[OSGeo-Discuss] experience using FOSS4G live-dvd in teaching FOSS GIS

maning sambale emmanuel.sambale at gmail.com
Fri Feb 27 20:08:47 PST 2009


I will try out the barebones dataset.  And try to prepare some data
sets I can add.


On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Helena Mitasova
<hmitaso at unity.ncsu.edu> wrote:
> Maning,
> I very much agree with what you have to say, especially about
> introducing students to CLI. I teach a semester long course
> on geospatial modeling and analysis with assignments in GRASS
> and ArcGIS and eventually the students find out that they can run
> the assignments and project in minutes from a text file - that is a big win
> especially for the project when I ask them to recompute everything
> because of some small mistake at the beginning.
> Regarding the need for running the tutorials and courses with local data
> I tried to start some initiative for building standardized data sets
> for different locations that can be used with the same tutorial by preparing
> a data set with generic names of map layers and a simple getting started
> tutorial -
> see my post to OSGeo Edu below. Some people responded, but we don't
> have any additional data sets yet. Maybe you can add few additional
> layers to your data set, give them the same names as in the data set below
> and try it out with the simple tutorial (I can add the imagery if needed)
> and provide some feedback whether this would be feasible.
> If the concept works, we can put the data sets on the osgeo web site (they
> are small)
> and it would make preparation of tutorials and courses
> for different locations worldwide much more efficient,
> thanks a for sharing your experiences,
> Helena
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Following some discussions with Venka and the suggestion on Wiki
> about a need for local data sets for tutorials I have created the following
> as a basis for an experiment:
> 1. scaled down, basics-only version of the NC data set with generic names
> of map layers
> 2. getting started bare bone CLI  GRASS minitutorial for this data set.
> It is here
> http://grass.osgeo.org/sampledata/north_carolina/nc_basic_spm.tar.gz
> or here
> http://skagit.meas.ncsu.edu/~helena/grasswork/gisdemo_international.tarz
> Now the experiment :
> The objective is
> - provide data sets for different regions with the same map layer names
> so that the same tutorials can be run with data in Japan, Trento
> or other location in US
> I see the main trouble with the attribute names - but those can be changed
> if there aren't too many, otherwise it may be worth to try the concept.
> I will be happy to modify the data set  and of course the tutorial(s) can be
> much nicer - GRASS wxpython GUI-based tutorial would be a nice test case
> if we could provide it with data sets from all over the world.
> So if you think it is worth it, please create small data sets for other
> locations
> with the same names of map layers
> that would run with the minitutorial to test the idea. I can then further
> modify
> the data set to fit with the other ones so that we can create a working
> standard
> that can be easily expanded to many areas in the world,
> Helena
> On Feb 27, 2009, at 10:16 PM, maning sambale wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I just want to share my experience teaching grass and qgis using the
>> osgeo FOSS4G 2008 livedvd.
>> I was invited by a non-profit organization to provide an overview of
>> using FOSS Geo tools.  The organization provides mapping services to
>> Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines through collaborative efforts
>> like participatory mapping, resource mapping for asserting IP rights
>> to resources and ancestral domain.  The participants are in-house
>> geo-analysts coming from Indigenous Communities as well (note that the
>> participants, have no formal GIS "schooling" and has no experience
>> using FOSS Geo thus far).
>> I provided several exercise using QGIS and GRASS (no offense to udig
>> and gvsig, I don't use them hence, I can't teach them).  I didn't used
>> the GRASS sample dataset, because I want local sample data for my
>> exercise. My datasets are just a landsat image and a dem.  The
>> exercises are as follows:
>> Part 1  Open GRASS and QGIS - load vector and raster layers, saving
>> project files
>> Part 2  Editing GRASS vectors and rasters  (v.digit, r.contour,
>> r.shaded.relief)
>> Part 3  Remote sensing based-classification (v.to.rast, i.group,
>> i.gensigset, i.samp, r.reclass, r.report)
>> Part 4  Map layout and visualization (QGIS map composer, NVIZ)
>> The initial plan was to do everything GUI, but I had to move to grass
>> terminal when we did the image classification because QGIS doesn't
>> have the i.smap in the grass toolbox plugin.  Anyway, this provided me
>> the opportunity to show the advantages of using the CLI.  At the end
>> of the session, I showed them that by understanding CLI commands of
>> grass, you can actually paste every command to a text file, run a bash
>> script, implement all the exercise including map layout we did for 3
>> hours, in just several seconds!  The reaction was: "Hey, I can do more
>> work with GRASS while drinking my beer!"
>> Reminds me of xkcd: http://xkcd.com/303/ ;-)
>> The overall experience was good and I believe I was able to
>> demonstrate FOSS Geo's power over the $25,000 esri stack they
>> currently have (the DVDs I bought and distributed was just a little
>> over $1!).
>> Some thoughts (and requests) on improving my subsequent FOSS Geo demos:
>> 1.  I can't get the live-dvd running laptop to display to the LCD
>> projector.  I had to use another windows laptop for the presentation
>> and GRASS/QGIS demo.  Is there way to fix that in the live-dvd? Or is
>> it the projector?
>> 2.  If the live-dvd running laptop works on the lcd projector, I can't
>> show my presentation slides because it has no openoffice impress
>> (which is correct to strip down the size).  Is it possible for future
>> release of the live-dvd to at least add a pdf reader?  This way I can
>> convert my presentation slides to a pdf document and I won't be
>> needing another machine for my slide presentation.
>> 3.   It is best to use local datasets, participants can "relate" to
>> the data better.  Although my sample data are just a landsat image and
>> a dem, I was able to demonstrate how to produce several map layers
>> with GRASS and QGIS (landcover, hillshading, contours, etc).
>> 4.  Never underestimate the power of showing newbies the CLI.  I
>> usually hide the CLI when introducing FOSS Geo to noobs for fear that
>> they might be overwhelmed with the cryptic commands with no menus and
>> icons to click-on.
>> If others have some experience and tips in teaching FOSS Geo, please
>> share them here.
>> --
>> cheers,
>> maning
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>> "Freedom is still the most radical idea of all" -N.Branden
>> wiki: http://esambale.wikispaces.com/
>> blog: http://epsg4253.wordpress.com/
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all" -N.Branden
wiki: http://esambale.wikispaces.com/
blog: http://epsg4253.wordpress.com/

More information about the Discuss mailing list