[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Use cases for FOSS-GIS in universities

Tim Michelsen timmichelsen at gmx-topmail.de
Mon May 14 01:48:14 PDT 2007

Hi Arnulf,
thanks for your email. A was really waiting for someone from  service
provider do say somthing on my question. I thank those who gave hints on
how to start a FOSS GIS course. But this is not was I was aiming at.
In fact, we (some students) did volutarily try to start a FOSS GIS
interest group which stopped meeting due to 2 reasons:
* lack of knowlegde on the computing side: Grass display manager wasn't
very developed then and the commands were killing us since we didn't
know what to enter
* missing backing from teachers
We were simply lost and frustrated because didn't get anywhere...

That's also the reason why I dis not put this topic in the edu and
rather the discuss list.

Like it is correctly stated in
a lot of teachers did not develop their skills or update their
information about what is happening in the market. It *is* a advocacy
issue since many system administrators and /conservative/ teachers still
think that something available for free is not of a good quality (I did
hear that!).

> We have quite a loadful of students in a queue waiting to do an internship
> at our company because they know that they can learn things there that
> they wont get university. Once they leave our place (obviously depending
> on what their capabilities were in the first place) we regularly turn out
> people who can manage the full FOSS stack.
So there's at least hope that one can catch up once being pushed by some 
savvy people. But we will definitly need a change because there're 
simply more students than internships are available. And it's their job!

  > Ther is absoultely no support or even requests from professors. I guess
> this has to do with several reasons, one is not knowing how to do it
> themselves, another is lack of time (turning universities into businesses
> breaks people having time for this kind of thing), course material from
> last millenium, etc.
Again look at Ari's mail. There should be a discussion about what
marketable skills are. As a student it's very difficult to discuss that
with your professor.

> It is not that I want to flame universities at large and especially not
> those who read this mailing list because they seem to have taken a few
> first step already
If there are any use cases or universities:
Please add yourselfes to:
Where I and those people who may need some expamples can see them!
What about France, Spain, Brazil, India, Canada, etc.?

 > but I fear that we as commercial service providers
> have already done what is in our power to get going. Now it requires the
> universities to take up the thread but you know, it is so much easier to
> follow the old paths and take whats there and it does not cost anthing and
> therefore there is no difference to FOSS anyway - Aaaargh!.
I have the hope that changes come through the backdoor:
The young gerneration (at least in Germany) browses the web with Firefox
and writes the thesis with Openoffice. In first place they talk it
because it's free. Then they learn about FOSS (maybe, not everybody
looks behinde the scenes). And a few more get interested...

> This reminds me strongly of the discussion of the university workgroup at
> the OGC meeting in Ottawa. They (OGC) have the same issue that nobody from
> university really cares for them.
So hey, we shouldn't be pleased with this.

What can be done?


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