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Invitation to NASA CitySmart Challenge - Solutions For Sustainable Cities

News Date: 
7 Feb 2016
Details: 

On behalf of Geo for All, we would like to welcome strong global participation for the fourth edition of the NASA Europa challenge. The aim of this challenge is to inspire ideas for building great applications that serves the INSPIRE Directive and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology World Wind.

This NASA challenge attracts the best minds to develop their ideas covering a broad range of domains from transportation to air quality to linked data. The previous competition winners work is available at

We thank Professor Maria Brovelli (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Patrick Hogan (NASA) for their efforts for this initiative which adds great momentum to our efforts to promote openness in education and research worldwide. The Europa Challenge has always had Europe's INSPIRE Directive to guide project development. This year we continue to have INSPIRE guide us and more specifically, we are looking for solutions specific to urban management. The CitySmart Europa Challenge is challenging the world's *best and brightest* to deliver sustainable solutions serving city needs.

Almost every city needs the same data management tools as every other city. How can we help cities work together to be more sustainable, more livable and more resilient? If cities were able to share their solutions with each other, this would multiply their investment by the number of cities participating. Each city could develop different functionalities and then 'share' these with each other, massively increasing our planet's collective productivity.

Simply build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart (1, 2, 3) design and uses NASA's open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind. Whether you win or not, you will advance a platform that allows every city to win! This challenge is open to all on our home planet. See the 2015 Projects, 2014 Projects and 2013 Projects. China had top teams these past two years, India had an excellent team last year and Italy every year! A USA High School team from Alaska won First Place in 2015! So students and SMEs are welcome to join the competition this year.

This year's Europa Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the global community to begin working in collaboration and prepare for the increasing climate change scenarios in cities context. Students are our future and looking at previous year's contributions from Global Earthquake forecasts systems (developed by some high school students from Alaska who went on to win the first prize in 2015!) to Urban Traffic Visual Analytics Simulator , it just shows the amazing contributions of these students and SMEs made for the global good and for the benefit of all.

Details at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/ and at the attached flyer.

Those interested in being part of this global enterprise, please subscribe here http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opencitysmart . Your participation is very welcome.

We look forward to your strong participation for the NASA CitySmart Challenge 2016 and joining our mission to make geospatial education and opportunities available for all.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand
http://www.geoforall.org

AttachmentSize
Europa_Challenge_Flyer.pdf930.41 KB

Geo for All Newsletter - Feb 2016 now published

News Date: 
7 Feb 2016
Details: 

Geo for All is the Open Source Geospatial Foundation's Educational outreach with our mission for making geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all. Our monthly newsletters are key to reach out our ideas with the wider community and build new collaborations.We request all OSGeo members to share any updates/developments as short reports for next issue of Geo4All newsletter.

Also we want to hightlight OSGeo SMEs and service providers http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile?SET=1 in our future editions of our newsletter. The aim is to get the wider community know about the excellent companies and startups that make the OSGeo ecosystem and encourage more collaborations and startups . So please email our chief editor labrinos@eled.auth.gr a short article about your company and how OSGeo software has been empowering you and enabling your growth . We also welcome usecases and implementation examples of how OSGeo software and open principles in education are empowering universities, government organisations, NGOs etc. We will get your articles published in our newsletter in forthcoming issues. Please make sure you send your artcles before 24th of every month to get it published in the next month's edition.

We will also be highlighting one OSGeo software project /community every month [from the OSGeo live DVD] .We request the OSGeo community to please send any reports, articles on OSGeo activities happening (events, new software releases, summer schools, new courses, training events etc) to the newsletter editors.

We are pleased share our newsletter at http://www.geoforall.org/newsletters/ to the wider geo community.

Editorial - Feb 2016

Dear members of the Network/ readers of the Newsletter,

In this issue you can read two very interesting articles: one for the European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting and the second about the OpenCitySmart – the Open City Platform.
The first one has to do with the Global Flood Awarness System while the second for the improvement of the living standards of the people living, mainly, in the cities of poor countries.

In fact, both articles show how volunteerism can help and upgrade the living standards of the people and how much the efforts or our Network can upgrade the quality of life. It is important to know that our ideas, however bizarre they may seem at first place, can become true when we share with others and work together.
Along with the articles, you can find all the other topics like conferences, courses, free software, etc.

Have a nice reading .

