“GeoForAll” Lab of the Month – the Laboratory of socio-geographical research of the University of Siena, ITALY

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure, to introduce our colleagues at the Laboratory of socio-geographical research of the University of Siena, as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. The University of Siena is one of the most ancient Italian Universities, founded in 1240. LADEST is the Laboratory of socio-geographical research of the University of Siena, based in the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences. The laboratory specialises in data collection and spatial analysis, Geographical Information Science, and territorial data mapping. Since the area of geography is a cornerstone of the activities, the expertise of LADEST – which includes volunteered geographic information (VGI), user-generated content (UGC), semantic analysis, photo-sharing, social networks dynamics, data mining and GIS based data visualization – will benefit the endeavour impacting on different projects.


Prof. Cristina and colleagues at LADEST, University of Siena

LADEST employ mainstream GIS tools as well as applications developed in house to retrieve photo from Flickr or Tweets from Kowalski which has been one of the first experiment (in 2013) to retrieve georeferenced Tweets. They also developed TEA, TouristExperienceApplication at http://tea.ladestlab.it/

LADEST benefits from international exchanges and recently had two visiting professors namely Georg Gartner (TU Wien) and Claire Ellul (UCL) who have enriched the work done at LADEST with their lectures and citizen science experimentation.

In 2011 the University of Siena founded a sustainability network, Nesso (Network Siena Sostenibile) to foster fruitful exchanges with interested parties in order to define sustainable policies and operating solutions and then became a regional centre of the UNSDSN network. So Ladest is also engaged in sustainable development, sustainability indicators, smart cities.

LADEST has been the leader of a 4 year COST Action: IC1203 ENERGIC (2012-2016) on the harnessing crowdsourced geographic information from sources to software and methodologies (www.vgibo.eu) ENERGIC developed the “VGI Knowledge Portal”. This Portal provides information about the domain of Volunteered Geo-Information (VGI) by presenting its relevant concepts, products and their relationships. As the portal is a Wiki, it is used both to browse and to edit its page content.

LADEST current research focus is on the following:

The effect of airBnB in urban disneyfication process ( see http://ladestlab.it/maps/70/airbnbscapes , http://ladestlab.it/maps/68/the-airification-of-cities) citizen science and, territorial marketing and environmental monitoring.

A permanent Observatory on the use of Twitter platform by the Italian municipalities in collaboration with Twitter and ANCI (Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani).

(see https://ladestlab.it/maps/66/i-comuni-italiani-su-twitter-l-evoluzione-2013-2016)

Regional and urban analysis integrating crowdsourced geographic information with other authoritative data (e.g. Census data) to be employed for example in political geography. Their latest experiment on Brexit’s results (see http://ladestlab.it/maps/54/urban-britain-and-the-brexit-vote )

Landscape as a material and immaterial resource. Cristina Capineri founded the Museum of Landscape in Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena) almost twety years ago (see http://www.comune.castelnuovo.si.it/?q=museo-paesaggio )


The GeoForAll lab in University of Seina welcomes collaborations from all interested and work for making contributions to the wider society. More details at http://ladestlab.it

On behalf of the GeoForAll community, we thank Prof. Cristina Capineri and all colleagues from the University of Siena 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,


Open Source Scientific Software for Open Science

The annual European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly was held from April 24 in Vienna. As in the previous years, there will be a dedicated Townhall event organised by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 11.30.11

The paradigm of Open Science is based on the tiers Open Access, Open Data and Free Open Source Software (FOSS). However, the interconnections between the tiers remain to be improved. This is a critical factor to enable Open Science. This Townhall meeting reaches out all across EGU, especially welcoming Early Career Scientists, to network and discuss the current challenges and opportunities of the FOSS tier

Geospatial Data Science

Thanks to all who participated at the Research Data Alliance Geospatial IG meetings in Barcelona last week  to keep building ideas for the global research agenda for Geospatial Data Science [1],[2],3]. It was a pleasure meeting and discussing ideas with all.

