[OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G and conservation

Gavin Fleming GavinF at mintek.co.za
Mon Sep 3 04:24:38 PDT 2007

Hi Ned

Refer to my mail to Wolf about 'connections outside North America'. In
our outreach programme at FOSS4G2008, Conservation GIS with FOSS could
be a big thing on the agenda.

There are many members of SCGIS in (South) Africa. In South Africa
alone, conservation planning with C-Plan and Marxan are becoming
institutionalised activities. FOSS GIS backends for tools like these
would be an excellent alternative. 

One route into the OSGeo community in Africa is to join the Africa list
at http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/africa. 


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Ned Horning
Sent: 31 August 2007 04:43 PM
To: 'OSGeo Discussions'
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G and conservation

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> I'd like to see OSGeo support socially relavent organizations in use
open source
> software

This is along the lines of what I'm working on so I figure this is a
time to chime in to get feedback. I'm involved in a discussion between
Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) and the Society for Conservation
Biology (SCB) to enhance an international Conservation GIS training
sponsored by SCGIS. The SCGIS has a scholarship program that brings
international conservation practitioners to the States to receive ESRI
training, ESRI software, attend the ESRI conference, and sometimes get
hardware. It is a great program but it's costly and only meets a
fraction of
the demand.

In principle having an SCB/SCGIS partnership is a good idea but it
be ESRI-centric. I talked about OSGeo and this seemed to raise some
(curiosity?) but I sense skepticism. The (inaccurate) perception that
will donate software to any conservation group, largely negating
of FOSS4G, doesn't help. The SCB has over 10,000 members and I think
could be a great opportunity for OSGeo to increase global exposure and
possibly use it to solicit grant money to support training and software
development around the world. 

SCGIS has a small international network of user groups that can be used
expand this program and I'm trying to figure out if OSGeo could help
build a
similar or partnered network for open source offerings. The OSGeo
committee members are creating course materials that will be leveraged
this conservation-focused training. I addition to that we need to
develop a
network of trainers. How much interest is there among the OSGeo
community/user groups to support and provide conservation-focused
training? I'd like to hear from anyone but I'm particularly interested
hearing from people with connections outside of North America. 

Distance learning methods would help overcome the problem of
this training globally but there is a strong interest in sponsoring
in-person workshops in addition to on-line offerings. Our group at the
is working on addressing both of these needs.

Any feedback is appreciated.

All the best,

Center for Biodiversity and Conservation
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @ 79th St
New York, NY 10024
e-mail: horning at amnh.org
tel: 212-313-7947
fax: 212-769-5292
Home office tel: 802-382-9080
Web site: http://geospatial.amnh.org/

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