[OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

Martin Landa landa.martin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 08:31:27 PDT 2009


2009/10/2 Ian Turton <ijturton at gmail.com>:
> Currently universities are locked in a vicious circle with GIS
> software in that the students demand we teach them on ESRI software
> because that's what employers want and employers use ESRI software as
> that is what the universities are teaching the students on.
> The fact that ESRI are giving the software away for free (or nearly
> free) doesn't help. I'd love to teach more (undergraduate) students
> with FOSS but first I have to find technician time to install the
> software on all the lab machines in the university (which is where
> ArcMap is provided) for just one course (and any way why can't I use
> Arc like everyone else will be the question). Of course we're supposed
> to be teaching techniques not software packages but you still spend
> most of your time sorting out the software issues.
> So *I* think that universities are a lost cause and we should focus on
> high schools - but in many states ESRI has got there before us and has
> signed deals with the state to provide arc in schools at no cost to
> the school. When I query teachers as to how the kids will do their
> homework they usually shrug and point out it's too hard for them to do
> on their own or that they can use the school library. May be
> elementary schools are the winnable battlefield?

I think that a diversity, different approaches, tools, ideas, etc. are
the most important thing for the students at the universities.
Speaking about GIS tools/software we are trying at the CTU in Prague
(study program Geoinformatics) to use different tools in the GIS
courses. Besides ESRI (or generally proprietary) products we use also
FOSS. Concretely PostgreSQL in 'Database course', PostGIS in the
course 'Introduction to spatial data processing', GRASS GIS in the
course 'Remote sensing', etc. Students can also follow specialized
course 'Free Software GIS' [1]. The more approaches the better for the
students, especially at the universities. University is not a training


[1] (in Czech) http://gama.fsv.cvut.cz/wiki/index.php/153YFSG_Free_software_GIS
(in English) http://gama.fsv.cvut.cz/wiki/index.php/153YFSG_Free_software_GIS/en

Martin Landa <landa.martin gmail.com> * http://gama.fsv.cvut.cz/~landa

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