[Geo4All] Ideas/inputs needed for spatial literacy geoeducation needs

Christopher Tucker tucker at mapstory.org
Sat Aug 13 08:57:48 PDT 2016


I appreciate your concern, and your willingness to stand guard in support of the Open Principles that we all stand for.  I am, however, concerned that this discussion is conflating two important issues.

The MapStory Foundation would be happy to sign something that commits it to the Open Principles that Geo4All stands for, if that is any help.  The MapStory Foundation has, for 5 years, worked to ensure that the technical platform driving www.mapstory.org is license free and sustainable off in to the future.  To not do so would violate our own charter.  I do not know how to be more clear on this.  Hopefully this issue is settled.  If it is not, please make it very clear what the MapStory Foundation and its Board of Trustees can do to settle this issue.

The second issue is simply whether Cesium is an open source toolkit that the Geo4All community can rely upon, based on an adherence to the Open Principles promulgated by Geo4All.  I simply do not know the answer to this.  Neither I nor MapStory are part of the Cesium project.  And, I have no idea what the specific intellectual property regime surrounding it is.  It is good to hear that the Geo4All initiative is standing guard, and providing feedback to its members about its concerns regarding the motives surrounding various open source geospatial projects.  However, I would actually want to hear from the Cesium team before making any decisions about whether it conforms with the Geo4All Open Principles.  The posts by Patrick and yourself quote websites.  In the spirit of the Geo4All community, I think that we should have a frank, open discussion that is inclusive of all of the parties that have something at stake.  Anything short of that would seem to run counter to Geo4All Open Principles.

I don’t know if anyone from the Cesium team is on the Geo4All list.  But, I am cc:ing Todd Smith, who I met many years ago (a decade ago?) when he showed up in the Open Geospatial Consortium process.  Todd was a leading voice inside AGI making the case for Open Geospatial Consortium standards, and the net result has been a transformation in how AGI architected its products, resulting in robust implementations of the OGC standards-based architecture.  Perhaps he can provide us some personal insights as to the motivations and plans of the Cesium team at AGI.

Thanks again for standing up for the Geo4All Open Principles and helping spark much needed discussion.

Dr. Christopher K Tucker
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
The MapStory Foundation
tucker at mapstory.org <mailto:tucker at mapstory.org>

> On Aug 13, 2016, at 7:53 AM, Suchith Anand <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear Geo4All community,
> We are an open community and it is important that we always listen to different views/ideas and  work to find a consensus. That is our strength.  I am also learning more on  spatial literacy tools needs and requirements listening to different colleagues ideas/viewpoints and  i do not have the answers but i hope the "combined wisdom of the community" will help us find the ideas forward [1].  So please share your ideas  as i think it is important the various views are discussed and considered before we make a decision.
> For geoeducation needs , I  dont think that there is only one open source virtual globe platform  and i think it is important for a healthly ecosystem there has to be many different open source solutions. 
> Ideally we would like to have a simple and easy to learn platform for our geoeducation needs but what i am concerned is there is now a pro version for Cesium and what the implications of this might be in the long term (20 + years) for geoeducation if we depend on it . If we support MapStory and they start using Cesium and in say 20 + years or so time there is changes to AGI plans , all the efforts we will put in might go wasted. This is a good time to discuss ideas on this and work to have a decision on this now as currently we are just starting our initial ideas for spatial literacy  for geoeducation so we can explore many options.
> Personally, i always try to ask the simple question in GeoEducation " Is what we doing  will ensure that free and open geospatial education opportunities  are available not just to current generation but also to our future generations" . Quite frankly with Cesium's new pro version i am concerned on depending on this for any of our geoeducation needs even if it is indirectly. Maybe i am wrong and AGI will provide strong support for thier open source version for the long term but i dont know. 
> I think  we need to find an answer as a community on how we move forward on MapStory or any other platform we want to use for our education needs.  I am sure all of us working together and sharing ideas will help us find a good solution forward. So i encourage you to please share your ideas so we can find a solution. 
> I also greatly appreciate rather just saying yes/no, please provide us ideas on solutions that as a community we can explore to have our own  spatial literacy tools for geoeducation and how you can help us on this. If we come together as a community we can do this. Everything we did so far was like that. For example, initially when we wanted to start our webinar series we did not have our own system so initially depended on an external provider but as soon as one of our labs had the capacity , we decided to run our own webinars (Thank you Rafael)  and also reached out to working together for joint webinars with like minded organisations like UCGIS and ASPRS etc.
> Easy to use spatial literacy tools is important for our education needs and currently we do not have our own tool/platform for this but if the OSGeo community can come together , we should be able to build upon ideas to build our own tool for this in the future. That way we can ensure that this will be available for free and open to all in the long term. So help us by proposing solutions for our spatial literacy tools needs. Thanks.
> Best wishes,
> Suchith
> [1] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/geoforall/2016-August/003112.html <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/geoforall/2016-August/003112.html> 
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