[OSGeo-Discuss] [Ica-osgeo-labs] Geo4All Cartographic Challenge – How Openness can help to reduce inequality

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Tue Feb 16 12:17:01 PST 2016

Our thanks to Professor Silvana Comboim  (The Federal University of Paraná, Brazil) and chair of the ICA Commission on Open source Geotechnologies and Mike Finn (United States Geological Survey, USA) and cochair of the ICA Commission on Open source Geotechnologies for leading this excellent Geo4All Cartographic Challenge as part of the International Map Year to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Reducing inequality within and among countries. I think this is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of working together on the bigger aim to empower and provide quality education opportunities for our bottom billions brothers and sisters worldwide (who are too poor that they dont even have a voice).

Digital technologies are a big enabler for providing Quality education opportunities for everyone. The costs of hardware is coming down (and will keep coming down), internet access is increasing even in poor countries (and will keep increasing) but the biggest artificial barrier is the high cost of properitary software. So by having free and open software will enable billions of our brothers and sisters globally to also get opportunities for getting quality education. I have seen this happening in poor schools in my own state Kerala in India,  where thanks to a pioneering initiative called IT at Schools which is also the world's  largest simultaneous deployment of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) based ICT education providing opportunities for over 12,000 schools, benifitting 6 million students and 200,000 teachers in the state.  Details at https://www.itschool.gov.in/glance.php   The scalability of this initiative has been amazing and this would not have happened if we had to depend of properitery vendors.

There are lot of examples around the world that shows the power of open principles in education. For example, our colleagues in Uruguay (Sergio Acosta y Lara and others) are doing amazing work through gvSIG Batovi initiative providing digital education opportunities to all students in government schools across the country through the wider CEIBAL initiative. See details at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orwN9K07XPo   (video with English translation).

Education and empowerment  are key  for getting rid of extreme poverty and help create digital economy opportunities also for  billions of our economically poor brothers and sisters across our planet and we cannot allow creating artificial digital barriers through high costs properitary licences to keep continue denying them their rightful opportunities for a better future for thier children. Access to quality education opportunities is everyone's birthright.

Education and empowerment of students are also key  for developing creative and open minds in students which is critical for building open innovation and contributes to building up Open Knowledge for the benefit of the whole society and for our future generations. So let us all work together to enable open principles in education to help create a world that is more accessible, equitable and full of innovation and opportunities for everyone.

Best wishes,


From: ica-osgeo-labs [ica-osgeo-labs-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] on behalf of Silvana Camboim [silvanacamboim at gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 5:29 PM
To: ica-osgeo-labs at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [Ica-osgeo-labs] Geo4All Cartographic Challenge – How Openness can help to reduce inequality


This year is International Map Year [1], a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world. It’s organized by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and supported by the United Nations (UN).

To celebrate this year, ICA Commissions are preparing a series of activities to demonstrate the ability of Cartography helping to solve global issues, accordingly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals [2]

The result of this will be a poster exposition and an Atlas published by ICA. Each goal (there are 17) will have one poster. The Open Source Geotechnologies Commission got the Goal number 10 (“Reduce inequality within and among countries”). Under this goal, there are 7 targets detailed in page 21 of this document [3].

UN Sustainable Development Goal 10 –  Reduce inequality within and among countries

10.1  By  2030,  progressively  achieve  and  sustain  income  growth  of  the  bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average
10.2  By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of  all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3  Ensure  equal  opportunity  and  reduce  inequalities  of  outcome,  including  by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
10.4  Adopt  policies,  especially  fiscal,  wage  and  social  protection  policies,  and progressively achieve greater equality
10.5  Improve  the  regulation  and  monitoring  of  global  financial  markets  and institutions and strengthen the implementation of suchregulations
10.6  Ensure  enhanced  representation  and  voice  for  developing  countries  in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions
10.7  Facilitate  orderly,  safe,  regular  and  responsible  migration  and  mobility  of people,  including  through  the  implementation  of  planned  and  well-managed migration policies
10.a  Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries,in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements
10.b  Encourage  official  development  assistance  and financial  flows,  including foreign direct investment, to States where the needis greatest, in particular least developed  countries,  African  countries,  small  island  developing  States  and landlocked  developing  countries,  in  accordance  withtheir  national  plans  and programmes
10.c  By  2030,  reduce  to  less  than  3 per cent  the  transaction  costs  of  migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors withcosts higher than 5 percent

This challenge is a call for all Geo4labs for inputs to construct this poster in an open and collaborative way. The idea is to expand the poster to a website, where projects, applications, and other solutions could be shared. This is a great opportunity to showcase the labs outcomes in the UN environment in this very sensitive and important global issue.  Any other ideas on this project are welcome!

How to participate:

  *   Send and abstract from 500 to 1000 words include as many pictures of classes, projects, field works, mapathons, and, of course, maps and map interfaces.
  *    Optional: Video with up to 5 minutes presenting your lab activities.
  *    Send the results to geo4all.cartographicchallenge at gmail.com<mailto:geo4all.cartographicchallenge at gmail.com> until March 31st, 2016.

During the month of April, the posters layout ideas will be open to vote and collaboration.

Outputs :

  *      Poster and ICA Atlas
  *      Website with results and edited video
  *      Publication of the abstracts with ISBN

Best regards,

Silvana Camboim (chair) – silvanacamboim at gmail.com<mailto:silvanacamboim at gmail.com>

Mike Finn (co-chair) - mfinn at usgs.gov<mailto:mfinn at usgs.gov>

Open Source Geotechnologies Commission – http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/

[1] http://mapyear.org//

[2] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

[3] http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=EICA

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