[Live-demo] Re: [OSGeo-Edu] Update on curriculum effort

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Jan 12 14:10:21 PST 2010

Charlie and osgeo-edu committee,

We have just started the building of the 2010 DVD. There are links to 
all project specific information here:

Of particular note is:

Release 3.0: feature freeze in 3 weeks, final deliverable in April.
Release 4.0 (for FOSS4G 2010), feature freeze, end of June. Final 
deliverable in September.

The list of packages, versions, and point of contact is at:

We do currently have very light documentation: A one line project 
description, and a one page description for each project as specified here:
These docs were filled out for us by each project.

What I would like is for someone to define the structure for the next 
level of documentation, which I assume would be tutorials which explain 
how to use these applications. If we make it easy for people to write 
docs (by defining the templates) and then add a strong incentive for 
writing them (the docs will be put on the LiveDVD and handed out at 
FOSS4G and used as teaching material in colleges) then the docs will be 
written. This is the principle we used very successfully for getting ~ 
20 developers to contribute to the LiveDVD in a very short period of time.

Charlie Schweik wrote:
> Hi Cameron,
> Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Charlie and others,
>> I'm involved in the development of the Geospatial Live DVD which is 
>> handed out at geospatial conferences like FOSS4G. http://arramagong.com
>> The DVD contains a suite of most of the most popular Geospatial Open 
>> Source applications. We currently have installed brief instructions 
>> on how to run each application, but I would like to see much more 
>> comprehensive documentation.
>> In particular, I'd like teachers to be able to hand out a DVD to each 
>> of their class, and then have the class walk through tutorial 
>> material developed by the education committee and installed on this DVD.
> This is a great vision, and there was this vision articulated last 
> year as well, but it seems we are struggling to actually make it 
> happen. Somehow, it seems to me, that we need a systematic process of 
> looking at what will be on the DVD, and then someone looking through 
> the educational content we have in our inventory to see if any of it 
> could be used in this fashion. Is it possible to get a point person 
> assigned to each software product on the DVD to do this kind of search?
>> I also believe that project developers will help develop this 
>> training material, if they are given clear guidance on what needs to 
>> be developed. Ie, we need to tell the community what format to write 
>> documents in (ooffice, docbook, html, word?), and provide a template 
>> with headings and instructions about what needs to be in each 
>> section, then have an example that people can follow.
> Two years ago, we tried very hard to come up with some documentation 
> standards. We investigated the use of Docbook, for example and a 
> couple other approaches (latex was one I remember). From my own 
> perspective, I was thinking open office writer was the easiest format 
> for others to use with little learning curve. But the conclusion that 
> came out of that was people tended to want to use the format that was 
> most useful to them. We can try to do this again, but it has been 
> challenging to gain any group traction.
> It would be fantastic if the project developers could help with this 
> effort. I've been wanting to get a closer relationship between the 
> project developers working on documentation and the education group's 
> efforts. Is having a developer from each project being a point person 
> for their software a possibility to make this happen this year?
> What software and versions will be on this years DVD, Cameron?
> Can we try and get people to sign up and take the lead (one for each 
> software package, perhaps) to gather or encourage others in the 
> development of material to go on this DVD?
>> Note also that there are a number of Australian educational 
>> institutions interested in creating this material too whom I'm 
>> expecting will contribute to the material development.
> I hope everyone will encourage others who might be doing this to use 
> our educational inventory submission page and the educational 
> subversion for material.
> Those are my thoughts....
> Cheers
> Charlie
>> Charlie Schweik wrote:
>>> Hi edu folks,
>>> Happy New Year all! I'm hoping we all can commit ourselves to making 
>>> some great progress as a group over the next six months in advance 
>>> of the next FOSS4Geo conference, related to developing a framework 
>>> for organizing OSGeo-related curriculum and educational material, 
>>> and continue to strive for a working system where we share content 
>>> and build on each other's content. As you forge ahead in your own 
>>> work in 2010, please think about how that work might relate to what 
>>> we are doing and you try and contribute to our joint efforts...
>>> On my end, I just wanted to report in that I've been working on my 
>>> end to get permission for us to possibly use the University 
>>> Consortium for Geographic Information Science and Association for 
>>> American Geographer's GI S&T Body of Knowledge [1] as an overarching 
>>> framework for guiding our future curriculum efforts. The framework 
>>> is under copyright by both UCGIS and AAG, but *I've received 
>>> permission by the UCGIS folks to use this material*. I'm now 
>>> contacting AAG to get their permission since it is under joint 
>>> copyright.
>>> I struggle a little bit with this because of the copyright issues 
>>> and the philosophy of openness and sharing. But this seems to be, in 
>>> my view, a very good guiding framework for us to follow. I'm 
>>> thinking that somehow we would connect this to the discussions we've 
>>> had about material that demonstrates how to do some particular 
>>> function or process using open technologies.
>>> If anyone has any objections to this direction I am taking, let me 
>>> know, or let me know if we need to open this up to a vote.
>>> Finally, two other things:
>>> 1) Don't forget about adding new educational content to our 
>>> inventory page [2] through the submit function [3]. The last 
>>> postings were September of 2009 -- someone surely has other material 
>>> developed since then.
>>> 2) We need people to start building on what Helena has done related 
>>> to the process of putting material in Subversion so we can continue 
>>> to move toward a "new derivatives" type system of sharing content. 
>>> Can somebody step up and build on Helena's work to get that process 
>>> documented for others to use? Here's what we have linked on our 
>>> group education/curriculum page [4].  What we want, I think, is to 
>>> more clearly connect this process to our submit function [3].
>>> Cheers
>>> Charlie
>>> [1] http://www.ucgis.org/priorities/education/modelcurriculaproject.asp
>>> [2] http://www.osgeo.org/educational_content
>>> [3] https://www.osgeo.org/node/add/edu-content
>>> [4] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Subversion_edu_instructions.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Edu_discuss mailing list
>>> Edu_discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/edu_discuss

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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