[OSGeo-Discuss] “Open Source GIS in United Nations and Developing Countries” at FOSS4G 2015 Seoul

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Fri Jun 19 04:27:18 PDT 2015


Organising a large event like global FOSS4G is thanks to the efforts of lot of dedicated people ( including all LOC members) working for many years for the bigger aim to make OSGeo stronger. I know this very well from our Nottingham FOSS4G experiences, so it is important that we all contribute efforts (not just the LOC) to support FOSS4G 2015 in what ever way we can.

It is really great to see the conference shaping up very well and thanks to Sanghee Shin and FOSS4G 2015 LOC efforts there will be a special session named “Open Source GIS in United Nations and Developing Countries” at FOSS4G 2015 Seoul. This session will be in cooperation with United Nations Cartographic Section and LH Corp - a public land and housing company in Korea . Dr. Joonyoung Choi in LH Corp will lead the organising. 

Kyung-Soo Eom (Head of United Nations Cartographic Section) will also give a keynote speech about UN’s views, plans toward open source GIS at FOSS4G 2015 Seoul. Also he will talk about UN Cartographic Section’s mission, vision and activities through general oral presentation session. Details at http://2015.foss4g.org/programme/keynote-speech/

This session  focussed on “Open Source GIS in United Nations and Developing Countries” at FOSS4G 2015 Seoul  will build up our  previous collaborations with the UN (through the ICA) for this.  In 2012 and 2014 we have organised hands on  workshop "Open Source GIS & WebMapping for UN staff" in Vienna, Austria. It was organized on behalf of the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies of the International Cartographic Association (ICA). Barend Kobben (ITC) was the course organisor for this. Thank you Barend.
http://kartoweb.itc.nl/kobben/SOMAP-OSGEO-workshop/  (2014 Workshop )
http://www.un-spider.org/news-and-events/events/hands-workshop-open-source-gis-and-webmapping-un-staff-20-and-21-november-201  (2012 Workshop)
http://kartoweb.itc.nl/kobben/SOMAP-OSGEO-workshop/report2012.html  (2012 Workshop report )

So we are keen scale up our engagement with the UN to higher levels and to take steps so we all can ensure  that this will be continued and build upon for future FOSS4G conferences with a separate track dedicated to "Open Source GIS for  the United Nations".

We also request our UN colleagues that they make use of  the set of training materials in Creative Commons licence that GeoAcademy colleagues  have already developed (and running a very successful MOOC program) that includes these five GIS courses:

    GST 101 Introduction to Geospatial Technology Using QGIS 2.8
    GST 102 Spatial Analysis Using QGIS 2.8
    GST 103 Data Acquisition & Management Using QGIS 2.8
    GST 104 Cartography Using QGIS 2.8
    GST 105 Remote Sensing Using QGIS 2.8 & GRASS 7.0

All the course materails are available at https://github.com/FOSS4GAcademy

It will be a great platform for UN colleagues to make use of for the "Train the Trainer" program for UN staff globally.  UN staff can not only make use of the Open Educational materials  but more importantly they can get the Free and Open Source Geospatial Software for their needs. 

The aim of "Geo for All"  is to empower academics and universities worldwide by using Free and Open Source GIS for education. What is the point of teaching GIS to students (in both developed and developing countries) and taking away the tools from them after the course and telling them that now you need to buy these expensive proprietary software licences if you want to continue using them after their course (which is what the proprietary GIS vendors would like !)

Service for the benefit and betterment of humanity is a key fundamental principle of “Geo for All”  and we want to contribute our efforts for the UN Millennium Development Goals. There are  four areas that i believe we can contribute our joint expertise for global development and reducing poverty. Even though the scale of these global challenges are big , together we can at least provide our small efforts linking to the UN Millennium Development Goals. Details at http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2015/05/geo-for-all-service-for-the-benifit-and-betterment-of-humanity/

So i am sure the UN focussed session at FOSS4G Seoul is great start for expanding our  collaborations . Let us all work together to make the  global FOSS4G conference  to be a great success for expanding global collaborations . Our Asian colleagues look forward to welcoming you to Seoul  http://2015.foss4g.org

Best wishes,


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