SDI-Open 2017

28th International Cartographic Conference pre-conference workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial

SDI-Open 2017 

Jointly organized by the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies and the Commission on SDI and Standards

1- 2 July 2017

 the George Washington University, Washington DC, United States

Details at


SDI-Open 2015 was held at IBGE in Rio de Janeiro and was a great success thanks to everyone who contributed.

Proceedings at

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 13.07.16















We request you all to support SDI-Open 2017

NASA-GODAN Local Farming challenge 2017

We are welcoming participation from all interested for the NASA-GODAN Local Farming challenge. Background of the challenge at

We want to bring together researchers and students to find solutions for local farming in growing cities, using open agriculture and nutrition data. Participants must use some aspect of the OpenCitySmart Design and use NASA’s open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind as a source of open data. Ideas may include ways for optimally linking local farming communities directly with potential customers, tools for visualising spatio-temporal aspects of local farming, tools for helping reducing wastage (for example linking with local food banks), and any number of solutions for helping our goal of Zero Hunger.


More information at

Challenge due date: August 8, 2017

Prize: 1000 Euros for the winning team and certificates from GODAN and NASA.


More details at

Invitation to Capacity Development WG

Currently, nearly 800 million people struggle with debilitating hunger and malnutrition and can be found in every corner of the globe. That’s one in every nine people, with the majority being women and children. The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) [1] 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. A core principle behind GODAN is that a solution to Zero Hunger lies within existing, but often unavailable, agriculture and nutrition data.


The Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, CABI, GODAN, CTA and Wageningen UR  partnered to organise the 3rd Workshop on Creating Impacts with Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition[1] . The workshop was hosted at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Hague earlier this week. I am happy to share the ideas that i  presented for the GODAN  Capacity Development WG [3] at the Hague meeting.

Details at

I would like to welcome all interested to join the GODAN WG on Capacity Development and contribute to education and training on Open Data in food and agricultural sciences. This is open and free to all interested. Join at

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science




Greetings to everyone as we celebrate our 11th Anniversary

Dear colleagues,

Today, The Open Source Geospatial Foundation celebrates our 11th Anniversary. I would like to  send our greetings to everyone on the happy occassion of 11th Anniversary of when our  Foundation was founded (4th Feb 2006) [1] .The Open Source Geospatial Foundation has come a long way . The Open Source Geospatial Foundation is now 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.

On this happy occassion, i am pleased to honour Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez as our GeoAmbassador. Rafael established GeoForAll lab at the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, USA. Details at

It is also my great pleasure to introduce our colleagues at the Open Source Geospatial Lab [2] of The Department of Geodesy and Geoinformatics of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Belgrade as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. Details at

On behalf of the GeoForAll community, we thank Dr. Milan KIlibarda and all colleagues from the University of Belgrade and for their contributions to the GeoForAll initiative and look forward to working and building more collaborations with all interested on this education mission.

Happy birthday to OSGeo Foundation and may God’s grace and blessings be with all of us and OSGeo for our efforts to empower everyone with open geo principles  to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

May the FOSS be with everyone…

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

GeoAmbassador  – Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez

Today, The Open Source Geospatial Foundation celebrates our 11th Anniversary. On behalf  of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation i would like to  send our greetings to everyone on the happy occassion of 11th Anniversary of when our  Foundation was founded (4th Feb 2006) at

It is my great pleasure to introduce Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez as our GeoAmbassador. Rafael is currently working at the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, USA. He has a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the Chapingo Autonomous University in Mexico. He received his Ph.D. in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University in the USA. Before joining academia full time in 1996, he was a researcher for the National Institute for Forest, Livestock, and Agriculture Research (INIFAP) in Mexico; Director of the National Center for Disciplinary Research in Conservation and Improvement of Forest Ecosystems INIFAP (Mexico); and Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Organization of American States—SEMARNAP in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario (Canada). He has been teaching full time since 1996 in the areas of natural resources management, sustainable development, and geographic information science and technology. He is currently in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver.