Nikos Lambrinos
Chief Editor
Dept. of Primary Education
Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki Greece

OSGeo Foundation turns 10!

News Date: 
3 Feb 2016
Details: 

4th of February is a great day for all of us as it was the day when our Foundation was founded. 2016 is more special as we have completed 10 Years. No matter what yardstick one uses, it would be hard to deny that we have made great progress and our achievements have even exceeded our own expectations. Our projects have grown more stable and robust, our events have spread worldwide, our vibrant community continues to grow, our education outreach is blooming through the collective effervescence of the 'GeoForAll' initiative and we are in possession of many more pieces of the jigsaw to help accomplish our vision to "empower everyone with open source geospatial".

We would not have been able to get here without the tremendous support from our community and goodwill of our sponsors. Officers of our Foundation have also toiled hard to get us to this stage. By the time we are into FOSS4G-2018, we will be in our teens. So let us now enjoy our childhood and celebrate the wonders that we have achieved in being born, being able to walk on our own feet, and ready to take long strides into the future with a sure feeling that we can do even better in the years to come.

Happy birthday to OSGeo Foundation and let the celebrations begin!!

The Board of Directors
OSGeo Foundation

A New Vision for OSGeo

To guide OSGeo for the next ten years the board has prepared something special - a new vision statement, mission and goals.

OSGeo Vision

Empower everyone with open source geospatial

OSGeo Mission Statement

Foster global adoption of open geospatial technology by being an inclusive software foundation devoted to an open philosophy and participatory community driven development.

OSGeo Goals

The following aspirational goals support the overall mission. As a foundation we seek to:

  • provide resources for foundation projects;
  • foster the use of open source geospatial software;
  • encourage interoperability with open and community standards;
  • ensure interoperability between the foundation projects;
  • encourage a high degree of quality and innovation in foundation projects;
  • champion the use of open-source and community participation through the development of an open education curriculum
  • enable communication and cooperation amongst OSGeo communities;
  • champion community building through horizontal (local chapters) engagement and through vertical (sector specific) agreements with like-minded organizations;
  • be a welcoming and inclusive worldwide organization at all levels;
  • celebrate excellence, openness and service within the OSGeo community.

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster global adoption of open geospatial technology by being an inclusive software foundation devoted to an open philosophy and participatory community driven development. The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It provides an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.

OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The Foundation's projects are all freely available and useable under an OSI-certified open source license.

Our huge thanks to Jeff McKenna

News Date: 
2 Feb 2016
Details: 

Dear All,

Jeff McKenna has tendered his resignation from the position of President and Board of Directors on personal grounds.

Jeff is a pillar of OSGeo, being a lively presence at Open Source Geospatial events since the early days of MapServer User Meetings. He was also a key person at FOSS GRASS User Conference where the idea of having a joint conference combining GRASS GIS, MapServer and other FOSS4G communities was mooted which fruited in the form FOSS4G-2006 held in Laussane. Jeff has been a constant companion and a source of inspiration during our decade long OSGeo journey.

During his tenure on the OSGeo Board, Jeff has traversed across the globe spreading the message of OSGeo and sharing his passion for FOSS4G. He has gone to remote corners of our planet to get local chapters started and patiently interacted with diverse audience ranging from under-graduate students to top leaders from academia, industry and government. Jeff has put community before self and worked relentlessly to bring worldwide reach to our Foundation. Combined with his rare passion, Jeff possesses a unique knack of understanding and assimilating different cultures which has greatly helped in nurturing diversity in our communities.

Apart form his groundbreaking work in representing OSGeo globally, he has also made time to produce excellent documentation and packaging for some of our leading software products. Jeff's dedication and passion will continue to motivate all members of our foundation.

The board received Jeff's request on 12 December 2015 and asked him to reconsider his decision. At the 30 January, 2016 Face to Face meeting, after careful consideration of his reply, the OSGeo Board has motioned and unanimously accepted his resignation. The board also passed a motion to formally express our sincere gratitude for Jeff's immense contributions to the OSGeo Foundation in his capacity as President and Board Member.

Jeff McKenna continues his engagements with the OSGeo Foundation as a Charter Member and as PSC members in several of the Foundation Projects. We look forward to seek his advice and active participation in our future endeavors.

Thank you from all of us, Jeff and we look forward to your contributions to OSGeo in the years ahead.

