GeoAmbassador– Dr. Peter Mooney

Dear colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to introduce Dr. Peter Mooney as our GeoAmbassador. Peter Mooney received his PhD in Computer Science in 2004 from Maynooth University. The topic of his PhD research was on shortest path optimisation. For the next number of years he worked with the Irish Environmental Protection Agency as a Research Fellow. During this time he began working in the areas of FOSS4G, Open Data and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). Indeed Peter has been actively working as a researcher in the area of VGI and Citizen since 2009. With the EPA he has worked as a web developer, database administrator and more recently as a software developer for the National Ambient Air Quality network.


Dr Peter Mooney

In 2015, Peter took up a temporary position as lecturer in Computer Science at Maynooth University and in early 2017 he was appointed as a tenure track lecturer. In the summer of 2015 he became the European Co-Chair of GeoForAll with Prof. Maria Brovelli. Peter led a strong Irish proposal to host the global FOSS4G 2016 conference in Dublin but narrowly missed out to the fantastic Bonn FOSS4G 2016 bid. With colleagues in 2017 he is working to establish the first Irish OSGeo Local chapter. At the end of May this year there will be the first Irish OSGeo event with the 1st Irish OSGeo Symposium [1].

Peter is involved in many key activities. Summary of current activities below

– establishment of the first Irish OSGeo Local chapter
– co-editor on a number of special issue journals on Volunteered Geographic Information and Citizen Science namely [2]  [3]  [4]
– OSGeo Rebranding project  – Peter has volunteered to give input from  an academic perspective, making sure the website/rebranding supports the work we do with GeoForAll. He will also be providing a perspective from OSGeo local chapters.
– Data Quality Working Group Co-chair for the European COST Action “Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe” [6]
– Recently co-chaired a very successful international workshop on Crowdsourcing in National Mapping [7]. Peter is passionate in his research and advocacy of VGI usage by government organisations and for use in policy making at a regional, national and international level
– Peter teaches on an MSc in Geocomputation in the university on topics such as web-based mapping (Leaflet and OpenLayers) and spatial databases (PostgreSQL PostGIS)
– In Peter’s other teaching activities to undergraduate and postgraduate courses he focuses on always using open source software and open data. For example in teaching Database Technologies to undergraduates he uses PostgreSQL and uses openly accessible data from sources such as OpenStreetMap for the purposes of examples.
– He encourages all of his research students to use the OSGeo Live Lubuntu O/S distribution for their work.
– His own research work focuses on developing methods to assess the quality of VGI and CS data, emphasis their usability and fitness for purposes, and the use of FOSS4G and OpenData as complimentary/ integrable components to official or authoritative processes.
We are proud to honour Peter Mooney as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All and this selfless contributions for expanding geoeducation opportunities for all.

Best wishes,






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   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 and

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 ( ). 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

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,






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

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

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.






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,


Lab of the Month – GEOlab , Politecnico di Milano, Italy

It is my great pleasure, to introduce our colleagues at GEOlab (Geomatics and Earth Observation laboratory, at the Politecnico di Milano,   Italy as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. GEOlab is a multi-disciplinary, multi-department research group established at Politecnico di Milano, Italy focused on collecting, modeling, analysing and representing Earth observations. Core research includes the following topics: GIS, cartography, global gravity models, GNSS (monitoring and navigation), remote sensing, photogrammetry, and signal processing.


Fig 1 – Polimappers @ GEOlab

The GIS research group, lead by Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli and Dr. Marco Minghini, is active in the research fields of Web Mapping, multi-dimensional visualization and virtual globes, spatial statistics, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), geo-crowdsourcing and Citizen Science. The team has a long and outstanding tradition in the use and development of open source geospatial solutions. The main software packages used include GRASS GIS, QGIS, PostGIS, GeoServer, MapServer, OpenLayers, Leaflet, PyWPS, istSOS, Rasdaman, and NASA World Wind.