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 17.30.22

Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez

Rafael Moreno led the effort to establish the FOSS4G lab which opened in 2014 in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado (CU Denver) (

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 17.30.32



Since then four new courses fully dedicated to FOSS4G have been created. These offerings add to already existing geographic information system science and technology (GISc&T) courses that use FOSS4G exclusively or for parts of their content. Currently CU Denver offers a total of 38 courses that are core or applied GISc&T. In the fall of 2016 a Certificate in FOSS4G was formally approved by the university Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee. The university is planning to offer this certificate fully online starting in the fall of 2018. Currently the CU Denver FOSS4G lab coordinates the webinar series [1] for Geo4All labs network [2]. A new GIS science and technology research lab at CU Denver opened this spring semester and it will incorporate teaching, research, and service activities in FOSS4G.

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 17.30.44


Figure – Activities at FOSS4G lab , CU Denver

 Geo for All is committed to work towards the vision of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for building a better world for everyone. Open Education is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the internet in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge. Openness is key for true empowerment and sustainability. [3]

Geo for All is a worldwide movement that provides immediate benefit to the world. We will also link the ideas from Maps and Sustainable Development Goals to our Vision 2030 for Open Geospatial Science as there are also lot of synergies and will add momentum for our vision for Open Geospatial Science [4] . 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 looking forward to building  strong research and teaching collaborations  worldwide in Open Geospatial Science. We are proud to honour Rafael as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All.

Happy birthday to OSGeo Foundation and may God’s grace and blessings be with all of us and OSGeo for our efforts to empower everyone with open geo principles  to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand










Invitation to NASA Europa Challenge 2017 – Solutions For Sustainable Cities

On behalf of GeoForAll, we would like to welcome strong global participation for the fifth edition of the NASA Europa challenge. The aim of this challenge is to inspire ideas for building great applications that serves the INSPIRE Directive and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology World Wind.


This NASA challenge attracts the best minds to develop their ideas covering a broad range of domains from transportation to air quality to linked data. The previous competition winners work is available at

We thank Patrick Hogan (NASA) and Professor Maria Brovelli (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and  for their efforts for this initiative which adds great momentum to our efforts to promote openness in education and research worldwide. The Europa Challenge has always had Europe’s INSPIRE Directive to guide project development. This year we continue to have INSPIRE guide us and more specifically, we are looking for solutions specific to urban management. The CitySmart Europa Challenge is challenging the world’s *best and brightest* to deliver sustainable solutions serving city needs.

Almost every city needs the same data management tools as every other city. How can we help cities work together to be more sustainable, more livable and more resilient? If cities were able to share their solutions with each other, this would multiply their investment by the number of cities participating. Each city could develop different functionalities and then ‘share’ these with each other, massively increasing our planet’s collective productivity.

Simply build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart (1, 2) design and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind. Whether you win or not, you will advance a platform that allows every city to win! This challenge is open to all on our home planet. See the 2015 Projects, 2014 Projects and 2013 Projects. China had top teams these past two years, India had an excellent team in previous year and Italy every year! A USA High School team from Alaska won First Place in 2015! So students and SMEs are welcome to join the competition this year.

This year’s Europa Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the global community to begin working in collaboration and prepare for the increasing climate change scenarios in cities context. Students are our future and looking at previous year’s contributions from Global Earthquake forecasts systems (developed by some high school students from Alaska who went on to win the first prize in 2015 and 2016!) to Urban Traffic Visual Analytics Simulator , it just shows the amazing contributions of these students and SMEs made for the global good and for the benefit of all.

Details at and overview video at

Those interested in being part of this global enterprise, please subscribe here . Your participation is very welcome.

