[OSGeo-Edu] Re: UMass Amherst educational material -- a status report

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Sun Mar 4 11:50:22 EST 2007

Sorry, resending to the list *from* the correct address --

On 3/4/07, Charlie Schweik <cschweik at pubpol.umass.edu> wrote:
> Hi Puneet-
> > You might want to convert the slideshows to something platform
> > agnostic such as PDF, or even the html generated by Powerpoint.
> Well, if I made those available, I'd probably offer them in Open Office
> Impress.

The format is entirely up to you, the offer-er of the material. Keep
in mind, many folks may not even have Impress, but for some materials
you well might require the additional capability of that software. So,
choose what is best for you.

(As an aside, I myself favor S5 <http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/>,
unless the material requires heavy duty effects, in which case I
choose Apple's Keynote for displaying from my laptop. S5 - a Simple
Standards-based SlideShow System - allows me to put my slideshow on
the web immediately. For an example, see
I wrote a Perl script that converts plain text wiki-style markup to S5

> The issue for me is that I need to check for copyright issues
> on some of the graphics. They fell under fair use when I use them in the
> regular classroom, but putting them on OSGEO would obviously need to
> make sure they were all graphics from the public domain.

Well, this is the issue that we were tangentially trying to hammer out
in our discussions. I am certain that linking to your own material
from OSGeo website does not require that your material be public
domain. Heck, personally I don't care even if you link to
commercially, proprietary, closed as Fort Knox material, but that may
stretch it a bit much. Even having OSGeo host your material does not
require that your material be public domain. Well, if it does then it
should not. All it requires is that the material is relevant and
appropriate, hence the vetting. For example, we wouldn't want you
having OSGeo host your high school reunion pictures, especially the
ones where you all jumped into the frigid lake without any clothes on.
I believe (and hey you, Tyler, Frank, etc., correct me if I am wrong)
a material has to be public domain only if it has been developed by
OSGeo, or desires OSGeo branding.

> > I would encourage you to put whatever you have sooner instead of
> > later, unless you have other restrictions or reasons. If your material
> > is still in flux, you can always link to it from the OSGeo wiki. You
> > have all the flexibility.
> That's the main issue -- we're still developing the second half of the
> course. If I make a link to our wiki and material, it is easy to get to
> the main page and see the material not yet complete. I'd rather not
> allow that.

Ok, that is up to you entirely. Do that when you feel your material is
ready for public consumption.

> If you'd like me to move the completed stuff to the OSGEO wiki, I can,
> but we should begin the review process. I thought I would do this after
> my students have gone through the material so that they sort of act as
> one level of review to help clean up problematic text.
> But let me know if you want me to move completed exercises and
> assignments over to some OSGEO "not reviewed by OSGEO" section of the
> OSGEO EDU wiki. I'd be happy to do that. It will require moving
> Mediawiki pages, uploaded images (graphics) and data. It might be a
> little tedious unless there is a way to batch copy from one mediawiki to
> another.

I don't personally want you to move it the entire material to OSGeo
wiki. It is entirely up to _you_ how you want to handle it. Obviously,
in the scenario mentioned above, it doesn't make sense to undergo all
the pain of moving a batch of interconnected materials from one wiki
to another wiki. That is precisely why TBL invented hyperlinking. Just
put up a link to it, along with a brief explanation, when you ready.

I can imagine that at some point _you_ might desire to offer the
entire material as an OSGeo-branded package. At that point you would
have to ensure that all the parts meet the licensing requirements
(public domain vs. fair use, etc.), you would want to have the whole
thing rigorously vetted, and you would want to move the entire package
to OSGeo's site.

Keep in mind, you could still move the package to OSGeo's site and
maintain your own ownership and branding in case you lack the hosting
infrastructure. It would only be lightly vetted for relevance and
appropriateness, and be offered under the auspices of OSGeo, so to

Many thanks Charlie.

> I'll also look into how I can check copyright issues on lecture slides
> and see if I can do anything to clean those up so those can be made
> available. But this will take some time, and might not be until the
> summer.
> Cheers
> Charlie
> >
> > ..
> > > Finally, we're running into an interesting issue that relates to
> > > eventual OSGEO hosting. In the section where we are trying to show
> > > attribute database work, (Week 8: where we are using data from Spatial
> > > Data Engines -- PostGreSql, PostGIS) we are hosting a database on a
> > > server that students are supposed to use for the exercise. So if we did
> > > want to eventually move these exercises to be hosted on OSGEO, we would
> > > need to have a server hosting the PostGreSQL data. We'll learn in a few
> >
> > If tutorials involve live data (as good tutorial should), yes, this is
> > something OSGeo webcom will have to consider, unless, once again, you
> > want to continue hosting the tutorial on your server and just link to
> > it from OSGeo. It would be nice if OSGeo were able to provide
> > MapServer/PostGIS facilities, but I guess the administrative overhead
> > would be tremendous.
> >
> > Many thanks for your efforts.
> >
> >
> --
> Associate Professor
> - Department of Natural Resources Conservation (www.umass.edu/nrc)
> - Center for Public Policy and Administration (www.masspolicy.org),
> - Associate Director, National Center for Digital Government (www.ncdg.org)
> University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003
> Phone: (413) 545-1824
> Website: http://people.umass.edu/cschweik

Puneet Kishor http://punkish.eidesis.org/
Nelson Inst. for Env. Studies, UW-Madison http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/
Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.osgeo.org/education/
collaborate, communicate, compete

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