Overview slides at https://www.rd-alliance.org/sites/default/files/attachment/GeospatialIG__P9.pdf



geodatascWe had a very packed agenda ,so could not get time for detailed discussions, so i would like to get more ideas and discussions by email  on all topics esp. on “The Rise of OpenStreetMap as a World Mapping Agency” [4].

How will OSM look in 2030?

*   What are the opportunities?
*   What are the barriers?
*   How will it contribute to economic development in the poorest regions of our world?
*   What role will digital natives play in widening participation, diversity, inclusiveness especially for the poorest people (who have less access to costly technologies)?

The full list of slides of all presentations are at https://www.rd-alliance.org/ig-geospatial-rda-9th-plenary-meeting

Best wishes,


[1] http://www.geoconnexion.com/uploads/publication_pdfs/uk_v15i18-058-059-Op951AF3.pdf

[2] http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijgi/special_issues/science-applications

[3] https://www.devex.com/news/how-nasa-and-the-un-are-using-location-intelligence-to-build-smart-cities-in-developing-countries-89721

[4] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2017/03/the-rise-of-openstreetmap-as-a-world-mapping-agency/

GeoAmbassador – Michael P. Finn ( U. S. Geological Survey)

It is my great pleasure to introduce Michael P. Finn as our GeoAmbassador. Michael P. Finn is a Research Cartographer in the U. S. Geological Survey’s Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science. He holds a BS in Geography with a Minor in Cartography and Map Technology from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) and an MS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Mike has worked as a Computer and IT Specialist, and a Research Cartographer with the US Geological Survey for the past 17 years. He also has 10 years of experience with the US Air Force and 7 years with the Defense Mapping Agency.


Mike Finn

Mike serves or has served on the Boards of Directors of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS), the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), and the Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). He has also served as the Director of the GIS Division for ASPRS. Mike is currently serving as President of CaGIS after serving as President-Elect in 2015 and Vice President in 2014. In addition, Mike is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Cartography and Geographic Information Science.

For international scientific service, Mike is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies for the 2015 – 2019 term. In addition, he is and has been an active member of the ICA Commission on Map Projections. Previously, Mike served as a Co-Chair of the International Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing’s (ISPRS) Technical Commission IV (TC – Geodatabases and Location Based Services), Working Group 4 (Geospatial Data Infrastructure) for the XXIIIrd ISPRS Congress (2012 – 2016) and Co-Chair of the TC IV (Geodatabases and Digital Mapping), WG 1 (Geospatial Data Infrastructure) for the XXIInd ISPRS Congress (2008 – 2012).

His research interests are in data-intensive and high-performance computing for scientific applications using digital geospatial data; in geodesy, spatial coordinate systems, and map projections; in quantitative approaches to imaging in environmental modeling and GIS. Mike is the Principal Investigator for CEGIS’ research project for Data-Intensive and High-Performance Computing. The principal objective is to explore data-intensive and high-performance computing, particularly within the CyberGIS domain, to support lidar and spatial data processing for te 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) of the US. A second objective is to investigate big data approaches and workflows with lidar and 3DEP as well as other big data integration with other USGS science data.

Mike’s recent research has been focused on on varied spectrum of activities from CyberGIS data services for enhancing the usability of high-resolution national topographic datasets to MPI and parallel file systems for processing large files in the LAS format. He has also worked on CUDA-based parallel map projection methods as well as problems with spatial binning relative to map projections. He has also contributed actively to the scientfic community from serving as member of the Editorial Board of the journal Cartography and Geographic Information Science to International Scientific Committee for the International Cartographic Conference, 2017

Mike and Silvana Comboim has been leading the ICA commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies . They have successful organised the ICC workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2015)  jointly with the ICA Commission on Geoinformation Infrastructures and Standards, the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies , Open Source Geospatal Foundation (OSGeo) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) on 20 and 21 August 2014 at Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in Rio and the conference itself http://www.icc2015.org   was a great opportunity to strengthen the “Geo for All” initiative and to reinforce the key projects and research links for the future. Mike organised the workshop on “Advancing GIScience with Open Source Technologies,” on behalf of the ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies, held in conjunction with AutoCarto 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A report with pictures on the workshop can be found at http://icaci.org/summary-of-the-workshop-on-advancing-giscience-with-open-source-technologies/ and https://github.com/mfinnCEGIS/workshopAdvancingGIScienceOST/