We look forward to your strong participation for the NASA CitySmart Challenge 2017 and joining our mission to make geospatial education and opportunities available for all.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand



GeoAmbassador – Dr. Mark Ware (University of South Wales, UK )

On behalf of GeoForAll and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, it is my great pleasure to introduce Dr. Mark Ware of the University of South Wales, UK as our GeoAmbassador. Mark is a Reader in GIS at the University of South Wales, United Kingdom. His research interests include automated map generalization, GIS-based optimization algorithms, GIS for disaster management, spatial data structures and Open Source GIS. He has studied, researched and worked in GIS since 1989. During that time, he has been involved in many GIS teaching, research and consultancy projects with partners that include BECTA, Ordnance Survey, BGS, MULRI, Environment Agency, West Coast Energy and Admiral. Mark regularly present research results in the academic literature and enjoy attending and presenting at conferences.












University of South Wales (previously the University of Glamorgan) has been active in the fields of GIS education and research for over 30 years. Most of this activity is carried out by the university’s GIS Research Unit (, which is currently led by Prof Gary Higgs. The unit has always been based in a computing department – currently it is part of the School of Computing and Mathematics. This has meant that much of its teaching and research has looked at GIS from a computing perspective. Mark was key lead in helping establish the first Open Source Geospatial lab in Wales as in November 2013 the unit joined GeoForAll and it became the first Open Source Geospatial lab in Wales.

Mark Ware provided the following updates on FOSS GIS and Teaching at USW

“GIS is taught at both undergraduate and post-graduate level; USW is proud to have delivered one of the UK’s first Masters programme dedicated fully to GIS. Traditionally, our teaching has made extensive use of proprietary software. While still using this software on some of our modules, in recent years FOSS has played a significant role in our delivery. At undergraduate level, QGIS is used extensively as a means of introducing first-year mainstream computing students to the world of GIS. The fact that the software is readily and freely available for download and installation make it an attractive option. Students almost always like the subject – we try our best to make their studies as interesting and relevant as possible. This is achieved by emphasising the computing aspects (such as discussing underlying algorithms, talking about and demonstrating the ability to create plugins, and emphasising good data modelling and design) and by the use of data sets and example applications that are local (this is facilitated to a large extent by access to open data products such as OSM and Second and third year students have dedicated modules in which they can learn about spatial databases (PostgresSQL/PostGIS) and web mapping (GeoServer, OpenLayers and Leaflet); the emphasis here is on the design, implementation, deployment and administration of systems, rather than simply their use and application. Our post-graduate teaching places more importance on the applications of GIS, with modules often being taken by students from courses in other academic subject areas (including geography, environmental studies and BIM); QGIS is again the primary software used. The group also has experience of delivering short courses in GIS to local businesses and organisations. The most recent of these, which took place at USW in June 2016, was a free Introduction to GIS course. This was organised and sponsored by WISERD ( and focused on the use of QGIS and freely available socio-economic data sets.

USW has a strong-track record in GIS research, with notable success in various areas, including: automated cartographic design (map generalization and label placement), terrain modelling, data compression, accessibility modelling and population estimation modelling. Here are some examples of some of our more recent projects, each of which involves the development or application of open-source solutions:

One of the first FOSS projects undertaken at USW involved the design and implementation an online geoportal, the main function of which is to enhance the ability of researchers to search for and find socio-economic research data relating to Wales. The aim is to encourage collaborative research and re-use of data. This work was carried out as part of our involvement with The Wales Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Data and Methods ( The portal was built using various open-source technologies, including PostgresSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer, Apache, OpenLayers and GeoExt. It was developed by Dr Richard Fry (now at Swansea University, UK) and Dr Rob Berry (now at the Countryside and Community Research Institute, UK).

