Global Soil Week 2017

I want to thank the organisers and all participants for the very successful Global Soil Week 2017  in Berlin . The event brought together  representatives from governments, and scientific and civil society organizations to assess some the gaps and synergies in Sustainable Development Goals implementation.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 11.25.14ISRIC, CIAT, GODAN and GIZ coorganised the Institutionalization of Open Data Workshop at the event . The aim of this workshop was to dentify gaps and challenges concerning the access to, the use of and the sharing of data; reflecting on strategies to make this data available and accessible to all: In order to improve the quality of agricultural extension services and to support decision-making concerning SLM implementation at the farm level, access to and availability of data (pedological, agro-ecological, socioeconomic) should be improved and ensured. In many cases, data are not available to agricultural service providers and/or are unavailable to the public. The underlying reasons for the unavailability of data can be manifold, ranging from unclear intellectual property rights to budgetary constraints which prevent making data usable and disseminating them. This working group will concentrate on the methods and mechanisms needed to render data available and accessible to all stakeholders, including local populations.

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All images thanks to GSW 2017

Thanks to Christina Ketter (GIZ) who coordinated the workshop ,  Ben Schaap (GODAN) , Leroy Mwanzia (CGIAR/CIAT) who did lot of  background work for this successful workshop. Thanks to Andries Bosman (ISRIC),for presenting GODAN Soils Working Group and ISRIC , Daniel Jimenez (CGIAR/CIAT ) , country presentations from India, Ethiopia, Columbia and all participants for the productive workshop.

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The links to presentations at:

Introduction to GODAN: Why we would need open data to achieve impacts with regards to SDG 2

https://www.slideshare.net/SuchithAnand/why-we-need-open-data-to-achieve-impacts-with-regards-to-sdg2

Institutional Change from a capacity development perspective: Open data developments for policy making on a global level

https://www.slideshare.net/SuchithAnand/institutional-change-from-a-capacity-development-perspective-open-data-developments-for-policy-making-on-a-global-level

It is good to see that the need for open data was acknowledged in the recommendations of GSW 2017 for the SDG HLPF.  We look forward toworking with you for expanding research ideas for contributing to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals .

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the  Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE) signs MoU

On behalf of GeoForAll, i warmly welcome the MoU between The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the  Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE) to establish a collaborative relationship between the members of the AGILE and OSGeo communities.  The MoU was signed at the the 20th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science at Wageningen, Netherlands on 10th May 2017 by Anita Graser (Board of Director, OSGeo) and Martin Raubal , Marinos Kavouras (co-chairs AGILE).

AGILE-OSGeo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anita Graser (OSGeo) with Martin Raubal , Marinos Kavouras (AGILE) at the MoU signing ceremony during AGILE 2017

 

The MoU with AGILE will add to the excellent synergies building with our other MoUs with  like minded organisations such as University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), the International Cartographic Association (ICA), International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) etc and will build a cooperative research agenda for open geospatial science.

OSGeo-AGILE MoU details at https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/MOU_AGILE

Best wishes,

Suchith

The Twentieth Session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development

The Twentieth Session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development was held from 08 – 12 May 2017 ,Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. The twentieth session will review the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).In addition, the Commission will hear presentations on national science, technology and innovation policy reviews.

Participants included Ministers and representatives of governments, civil society, the business community, academia and international and regional organizations. Most member States was represented by high-level delegations.

The first day consisted of an opening ceremony and two ministerial roundtables:

  • Contribution of the Commission to the 2017 theme of the Economic and Social Council, “Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions through promoting sustainable development, expanding opportunities and addressing related challenges
  • Review of progress made in the implementation of World Summit on the Information Society outcomes,  held in the afternoon.

The Commission will address two priority themes, namely:

  • New innovation approaches to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030

I am thankful for the opportunity to present my inputs to the esteemed members at the 20th session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for development

UNThe slides of my presentation at

https://www.slideshare.net/SuchithAnand/the-role-of-science-technology-and-innovation-in-ensuring-food-security-by-2030

My presentation recording at

https://conf.unog.ch/digitalrecordings/index.html?guid=public/31.0050/763B439D-5D07-4593-B280-C2BE3355C0C9_15h11&position=4524

Open data and open principles in science and education are key for ensuring food security by 2030. It is now for us to make use of it, for the benefit of all. Let us work together to eradicate extreme poverty and enable shared prosperity for all. Thank you.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

UN10

 

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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.

peter

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,

Suchith

[1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Ireland/Symposium2017
[2] http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijgi/special_issues/Geospatial_Big_Data_Urban_Studies
[3] http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/est/tgis-cfp-geospatial-data-2q2017
[4] http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/est/gsis/si3
[5] http://www.osgeo.org/marketing/rebranding.html
[6] http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15212
[7] http://www.cs.nuim.ie/~pmooney/eurosdr2017/

 

 

 

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

Science2030

 

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,

Suchith

[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/

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.

foss4g-europe
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!

Science2030

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

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

http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/07/sharing-is-caring-why-openness-is-key-for-true-empowerment-and-sustainability/
http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/06/open-consultation-on-the-vision-2030-for-open-geospatial-science/
http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/02/future-of-gis-should-be-empowerment-not-enslavement-examples-needed-for-geo4all-newsletter/

My presentation slides on this is at

https://www.slideshare.net/SuchithAnand/open-principles-in-geoeducation

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,

Suchith

Dr. Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org/
http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

Open Principles in Education & Science for bridging the digital divide

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.

https://www.rd-alliance.org/ig-geospatial-rda-9th-plenary-meeting

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.

osm

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,

Suchith

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, http://geolab.como.polimi.it) 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.

PoliMappers

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.

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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)

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Fig 3 – Kids Map Swaziland for Malaria Elimination

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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

Happy OpenDataDay 2017

Dear colleagues,

Wishing you all Happy OpenDataDay 2017

Open Data Day [1] is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. For the seventh time in history, groups from around the world will create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. It is an opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. Details at http://opendataday.org/

opendataday

Weather data is critical for agriculture. I  thank  our GeoForAll colleagues in The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)[2] at Reading who are running the #OpenDataHack @ECMWF – Beyond weather: explore creative uses of open data ECMWF this weekend.

I have good memories of my visit last year for the first hackathon on a Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) [3] they organised .

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Fig – participants at first hackathon on a Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) @ECMEF in 2016

Happy OpenDataDay 2017 to all…

Best wishes,

Suchith

[1] http://opendataday.org/
[2] http://www.ecmwf.int/
[3] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/02/flood-awareness-education-platform/