Fig 2 – FOSS4G-Europe participants

GEOlab is a great example of linking GeoForAll synergies with all key initiatives in Europe and globally. In addition to GeoForAll, GEOlab is officially affiliated to the AGILE network of laboratories. Members of the GIS GEOlab team are personally involved in a number of national and international associations, including SIFET (Italian Society for Photogrammetry and Topography), ASITA (Italian Federation of Scientific Associations for Environmental Information), GIT (Geosciences and Information Technologies), OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial Foundation), ISPRS (International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing), ICA (International Cartographic Association), HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team), UN-GGIM (United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management) Academic Network, and UN Open GIS.

Some projects which are currently ongoing or just finished include giCASES – Creating a University-Enterprise Alliance for a Spatially Enabled Society, funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union; URBAN GEO BIG DATA (Urban Geomatics for Bulk Information Generation, Data Assessment and Technology Awareness), funded by the Italian Ministry of Education; MIGRATE (MIGRation pATterns in Europe) and City Focus, developed within the MYGEOSS project, which has received funding from the EU H2020 research and innovation programme; and The Paths of Regina – Crossborder paths linked to Via Regina, funded by the Interreg Italy-Switzerland Co-operation Programme 2007- 2013.

GEOlab is active in many other fields. Over the last couple of years a number of humanitarian mapathons were organized by the GEOlab staff thanks to the links with HOT, e.g. for the OSM GeoWeek 2015 and 2016 and after the earthquakes in Nepal and Ecuador. A very special and successful mapathon with more than 200 ,10-year old children was held in March 2016, see this post on HOT’s blog. (see Fig 3 and 4)









Fig 3 – Kids Map Swaziland for Malaria Elimination

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 09.52.21







Fig 4 – Kids Map Swaziland for Malaria Elimination

Members of the GEOlab team have recently founded PoliMappers, the first European chapter of the YouthMappers students’ network having the purpose of building a young generation of mappers through open source and open data (OpenStreetMap). GEOlab organized a number of activities for the last MeetMeTonight, a national event where all Italian universities opened their activities to the public. Also, members of GEOlab have participated as speakers to local TED events, see e.g. this speech of Prof. Brovelli at TEDxLakeComo 2015 and this one of Dr. Minghini at TEDxYouth@LakeComo in 2012.

Since the first edition in 2013, GEOlab is among the organizers of the popular NASA World Wind Europa Challenge, which looks for urban management solutions developed using World Wind‘s open source technology and serving the EU INSPIRE Directive. GEOlab has also organized a number of conferences in the field of GIS and open source geospatial software: the First Meeting of the Italian GRASS users in 2000, the WebMGS 2010 – 1st International Workshop on Pervasive Web Mapping in 2010, Geoprocessing and Services, and the FOSS4G Europe 2015. Finally, since 2016 a new MSc Degree in Geoinformatics Engineering (fully taught in English and welcoming students from all over the world) has been established at Politecnico di Milano, where GEOlab staff is primarily involved in teaching.

On behalf of the GeoForAll community, we thank Maria, Marco and all colleagues from the GEOlab and 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– Dr Tuong-Thuy Vu

Dear colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to introduce our excellent colleague Dr Tuong-Thuy Vu as our GeoAmbassador. Dr Tuong-Thuy Vu is an Associate Professor of the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (UNMC). He is also the Asia chair of GeoForAll.











A geospatial scientist by training and research, Dr Vu has over 15-years research and teaching experiences across Eurasia. He obtained his Master and PhD from Asian Institute of Technology in 2000 and 2003,  respectively, and started exploring open-source tools at the early stage. After his PhD,  he worked as a research scientist at Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Kobe, Japan (2003-2006) before joined Chiba University as a postdoctoral researcher in 2006-2007. In both places, he focused on the employment of geospatial technologies in disaster mitigation and management. He then joined GEO Grid team of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan to further expand the research onto high-performance computing platform. In 2008, he went back to university to develop his academic career at Geoinformatics division, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. In early 2011, he took the position at University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus and assisted the establishment of the School of Geography and new MSc programmes at Malaysia campus.


