[OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

Micha Silver micha at arava.co.il
Sun Oct 4 01:11:42 PDT 2009

Charlie Schweik wrote:

> This connects back to my earlier education post that Frank Warmerdam 
> responded to. He asked:
> "I would have thought it would be more productive to take existing 
> curriculum guidelines and get project support in rebuilding them around
> foss projects/products. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding?"
> I agree with this point, and I think that is what some, like Tyler M  
> has been suggesting. However, I find myself wondering from a 
> technology-learning angle, are there more specialized knowledge needed 
> in the FOSS Geo space?
> What kinds of skills are needed to contribute to the further 
> development of various FOSS Geo technologies (this gets at the 
> "joining/recruitment" issue of new developers) or building a community 
> of user-driven innovators?
> And what kinds of skills are needed for users of FOSS Geo 
> technologies?  E.g., Desktop or Web-based GIS? For example, if I want 
> to show a student how to map using OpenLayers, what would that student 
> need to know? Or what skills would a student need to have to implement 
> a Map Server application?  Is the idea of a curriculum around "FOSS 
> Geo technologies" -- such as a "certificate" -- a useful idea for us 
> to pursue?

That's a fascinating idea.  Offering certification in FOSS GIS software 
(even at more than one level) would help to:
    promote the use of the FOSS GIS stack
    probably expand the user base
    directly address the problem that has been raised that it's hard to 
get started with FOSS.
    help fend off the claim that the job market requires "certified" 

And this seems to be something that should be right up OSGeo's alley. As 
an umbrella organization for many (most?) FOSS GIS projects, the 
training know-how is right at hand. Both training material and exams 
could be online. 
If I'm not mistaken, Red Hat's RHCE is highly respected.  Organizing 
something along that line would be a valuable and worthwhile goal for OSGeo.
> Or am I off target here? If I'm not, I'm open to ideas on how to 
> mobilize a group to work on this curriculum effort... William Kinghorn 
> who I met in South Africa has written ideas on "exam areas" that might 
> be a start... if people want to join in this idea let me know and 
> perhaps I should schedule a Skype conference call to discuss more... 
> I'd also like to find someone to take the lead on organizing and 
> running this curriculum effort.
> Charlie
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