals etc for expanding the discipline and now we are working on implementing our vision 2030 [2].

Geospatial Science = Open Geospatial Science

We were very clear from the start that we will be supporting Open Principles (open standards, open data, open educational resources, open software, open access to scientific publications) for our mission to ensure sustainability and bring together academics, universities, industry, SMEs, NGOs together on this shared vision.

Geo for All is a shared idea whose time has come.  An idea whose time has come is the most powerful force in the universe, and the time for “Access to quality education opportunities for everyone” has arrived.

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is now the world’s largest Geospatial ecosystem .Open innovation is key in driving Digital Economy opportunities and we are determined to make sure that everyone benefits. We look forward your collaborations on our mission to  make geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all.

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 “GeoForAll” initiative from Australia to Uruguay and we are  looking forward to working with you all in 2017 to rapidly build upon this.

seasons-greetings

On behalf of everyone at “GeoForAll” , we wish you and your families very happy holidays and Happy New Year 2017.

May the FOSS be with everyone…

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

[1] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/04/open-geospatial-science-2/

[2] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/06/open-consultation-on-the-vision-2030-for-open-geospatial-science/

 

“GeoForAll” Lab of the Month – Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

It is my great pleasure, to introduce our colleagues at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. The Asian Institute of Technology promotes technological change and sustainable development in the Asian-Pacific region through higher education, research and outreach. Established in Bangkok in 1959, AIT has become a leading regional postgraduate institution and is actively working with public and private sector partners throughout the region and with some of the top universities in the world. Recognized for its multinational, multicultural ethos, the Institute operates as a self-contained international community at its campus located 40km (25 miles) north of downtown Bangkok, Thailand. More details at http://www.ait.ac.th

Thailand has a very vibrant OSGeo community. Thailand hosted the Free & Open Solutions for Geoinformatics-Asia conference in Bangkok( 2-5 December 2014)

Bringing together FOSS4G users and developers worldwide and foster closer interactions with and amongst Asian communities in order to share ideas for improving software and applications. The Bangkok conference covered all aspects of FOSS4G, Open Data and Open Standards, with a particular focus on exchanging experiences between FOSS4G users and developers and providing first-hand information on FOSS4G for developing national/local spatial data infrastructures in Asian countries. FOSS4G-Asia 2014 also commemorated ten years since the FOSS-GRASS User Conference was held at Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand between 12-14 September 2004.

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The OSGeoLab@AIT was established for promote and enhance education, research and service activities in the area of Open Geospatial Science & Applications. The OSGeo software were taught in various classes including Geographic Information Systems, Web GIS Technology,  Spatial Analysis Methods in GIS, Geospatial Data Processing etc. Recently the class of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Analysis was initialized. This course aims at providing students with practical utilization of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for data manipulation, management and analysis of remote sensing images and GIS data. 50 computers in the laboratory was installed the OSGeo VM suite. More details are at http://rsgis.ait.ac.th/osgeoait/category/education/

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The lab is lead by Dr.Sarawut Ninsawat (Team Leader) with Prof. Nitin K. Tripathi Dr. Marc Souris, Mr. Sanit Arunpold , Dr. Rajesh V Chowdhary , Mr. Dalower Hossain . GeoForAll lab at AIT also provide training activities such as Geospatial Analysis using Free Open Sources Software (FOSS) and PyQGIS for QGIS plugins development.

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During August 2016, the workshop of GNSS & Crowdsourcing for Geospatial Data using OSM was organized for undergraduate students from 16 countries who have few background on geoinformatics. The participants learned the principle of GNSS and understand how it works. Also, they have opportunity to use GNSS receiver in AIT and analyzed the result. Furthermore, afternoon session, they will be assigned task to map the certain things in AIT and then locate and input the information via Open Street Map platform. More details of the lab are at http://rsgis.ait.ac.th/osgeoait/

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The group at AIT also submitted a proposal for hosting the FOSS4G2018 conference and was passed to second stage of selection. However due to the great sadness situation of the passing away of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, they decided to withdrawn from the selection process since it is unlikely as they cannot approach any organisation in the current situation.

GeoForAll’s mission is to make geospatial education opportunities open to all and to make sure we all work together to create global citizens contributing to the betterment of humanity. Please be our GeoAmbassadors and share these ideas with all. Open principles in education (open educational resources, free and open software, open data, open standards etc) are key for true empowerment of staff and students globally and making education and opportunities accessible to all . We look forward to working and building collaborations with all interested in this education mission. Access to quality education and opportunities is key for getting rid of extreme poverty and enabling broadly shared prosperity for all.

 

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is the world’s largest Geospatial ecosystem , so we welcome you to the huge network of our partners and collaborators globally from governments, industry , universities, NGOs worldwide that you can connect to expand your ideas rapidly. Open innovation is key in driving Digital Economy opportunities and we are determined to make sure that everyone benefits.