Late 2011, he established his OSGeo research lab (OSGeo.UNMC) [1], the first-of-its-kind in Southeast Asia and soon became among the first members of GeoForAll. OSGeo.UNMC aims at promoting open-source philosophy in education and research on geospatial science. The team developed the material to fully deploy OSGeo tools in teaching at postgraduate level, and introducing as an alternative tool for undergraduate students doing their final year project. In teaching and learning, OSGeo.UNMC team promote not only using open-source tools but also instructing a new way of open learning including open-mind, freedom, sharing and collaboration. There is a certain improvement of geospatial knowledge and skills for students when moving to open-source way, especially the confidence to try any available tools to address a specific issue.



OSGeo.UNMC has been working very closely with Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) team from the beginning. Together, we organised the AgriGIS 2012 (Figure 1), bringing together researchers and practitioners in agriculture and geospatial science. It was the very first public event to broadcast the name of OSGeo.UNMC to the region. In addition to presenting at many public events, convention and conferences to introduce OSGeo and open geospatial science, Dr Vu coordinated the establishment of OSGeo Malaysia chapter (Figure 2). Thuy also leads the team organising a series of training to the public (Figure 3) [2] [3]. In 2017, he is planning to assist the establishment of two new OSGeo labs in Vietnam universities.



OSGeo.UNMC is developing its strong research activities on geobig data analytics. The team was awarded good national and international funding to work on remote sensing data fusion, change detection, remote sensing image analysis services, crowd-sourced data quality.

In collaboration with its partners, OSGeo.UNMC promotes open geospatial science via collaborative research projects like urban construction management, urban green space, megafauna index mapping, and agricultural management.

Geo for All is a worldwide movement that provides immediate benefit to the world. We aim to create openness in Geo Education for developing creative and open minds in students which is critical for building open innovation and contributes to building up Open Knowledge for the benefit of the whole society and for our future generations. We are proud to honour Thuy as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All. Thuy is a great ambassador for Open Geospatial Science globally.

I am very grateful for getting this opportunity of introducing some of our amazing colleagues from different parts of our world each month as our GeoAmbassadors and get inspired by their amazing work and contributions for the wider community.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand









SMARTIES Entrepreneurship competition – NASA Europa Challenge 2017

The RCUK funded SMARt ciTIES is led by Professor Michele Clarke (University of Nottingham) and Dr. Ajith Kaliyath (National Institute of Urban Affairs, India) brings together a consortium of multidisciplinary, international researchers to develop new collaborative solutions to the multi-layered challenges of rapid urbanisation. The expertise needed  involves education and social science, cultural heritage and urban planning, science and engineering, ecology and environmental sciences and information technology.

The network includes leading urban researchers from the UK and India, University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, University of Southampton, Bishop Grosseteste University College, Loughborough University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University and University of Surrey, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, Indian Institute of Population Studies Mumbai, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research Mumbai and Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru.


The NASA Europa Challenge is there to inspire innovative ideas for building applications that serve the INSPIRE Directive and use the ESA-NASA open source virtual globe technology, Web World Wind. SMARt ciTIES is pleased to participate in this fifth year of the NASA Europa Challenge, specifically involving UK and India students. You are challenged to build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart design and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology, Web World Wind. SMARTIES has been promoting NASA Europa Challenge through our workshops in India [1],[2] .

We are pleased to announce the launch the SMARTIES Entrepreneurship competition through the NASA Europa Challenge 2017. SMARTIES will provide 5000 GBP for awards (£2500 for First Place, £1500 for the Second Place and £1000 for the Third Place). Due to the nature of the funding, the SMARTIES Entrepreneurship awards are specific to all UK and India students who participate in the NASA Europa Challenge 2017. This is a contest where everyone wins just by playing!  Help your city and thereby the cities of the world with capabilities all cities need. We are in this world together, let’s deliver results ‘for the benefit of all’, the NASA motto.

Details at and overview video at