[OSGeo-Edu] Getting ready for FOSS4Geo Sydney Birds of a Feather edu meeting

Ned Horning horning at amnh.org
Mon Oct 19 17:38:24 EDT 2009


I guess I'm being a little slow here but I'm still trying to get a sense 
for what an OSGeo curriculum development effort would look like. There 
is a good deal of GIS curriculum out there so I'm not sure if redoing 
that makes sense. There has been mention of developing a curriculum 
around open source geospatial technologies but I'm not sure what that 
means. If we use open source software to support any curriculum I think 
we'd have to pick and choose which software to use and I'm not sure we 
want to do that.

 From a users perspective I have a sense for what I'd like to see but 
I'm not sure if this is in line with a broader group view. Would it make 
sense to create a list of server and desktop (perhaps pick one for 
starters) GIS, remote sensing image processing, and other geospatial 
tasks and then illustrate how each of those tasks is performed using 
different OSGeo software. I'm thinking of something along the lines of: 
"How Do I Do This in ArcGIS/Manifold?: Illustrating Classic GIS Tasks" 
(http://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/165). We could develop 
the framework and then work with each of the OSGeo projects to populate 
it with examples. This would be a great resource that could be used by 
teachers to more easily adapt existing curricula (private and public) to 
open source software. It would also be helpful for users. It would also 
get us working with the software projects more closely.

Whatever we decide to do I expect to be able to help out during the next 

All the best,


Charlie Schweik wrote:
> Dear OSGeo Edu colleagues
> (Sorry for a longish email)
> With the FOSS4Geo conference coming up next week, I thought I’d try 
> and help focus our group in preparation for the Birds of a Feather 
> meeting. I hope whoever is in Sydney and interested in furthering the 
> education/curriculum efforts, you’ll sign up on the wiki [1]. Thanks 
> for Scott Mitchell, Venka Ragavan and Maria Brovelli for helping run 
> that given I won't be there. Perhaps one of you could do a report back 
> on Edu activities and what we are planning now to the OSGeo open 
> session if there is one (I'm assuming there will be). Let me know if 
> you want talking points.
> But before I go on, I’d like to apologize to the group for my lack of 
> leadership over the last six months. The short of it is I have been 
> the primary caretaker of my mother, who has been seriously ill and in 
> and out of hospitals 6 times since June. I’m hoping that situation 
> will get better, but it has taken up a lot of my time. If you’d let 
> me, I’m quite willing to continue my role as the OSGeo edu chair, but 
> given my performance of late I am quite willing to step down if the 
> group would like new leadership. This might be a topic of discussion 
> for the BOF and whether an election for a new chair is in order.
> Now, to substance. I’ve edited our groups “to do list” on the OSGeo 
> wiki, and am suggesting that we as a group focus now on the 
> “Curriculum” discussion we’ve been having over email.
> Please see [2]
> What I’m suggesting is that people in Sydney have a discussion on this 
> proposal.
> What do you all think? If you all agree, should we try rapidly to find 
> some possible curriculum guidance in advance of next week?
> Lastly, a couple old tasks that I removed but still wonder about is:
> 1) Efforts to connect better OSGeo Local groups to education efforts;
> 2) Efforts to connect better to OSGeo software groups somehow; and
> 3) The FreeGIS Book - Victor's effort and the need for whatever is 
> written to be translated to English
> Are these worthy of staying on our task list? And any other 
> tasks/initiatives people want to take on this next year that I haven't 
> listed? Feel free to add it to the todo list wiki page [2]
> Finally, if anyone is willing to take on a kind of subcommittee chair 
> on any of these initiatives I would greatly appreciate it... ;-)
> Charlie
> [1] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_2009_BirdsOfAFeather
> [2] 
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Education_Committee_Work_Program#PROPOSED_INITIATIVE_FOR_2009-2010_-_OS_GEO_CURRICULUM 
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