A recently completed project1 has considered ways of improving crowdsourced mapping in developing countries (particularly in East Africa) for the purposes of disaster preparedness. In many developing countries, maps of vulnerable region tend to be low resolution and/or not up to date. There are many examples of crowdsourced mapping initiatives that have taken place after a disaster has occured, but the geographic information becomes available perhaps days or weeks later. By populating digitals map before a potential disaster, various advantages may be gained, including the information being available at the outset of disaster response. The project focused specifically on the Mbale region of Uganda, with which USW has close links. At the beginning of the study, the region was poorly mapped. Early in the project, its main investigator, Dr Dave Farthing, ran several courses in Mbale to train locals in the use of GIS and GPS for data gathering and data analysis (see image below). The project identified competing factors that either inspire/discourage communities to/from adopting and using mapping technologies. The main output from the project is a new model (called the TASUT model) for encouraging technology acceptance and sustained use in the context of digital mapping in developing countries, together with an accompanying set of detailed guidelines for its application. These guidelines suggest (along with many other things) that appropriate training, the use of free open-source GIS, the adoption of standard data formats and making GI available under an open or Creative Commons license are all key to promoting the initial acceptance and then sustained use of mapping technologies. The hope is that we can make apply, and further develop, the TASUT model and its guidelines in future mapping/GIS projects – please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating!


A soon to be completed PhD project (being undertaken by Jon Britton and supervised by Dave Kidner) has considered the problem of spatial data processing on the web using open standards and open source software. To date the work has produced a detailed specification for a generic web-based GIS client application able to access data and processes provided by standard geospatial services. This specification has been used to develop a prototype browser-based GIS application based on existing open-source software. The prototype, named SmartWPS, can integrate data from standard sources, such as WFS, WCS and WMS, and process this data using remote WPS. ”

Geo for All is committed to work towards the vision of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for building a better world for everyone [1]. Open Education is the simple and powerful idea that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the internet in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and reuse knowledge. Openness is key for true empowerment and sustainability [2].

We are proud to honour Mark as our GeoAmbassador and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo For All.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science



1 David W. Farthing, 2015, “Theory of Acceptance and Sustained Use of Technology: A technology acceptance model adapted in the context of digital mapping for disaster preparedness in East Africa”, PhD Thesis, available from the University of South Wales (soon to be available from the British Library)

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.


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




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.











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.










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.








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:








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.












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.












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

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


GeoForAll Webinar Series – FOSS4G at The National Renewable Energy Laboratory

On behalf of GeoForAll, we would like to welcome you to our next webinar which might be  of interest to wider community.Details on the webinar on Friday December 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM GMT and how to connect remotely below. 
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the United States’ primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. Details at
Talk details and how to connect are at
Please join at you can’t attend, presentation recording will be posted in the Geo4All YouTube Channel
FOSS4G Tools for Geospatial Analysis at the National Renewable Energy Lab: A Pragmatic Approach
Presented by Nick Grue
The proliferation of geospatial analysis tools and methods means that no matter what your analysis goals, there are likely several options for running analysis, generating data, and visualizing your results. With a wide selection of tools to choose from, you are also presented with the question of which tool is most useful, has highest performance and efficiency, and easiest to use for your case.Here at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), we had the unique opportunity to start fresh with building a new analysis model, and had to decide which technologies would be most useful. We eventually ended up primarily using Python for analysis, and PostGIS and Geoserver for visualization. Deciding on those tools took a fair amount of testing and comparison. This webinar will discuss the different tests we ran, our findings, and why some tools appeared to be better suited for our case than others.Analysis tools discussed in this webinar will include PostGIS vector analysis, PostGIS raster analysis, Python analysis of vector datasets, Python vectorized analysis of raster datasets, Python multiprocessing, and Geoserver visualization.

Dan Getman of the NREL did an excellent presentation last year on “Creation, Analysis, Sharing, and Visualization of Complex Spatiotemporal Data Using Free and Open Source Software at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory”.The recording is at
We thank Rafael Moreno  and colleagues  at the University of Colarado Denver, USA for their help  in organising the GeoForAll free webinars for the benefit of the wider community.