The Board of Directors
OSGeo Foundation

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster global adoption of open geospatial technology by being an inclusive software foundation devoted to an open philosophy and participatory community driven development. The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It provides an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.

OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The Foundation's projects are all freely available and useable under an OSI-certified open source license.

New OSGeo President and Updated Board of Directors

News Date: 
2 Feb 2016
Details: 

New President

The OSGeo Board of Directors selected Venkatesh Raghavan as its new President. The previous president, Jeff McKenna, has stepped down, and the OSGeo community is extremely thankful for his years of service.

Venkatesh Raghavan (Venka) is a celebrated representative of the OSGeo community who coined the FOSS4G acronym in 2004. He is also one of the founders of OSGeo, is active in OSGeo communities in Asia and with the currently incubating ZOO-Project. Venka is on Advisory Board Geo for All (the OSGeo educational outreach initiative). In recognition of his deep passion and commitment to Open Source Geospatial, Venka has earned our highest honor, the Sol Katz award.

The OSGeo Board of Directors recognizes that being President is a heavy responsibility, time and travel commitment. To promote closer and easier interaction with regional communities and share duties, the Board took the decision to appoint two Vice-Presidents.

The first Vice-President, from North America, is Helena Mitasova. She was awarded the Sol Katz Award in 2010 for her long standing contribution to the OSGeo Foundation and pioneering role in the GRASS community. She is a champion of OSGeo's Geo for All education outreach.

The second Vice-President, from Europe, is Dirk Frigne. Dirk is an entrepreneur serving OSGeo as Charter Member and member of geomajas PSC. He is involved in the INSPIRE Committee and received the Award for excellence in geo-information technologies.

Updated Board of Directors

Dirk Frigne received widespread support of Charter Members during the last elections. Dirk has accepted our invitation to the board to complete the remainder of Jeff McKenna's term.

Your updated board consists of:

  • Massimiliano Cannata
  • Vasile Craciunescu
  • Dirk Frigne
  • Jody Garnett
  • Anita Graser
  • Helena Mitasova
  • Venkatesh Raghavan
  • Sanghee Shin
  • Michael Smith

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster global adoption of open geospatial technology by being an inclusive software foundation devoted to an open philosophy and participatory community driven development. The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It provides an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.

OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The Foundation's projects are all freely available and useable under an OSI-certified open source license.

Floodhack helps mitigating Floods

News Date: 
1 Feb 2016
Details: 

On 16/17 January, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) organized the first hackathon on a Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS). More than 60 participants from research organizations, universities and industries joined for improving accessibility and visualization of GloFAS data by creating new downstream applications.

Anticipation and preparedness of large-scale flood events play a key role in mitigating their impacts and optimizing the strategic planning of water resources. Although a lot of countries have well-established systems for river monitoring and early flood warning, an increasing number of inhabitants is affected by floods every year. The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) has been set up providing an overview on upcoming floodings in large world river basins.

On 16/17 January ECMWF hosted a hackathon aimed at improving GloFAS by developing innovative ideas and approaches. More than 3.5 TB of data have been prepared, partly served in an OGC-compliant Web Coverage Service Standard (WCS) for easier data access and retrieval. In the EarthServer-2 project, this WCS service is currently set up at ECMWF and further institutions in Great Britain.

Five teams submitted their work, most of them based on the Big Datacube server rasdaman running at ECMWF which offers 5-dimensional river discharge data, among others:

  • FloodIT: Providing more intuitive information based on GLOFAS which helps forecasting local floodings and pre-empting a catastrophe.
  • GloFAQ - Global Flood Awareness Queries: Innovative ways of providing end users with key information on potentially impacted infrastructures due to flooding.
  • Interception: A flood awareness education platform which helps informing people about alternative courses of action when a flood watch/warning alert is issued.
  • LIVE - Logistic and Infrastructure Visual Evaluation: Using GloFAS forecast information to create a 'time to respond' map.
  • The (flooded) Italian Job: An automatised modification of fixed GloFAS thresholds for warnings.

The winning team, LIVE, used GloFAS information creating a "time to respond map" that helps prioritizing decision making before or during a flood event. The second prize went to FloodIT, the third winner was Interception.

The GloFAS system is currently used by the International Red Cross in a pilot project in Daares-Salaam, Tanzania for finance forecasting which enables Red Cross to spot early on where flood disaster support is required. The FloodHack price money - in total 1.050 GBP - was donated to this project.

Read more at http://floodhack.devpost.com/