Mike is the co-organizer of the International Cartographic Conference 2017 Pre-Conference Workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2017), Washington, DC (http://icc2017.org/preconference-workshops/ ). I believe OpenSDI is a very important initiative

I want to thank Mike for all his contributions to GeoForAll community. I understand Mike will be retiring from government service later this year but i am sure he will be closely involved with GeoForAll activities as before. We are proud to honour Mike as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All.

Best wishes,


“GeoForAll” Lab of the Month – Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic

It is my great pleasure, to introduce our colleagues at Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Geomatics, Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague, Czech Republic as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. CTU is one of the founding labs as part of the worldwide network of OSGeo laboratories following the motto Geo for All.

The GeoForAll Lab [1] (formerly OSGeo Research and Education Laboratory) is located at the Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Geomatics, Czech Republic. Their mission, as one of the laboratories in the OSGeo worldwide university network, is to develop collaboration opportunities for academic, industrial, and government organizations in open source GIS software and data . See the announcement and info at GIM) [2].


Figure 1 – Summary of CTU’s FOSS4G education activities [4]

The laboratory was established by Martin Landa and was the first lab to be established under the ICA-OSGeo MoU in Czech Republic. It has been expanding and providing support for the development and documentation of open-source geospatial software . The laboratory is devoted to education in geoinformatics using FOSS4G, and to research in open source software development for geospatial applications. CTU in Prague has a strong track record in Geoinformatics . Prof. Aleš Čepek has established a study program in geoinformatics since 2005 (originally with Prof Leoš Mervart), he is the author of project GNU Gama and of a minor project GNU Sqltutor (both hosted at GNU servers) and the editor in chief of Geoinformatics FCE CTU journal [2].

The major focus of CTU GeoForAll lab is software development. They are contributing to various international Open Source Geospatial Software projects, namely GRASS GIS, QGIS, and GDAL. Martin Landa is an OSGeo charter member since 2011 and a member of the GRASS Development Team since 2006. He is actively involved in the GRASS project as the lead architect of graphical user interface (GUI) development and PostGIS integration in GRASS vector architecture.

I am impressed to see the excellent student projects done at CTU. For example for the Google Summer of Code 2016 , Adam Laža’s project on “Complete basic cartography suite in GRASS GIS wxGUI Map Display” and Ondřej Pešek’s project on “PyQt GUI generated from XML” are great exampes of contributions from the CTU sutdent community to the wider OSGeo community.

There is also an impressive range of Masters student projects [3] of GeoForAll (OSGeoREL) Lab at CTU in Prague at https://github.com/ctu-geoforall-lab-projects/

I would like to thank Martin and all colleagues and students at CTU for their contributions to the GeoForAll initiative . We are looking forward to working and building more collaborations with all interested on this education mission.

Best wishes,


[1] http://geomatics.fsv.cvut.cz/research/geoforall/


[3] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNy1pEGYxypkpQfx4m8qWGA


Open innovation for Europe – FOSS4G-Europe 2017 – Call for academic GeoForAll track papers (coorganised by ICA, OSGeo and ISPRS)

FOSS4G-Europe 2017 will be held  at the National School of Geographic Sciences (ENSG) in Marne La Vallé, France, from July 18th to 22nd, 2017 . The third edition of the conference is organized at École Nationale des Sciences Géographiques (ENSG).  Following an established tradition, FOSS4G-Europe organizes an academic track  which will run as a single-track over one day. FOSS4G-Europe invites original research contributions scientific papers dealing with Open Data, Open Software, Open Hardware and Open Science in general are highly welcome. Submissions focusing on INSPIRE, Big Data and Societal Challenges are particularly encouraged. All types of papers are welcome, such as on results achieved, case studies, work in progress, and demos. We discourage, however, mere presentations of technology or use cases without properly justifying originality against the scientific state of the art and without particular novelty.

