Inviting ideas to expand “GeoStudents for GeoFuture”.

Our colleagues at the Open Source Geospatial Lab [1] at the University of Zagreb, Croatia have  an excellent international seminar series  called “GeoStudents for GeoFuture”.

As part of this initiative, two year’s back, i was invited to deliver a  lecture series for students of the University of Zagreb  entitled “Roles of geodesy and geoinformatic in sustainable development”, along with  Prof. Dr. Yerach Doytsher (Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion, Israel, the President of the FIG Comission 3) and Prof. Dr. Vladimir Tikunov ( Faculty of Geography, University of M.V. Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia, the President of the ICA Commission “GIS and Sustainable Development” .Details at


zagrebFig 1 – Me with Prof. Dr. Yerach Doytsher (Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion, Israel) and Prof. Dr. Vladimir Tikunov and his wife (  University of M.V. Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia ) .

zagreb4Fig 2 – Group photo with colleagues at University of Zagreb, Croatia

I really liked the focus of thier international seminar series on “GeoStudents for GeoFuture” and i am welcoming ideas from the wider geocommunity of how we can extend this “GeoStudents for GeoFuture” ideas to support  the International Map Year (IMY) by bringing together key scientists and students globally to work for contributing thier knowledge and skills for the UN sustainable development goals . Openness is key for true empowerment and sustainability [2].

One of the important things i learnt during  my lectures to students in universities worldwide (from USA to India), is that the digital natives are very smart. They have a very global outlook and are keen to contribute to building a better world for everyone . I remember talking to a student and asking her what GIS software she uses and her reply was “We use all different platforms to learn GIS but noone can trick us to  pay to buy GIS software when there is lot of free and open software now available” . I really liked this reply. This empowerment of students is exactly what we want. It is now not possible for any properitery GIS vendor to put “Iron Curtains” on freedom on  education tools.

“Geo for All” aims 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.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand
Geo for All – Building and expanding Open Geospatial Science

GeoAmbassador of the month – Prof. Silvana Philippi Camboim

Dear colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to introduce Prof. Silvana Philippi Camboim as our GeoAmbassador.

Dr Silvana Comboim is Faculty at the Department of Geomatics at the Federal University of Paraná – UFPR, Brazil. She serves currently as the Chair of the Commission of Open Source Geospatial Technologies of the International Cartographic Association. She is the co-chair of “Geo for All” South America. She established the first Open Source Geospatial Lab in South America in the Federal University of Parana in 2012.

Silvana has strong research background in Geospatial Science, SDI and GI standards. Previously she was working at the Brazilian National Mapping Agency before moving to Federal University of Paraná as a professor at the Geomatics Department. She also coordinate the Standards Workgroup of the Brazilian NSDI (INDE). She also have a strong team and action plan in place for building this initiative for Brazil and South America.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 08.22.58Dr. Silvana Philippi Camboim (Universidade Federal de Paraná ,Brazil)

Silvana is a true global citizen who has travelled around the world working for expanding opportunities for geospatial education for all. Silvana has been a great colleague for me at the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It is great pleasure that Silvana has succeeded me as the Chair of the ICA Commission on Geospatial Technologies. I had the pleasure to work closely with Silvana during my time as chair of the commission and I strongly believe that Silvana will build upon the work that we have done and take this to higher level.

Silvana is the leading force who took the initiative to establish the first OSGeo lab in South America at the Federal University of Parana, Brazil. The team of Open Geospatial Lab at UFPR comprise of Prof. Dr. Claudia Robbi Sluter ,Prof. Dr. Luciene S. Delazari ,Prof. Dr. Maria Cecilia B. Brandalize and Prof. Dr. Silvana Philippi Camboim . Details at

I first met Silvana when she visited me at the University of Nottingham during her UK visit few years back. It was then we discussed initial ideas to establish the first OSGeo lab in South America and expand our collaborations. Her dedication and focus for expanding geoeducation opportunities in Brazil and globally has always inspired me.

As part of the International Map Year, Silvana and many colleagues in Brazil (Angelica Carvalho Di Maio, Luis Augusto Koenig Veiga, Juliana Magalhães Menezes, Marli Cigagna, Maria Cecília Bonato Bradalize, Raul Marques P. Friedman) have contributed to an Olympics of Cartography organised in Brazil, with almost 700 secondary schools distributed in the whole country. An Olympiad is a challenge, and challenges are incentives to improve the academic performance of students who can be awakened, in this case, to the study of spatial representation and the use of maps. The Ist Brazilian Cartographic Olympiad (OBRAC) has national coverage and was focused on high school students, aged between 14 and 18 years, from public and private schools. Among the objectives of the event stands out: stimulating school interest in science, especially in mapping science; provide teachers with the knowledge and tools for dynamic and participatory teaching areas covering the cartographic content; providing socialization of teachers and students through group activities and foster the training of human resources to work in the field of cartography and geotechnologies.

The project for the first Brazilian Cartographic Olympiad meets a worldwide celebration, the International Map year 2015/16, which aims to provide opportunities to engage people the in art, science and technology of maps’ construction and use. The map of participants can be accessed at    and more information can be found in English at

Silvana has already made a great start  for this new term of the commission with  the successful organization of ICC workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2015)  jointly organized by the ICA Commission on Geoinformation Infrastructures and Standards, the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies , Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) on 20 and 21 August 2014 at Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in Rio de 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.

I had the opportunity of participating in the NSDI conference and meetings in Brasília, Brazil in May 2014 . I would like to thank the Ministry of Planning, Government of Brazil for organising this excellent event and also for their kind invitation for keynote presentation where i shared the developments in Open Geospatial Science and Applications and its importance for widening education opportunities, new jobs creation and innovation ecosystems in Geoservices. It was also a good opportunity for me to see the amazing work Silvana and her colleagues are doing during that visit . I see the work that Silvana is doing in Brazil having a great momentum for our global activities of “Geo for All” mission.

I would like to share some of the things i learned from our colleagues in Brazil which i think is relevant to the wider community

  1. There are fast paced developments happening in Geospatial domain and it is important the countries should keep updating their Geoinformation policies to reflect this and take advantage of the new opportunities. I am pleased to see countries like Brazil are well tuned to global developments.
  2. It is important to have inputs from the academic community and i was pleased to see this bringing together of key people from government and academia to discuss ideas and good practices.
  3. Education and Capacity building is key for expanding opportunities.

Recently Silvana and our other colleagues at the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and its commissions have been contributing efforts as part of the International Map Year (IMY) by highlighting the value of cartography by “mapping” the UN sustainable development goals and providing map perspective on the sustainable development goals [1].

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 09.58.00


Special thanks to Silvana and cochair Michael P. Finn (United States Geological Survey) as well as all members of the commission for their contributions to the goal to reduce inequalities within and among countries. Inequalities can have a strong geographic component and maps are a powerful tool to understand factors and plan measures to address such issues. Details at

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 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. [2]

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 [3] . 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.

 I am sure Silvana will expand these ideas for the future. Silvana and Mike Finn are leading the  Advancing GIScience with Open Source Technologies [4] at AutoCarto 2016, USA . Silvana will be delivering keynote on “Experiences on How Openness Can Help to Reduce Inequality” and also chair the Open Discussion on “Future Directions: Thinking About the Road Ahead”.

We are looking forward to building  strong research and teaching collaborations  worldwide in Open Geospatial Science. We are proud to honour Silvana as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for her contributions to Geo for All.

Best wishes,