Future of GIS should be empowerment NOT enslavement – Examples needed for Geo4All newsletter

Around six months ago , i send an open letter to AAG humbly requesting to include Open Education principles  firmly in the new Advanced Placement course in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) [1].  I was concerned by the enslavement strategy in geoeducation . I haven’t heard any updates but i really hope AAG will consider my humble request.We have moral responsibility to be the voice for open principles in geoeducation and protect open principles for our future generations.

Inspite of all the technological advancements, it is a sad fact that majority of the world’s poorest living in urban areas do not still have access to basic facilities (clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities , good quality education opportunities etc).
GIS is fundamental technology in infrastructure development and high cost proprietary GIS is unaffordable to governments, town planners and local authorities in developing and economically poor countries. In order to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals it is essential to provide free and open source geospatial tools to universities, government organisations etc in developing countries for helping them achieve these targets .But with the availability of Open Source GIS technologies now it offers a great opportunity for governments and municipal authorities in developing countries also to implement GIS tools for their decision making and implementation needs (without having to pay huge annual licencing costs to proprietary GIS vendors) and help improving the lives of some of the most poorest people and by giving the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their decision making and implementation needs will help in improving the living standards of the people. We need to empower people and communities (NOT enslaving them by forcing them to pay high licencing costs ) to make sure future generations are fully empowered.

Thanks to our Geo4All colleagues, we have already seen lot of examples from our amazing colleagues globally of the potential of Geo technologies in empowering communities and helping improving the lives of some of the most poorest people and by capacity building staff and students and giving the geospatial tools to the municipal authorities for their infrastructure upgradation programs ( which in the long term will result in providing clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene facilities etc) and will help in improving the living standards of the people. It is with these aims that the Geo4All community decided to work on
OpenCitySmart – The Open platform for Smart Cities [2]. We will have an article on OpenCitySmart for our March 2015 newsletter.

So i request you all to
please send us examples of GIS empowering people, companies, startups and governments worldwide for our Geo4All monthly newsletter http://www.geoforall.org/newsletters 

Geo for All is the Open Source Geospatial Foundation’s Educational outreach and our mission for making geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all. Our monthly newsletters are key to reach out our ideas to thousands of readers and build new collaborations.We request wider geocommunity to share any updates/developments as short reports for next issue of Geo4All newsletter.

Also we want to hightlight the geospatial industry, SMEs and service providers building on OSGeo ecosystem [3]  in our future editions of our newsletter. The aim is to get the wider community know about the excellent companies and startups (generating hundreds of highly skilled jobs) that make the OSGeo ecosystem and encourage more collaborations and startups which will help accelerate digital economy for the future . This will create innovation opportunities globally and locally. For example, the startup community is especially open to the use of open software and data avoiding huge licensing costs and restrictions which may impact on their business plans, raise early start-up costs and restrict their ability to innovate and it frees them of the need to use proprietary software and data allowing them greater branding freedom and product flexibility.

So please email our chief editor [email-  labrinos@eled.auth.gr  ] a short article about your company and how OSGeo software has been empowering you and enabling your growth . We also welcome
usecases and implementation examples of how OSGeo software and open principles in education are empowering universities, government organisations, NGOs etc. We will get your articles published in our newsletter in forthcoming issues. Please make sure you send your articles before 24th of every month to get it published in the next month’s edition.

We are looking forward to your contributions on examples of GIS truly empowering people, communities and organisations.We welcome everyone interested to join synergies and work together to support open principles in geoeducation 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.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand


[1] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/ica-osgeo-labs/2015-June/001742.html
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWuMfMMPfPw
[3] http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1

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