Submission deadline: March 31, 2017
Acceptance notice: April 14, 2017
Camera ready version: May 15, 2017
Conference: July 19, 2017

Details at http://europe.foss4g.org/2017/Academic_Track

We look forward to your submissions and strong participation for Open innovation for Europe – FOSS4G-Europe 2017

Is Geographic Information Science Proprietary?

Dear colleagues,

It has come to my attention that some proprietary GIS vendors are doing big marketing of thier proprietary products as the Science!  Science is not any specific GIS proprietary tools!


GeoForAll is a global community of scientists, academics and teachers  who are all working for  expanding Open Principles in Science and Education.  Our aim is to empower all academics and students worldwide. Openness is fundamental in harnessing the true potential of Geospatial Science and expanding digital economy opportunities for all . Open innovation is key in driving Digital Economy opportunities and we are determined to make sure that everyone benefits.

Why are Open Principles important in science and education ? Please see the links below



My presentation slides on this is at


For anyone opposing Open Principles in Education , i humbly request them to please consider supporting Open Principles in Education  as education and empowerment are key for getting rid of extreme poverty and help create digital economy opportunities also for billions of our economically poor brothers and sisters across our planet . Access to quality education opportunities is everyone’s birthright. So do join us and let us all work together to enable open principles in education to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

Open Principles in Education & Science for bridging the digital divide

Recording of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) webinar on capacity development

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. At the GODAN Summit in September 2016, GODAN launched a new Working Group on Capacity Development. Background information at http://aims.fao.org/activity/blog/recording-past-webinar-godan-wg-capacity-development

The recording link of the first Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) webinar on capacity development is at https://youtu.be/ezOEhsm7hGI

The webinar will help understand the current developments including overview on the GODAN Action project [1]  and how to be part of the capacity development activities.  Join the Capacity Development WG at https://dgroups.org/fao/godan_cd/join

[1] http://www.cta.int/en/article/2016-08-03/the-godan-action-project-an-innovative-approach.htm

How NASA and the United Nations are using location intelligence to build smart cities in developing countries

Very interesting article on How NASA and the United Nations are using location intelligence to build smart cities in developing countries is at


GeoForAll is very happy to be part of these excellent global developments happening at all levels and dimensions.There is also strong synergies with UN OpenGIS Initiative. We encourage all to be part of the various calls from Global Food Security to SMARTIES Entrepreneurship competitions [1],[2][3] to expand ideas.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 13.18.25

We welcome everyone interested to join synergies and work together to expand OpenCitySmart opportunities[4][5] 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.

[1] http://aims.fao.org/es/activity/blog/godan-local-farming-challenge-2017

[2] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2017/03/smarties-entrepreneurship-competition-nasa-europa-challenge-2017/

[3] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2017/01/invitation-to-nasa-citysmart-challenge-solutions-for-sustainable-cities-2/

[4] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/02/opencitysmart-the-open-platform-for-smart-cities/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw

The Rise of OpenStreetMap as a World Mapping Agency

The Geospatial IG [1] of the Research Data Alliance will be meeting in Barcelona on 5th April 2017 to keep building ideas for the global research agenda for Geospatial Data Science.


I would also like to make use of the Geospatial IG meeting opportunity at RDA9 in Barcelona to further discuss ideas on the rise of OpenStreetMap (OSM) as a World Mapping Agency (WMA) build by the efforts of thousands of volunteers.   It is also interesting to see the community links of the OpenStreetMap and  the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) expanding rapidly both locally and globally. OSM has now reaching the level of a Global Mapping Agency build by the efforts of thousands of volunteers and OSGeo is the world’s largest geospatial ecosystem.  What a great combination of synergies. Both initiatives are just over a decade  old and have fundamentally changed the whole geolandscape.


Myself and colleagues are working on a paper on OSM and OSGeo and i want to use this meeting to discuss more ideas with the community. I look forward to welcome you all to RDA meeting in Barcelona.

Best wishes,