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



The EUROGEO 2017 Conference is organised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 2-3 March 2017.

Geographical education is facing many challenges at schools and in higher education. The purpose of EUROGEO 2017 is to examine some of these issues and their possible responses.

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EUROGEO 2017 will aim to address cross-cutting issues such as:

  • How does geographical education respond to needs of society and the world around us?
  • Does geographical education give young people the necessary tools they need to think spatially?
  • How do new technologies and open access to data help engage youngsters?
  • How should education respond to the ever-increasing importance of geographic information?


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

STEM education using Open Principles

Happy to share this excellent updates from our GeoForAll colleagues in Tanzania. Over the first week of January 2017, a group of 60 secondary school students gathered at Marian University College, Bagamoyo for a ground-breaking training session – the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Youth Boot Camp organised by Projekt Inspire in collaboration with the Ramani Huria team. These students, hailing from different regions of Tanzania (Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Arusha, Mbeya, to name a few), were there to be introduced to GIS and web mapping using open source technologies  and open data .

More details at


Picture 1 – Students learning map production using free and open technologies like QGIS (Photos thanks to  Projekt Inspire)

Some videos of this kindly send by Edward and team below

Summary of the bootcamp at

Mapping Class at


Figure 2- Students adding buildings  data into Open Street Map (Photo thanks to  Projekt Inspire)

More video about thier works can be found here at

This as a great example of STEM education using Geo and Open Principles. This is really inspiring efforts for expanding STEM education for all by OSM and Ramani Huria team.  I really hope more students in developing countries will also get opportunity to get quality STEM education opportunities in the near future. GeoForAll will build upon this ideas and expand this globally. FOSS4G-Africa 2017.It is great opportunity to expand ideas. Details at

Best wishes,


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




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)

Happy Year of Open 2017

Happy New Year 2017.  On behalf of GeoForAll community , we are very excited to support the Year of Open  2017 and looking forward to work with you all on expanding Open Education worldwide.








15 years ago the term “Open Educational Resources” was created, the Budapest Open Access Initiative was launched, and the first Creative Commons licenses were released;

10 years ago the Cape Town Open Education Declaration was written;

5 years ago the first Open Education Week took place and the first OER World Congress was held, resulting in the Paris OER Declaration.

2017 is a great year to celebrate our achievements while making even more people aware of the benefits of openness. That’s why we’re calling 2017 the Year of Open, and we want the global open community to lead the way. Here’s how:

*   Use promotional materials . The more people see the Year of Open logo, the more they will want to find out what it’s about.

*   Get the word out about open. Write blog posts, op-eds, articles; make videos; hold discussions with new audiences. Let everyone know you support open by using the #yearofopen hashtag.

*   Participate in Open Education Week – let’s make this the biggest and best one yet. Open Education Week is one of the key activities for open education globally, with online and locally hosted events around the world.  Get ideas on the website, and let us know what you’re doing so it will appear on the Open Education Week events calendar.

The Year of Open is not just for open education; we encourage our colleagues working in other areas of open to join with us. Look for more information in the coming few weeks, and the official launch on 1.17.17.

Access to quality education opportunities is everyone’s birthright. Open principles  in education (open educational resources , open standards, free and open software, open access to research publications) are key to lower entry barriers and make sure there is no digital divide etc. Open principles  in education are key for breaking down the artificial barriers and rapidly bringing down the walls of digital divide.  Caring and sharing are important values in education  .

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 .  Education and empowerment of students are also key 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.So let us all  join efforts and  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.

Details of why this is important at

Wishing everyone  Happy New Year 2017…

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

GeoForAll – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

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