We thank Sarawut Ninsawat , Nitin Tripathi ,Marc Souris, , Sanit Arunpold , Rajesh Chowdhary , Dalower Hossain and all colleagues and students at GeoForAll lab at the AIT for their contributions to the GeoForAll initiative and look forward to working and building more collaborations with all interested on this education mission.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

 

 

GeoAmbassador of the month – Dr. Daria Svidzinska

It is my great pleasure to introduce Dr. Daria Svidzinska from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in Ukraine as our GeoAmbassador. Daria established GeoforAll lab at her university [1] and has been actively expanding geoeducation opportunities for all.

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Daria Svidzinska defended her PhD in physical geography at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine in 2007.  Since then she has been working as a professor at the Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology. Her research and teaching in the areas of landscape ecology, habitat mapping, protected areas, and ecological networks stimulate constant pursuit for better analytical tools and complex sources of geodata. With the time she understood that Free and Open Source Software coupled with Open Geodata can help to sustain best practices in research and teaching through ensuring freedom and reproducibility.

In 2014 she published a textbook called ‘Methods of Geoecological Research: a geoinformational tutorial based on the Open Source GIS SAGA’ under Creative Commons License. It became the very first university textbook in Ukraine (and post-soviet countries) based on open source software and open geodata exclusively.

She also actively promotes open source GIS among students and young researchers through her courses such as ‘Methods of Geoecological Research’, ‘Geospatial Ananlysis for Landscape Research’, ‘Design of Ecological Networks’. These courses discuss concepts, methods, and tools for mapping, analysis and modelling of landscape spatial patterns and processes, landscape-ecological basis of ecological networks development, approaches and methods of their design and management. Approaches and algorithms of advanced geospatial analysis and modelling are covered with the focus on digital relief modelling, geomorphometry, hydrological analysis, and thematic classification of remote sensing data. Practical part of the courses requires the development of analytical process, that combines a few open source geospatial software tools (for example, QGIS, SAGA, GRASS, Orfeo Toolbox, Circuitscape etc.) to solve an applied problem.

Daria is also involved in local training for colleagues from the other areas of expertise who would like to become more powerful GIS users. She gives workshops and provides counseling to promote FOSS GIS use and adoption in Ukraine.

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In January 2016 jointly with her colleagues from the Institute of Geography of National Academy of Sciences, she organized the first meeting of the Ukrainian FOSS GIS users which attracted over 100 attendees.

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Vladimir Agafonkin about Leaflet at the Meeting of Ukrainian FOSS GIS Users
Photo © Roman Sizo

As a coordinator of GeoForAll Open Source Geospatial Research and Education Lab at her university she is involved in the project as follows:

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FREEWAT: FREE and Open Source Tools for WATer Resource Management

FREEWAT is a project of the EU framework program for research and innovation HORIZON 2020. FREEWAT main result will be an open source and public domain GIS integrated modelling environment for the simulation of water quantity and quality in surface water and groundwater with an integrated water management and planning module. Within the project we are focusing on the application and approbation of the FREEWAT tools for the research aimed at improvement and development of integrated rural water resource management scenarios that take into account the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.

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Ukrainian rural water management case study area, FREEWAT project

Ramsar Sites in Ukraine

Ukraine is a contracting party (member state) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat and there are over 30 sites in its territory placed onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance. In cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, we are working on actualization of geodata and update cartographic materials for existing and perspective wetlands of international importance in accordance with the requirements of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

Protected Areas of Ukraine

Despite the goals and requirements of national and international environmental policy and legislation, Ukraine does not have a single, reliable and publicly available tidy geodata source of current importance on protected areas. This significantly complicates their protection, monitoring, management, and research. Understanding importance of the issue, we have joined a civil crowdsourcing project, initiated in 2014 by the specialists and activists in the areas of nature conservation, geoinformatics, and open data. The project is aimed at the mapping of the boundaries of protected areas of Ukraine in the OpenStreetMap and development of the derivative open geodata on this basis. The procedure of mapping pays a special attention to the protected areas of local importance which make up over 90% of total quantity and about 50% of total area of all protected areas in Ukraine.

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Kyiv Cycling Concept

In 2014 Kyiv Cyclists’ Association initiated the collective development of the scheme of cycling network and related measures for Kyiv. In this project we provided geospatial analysis and mapping, which were based on the joint use of the OpenStreetMap data and QGIS tools.

 Documentation Translation and Localization

In addition to applied use of open geotechnologies, Daria and colleagues at GeoForAll lab also work on the translation of documentation and interface to make QGIS more accessible for the Ukrainian users. As the part of these activities Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin User Manual version 2.5.1 was translated into Ukrainian, and translation update to the current version is in progress.

More details are at http://lab.osgeo.org.ua

I am sure Daria will expand these ideas for the future. We are looking forward to building  strong research and teaching collaborations  worldwide in Open Geospatial Science. We are proud to honour Daria as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for her contributions to Geo for All.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

[1] http://lab.osgeo.org.ua