[Board] New MOUs in draft ...
tmitchell at osgeo.org
Thu Aug 4 12:06:30 PDT 2011
On 2011-08-04, at 11:49 AM, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> It's great to see the interest of these two new groups, I very much welcome that. However, for someone who doesn't know them it's a bit hard to picture what those MOU's will mean in practice.
> I see in both cases that the plan is to establish Open Source Geospatial Laboratories (OSGL)... perhaps as a starting point if we knew more about what an OSGL does in practice that might help? I guess that would mean getting students to work on or using OSGeo software? What else?
> These may sound like trivial questions to those involved in the process, but I'm sure many observers share the same questions, and more.
These are definitely good questions Daniel and some of the terms are certainly invented for a particular purpose, so I'll try to elaborate.
OSGL lab idea was coined by the CGS/Nottingham group. Basically it operates as a name for a research focus area within their department. So, for example, if you goto the institution's website and click on their research areas (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cgs/research/researchareas/opensourcegeospatialresearch.aspx) students can see that the group has interest in working with OSGeo (and related) software. This past year they had 5 internship projects with graduate students to look into OSGeo related topics, I'll get more details to you on this shortly. Aside from that, they try to make the "lab" a place for bringing people together to talk about the related topics - e.g. events like the OSGIS Nottingham event in this case.
For a group like SIGTE, they already run their summer school, as an example, and they too will want to continue pursuing research projects focused on open source geo topics. By partnering with OSGeo they help show that more than just their local academics care about the topic area. The SIGTE Mou has a few other activities listed there (http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Draft_MOU_SIGTE) to give you more perspective as well. These groups also become goto place for OSGeo members, educators and other potential partners who may be in the region and want to learn more. Think of them as local ambassadors in an institution, a bit of a variation on the idea of local chapters, though these institutions also end up actively supporting local chapters.
Hope that gives some more perspective. I'll send a copy of my notes to the two coordinators to see if they have anything further they'd like to add for you. And I'll get you more info on the projects CGS/Nottingham ran this past year.
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