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New OSGeo President and Updated Board of Directors

News Date: 
2 Feb 2016

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

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/

pycsw 1.10 Receives OGC Compliance Certification and Reference Implementation Status

News Date: 
28 Jan 2016

The pycsw development team is happy to announce that pycsw 1.10 is now certified OGC Compliant for OGC CSW 2.0.2, and passes all CITE tests.

In addition, pycsw 1.10 is now an official OGC Reference Implementation. A demonstration instance of the reference implementation is available at http://demo.pycsw.org.

Reference Implementations are an important piece of community compliance tools, said Luis Bermudez, Executive Director Compliance and E-Learning, Open Geospatial Consortium. "They not only support OGC verifying that new releases of the tests are not breaking previous implementations, but also provide practical help to new developers that want to implement the standard. pycsw has been Reference Implementation of CAT 2.0 for over 2 years since version 1.4. OGC appreciates the effort of the OSGeo community to keep pycsw compliant with the current CAT 2.0 test."

Standards are at the core of pycsw; acheiving OGC compliance and reference implementation status is part of the project's ongoing commitment to an open source, standards-based metadata and catalogue component of spatial data infrastructures.

pycsw is an OGC Compliant CSW server implementation written in Python. Please visit http://pycsw.org for more information.

The pycsw Development Team.

UMGEOCON Call for Abstracts

News Date: 
7 Jan 2016

A coalition of six upper Midwest geospatial organizations has come together to produce a unique learning experience which will provide mid-level, career-minded GIS personnel with the opportunity to broaden their community/regional connections and professional knowledge. The Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference (UMGEOCON) will take place on May 25-26, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and focus on emerging geospatial trends and technologies. As such, the event Program Committee is seeking cutting-edge presentations and workshops that explore the Geospatial Revolution. Some potential topics include:

  • Cross border/regionally significant issues (e.g. invasive species control)
  • Indoor positioning systems
  • LiDAR developments
  • Spatial law
  • Open data polices
  • Drones/UASs/UAVs developments and issues
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems
  • Automatic Vehicle Location systems
  • Emergency Services Sector issues (e.g. NG-9-1-1 and COP)
  • Smart Grid
  • 3D geospatial modeling
  • Open source software
  • Cloud services
  • Data sharing solutions
  • Systems integration
  • Professional certifications

This call for abstracts will remain open through January 18, with announcement of selected abstracts made by February 8.

GEOSTAT 2016 Summer School for PhD students, 18-25 September 2016, Albacete Spain

News Date: 
7 Jan 2016

The GEOSTAT 2016 Summer School for PhD students and R-sig-geo enthusiasts will be held this year at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain in the period 18-25 September (arrive Sunday to depart Sunday). The topics include: spatial and spatio-temporal data and analysis in R, spatial and spatio-temporal geostatistics, processing large rasters using the raster package, CartoDB and gvSIG software tutorials, visualization of spatial and spatio-temporal data in Google Earth. To register for this summer school please visit:


Please note the registration deadline: March 1st 2016.

This summer school is limited to 55 participants. Selection of candidates is based on a ranking system, which is based on: time of registration, solidarity (participants further away from the venue receive higher ranking), academic record, and contributions to open source projects. The registration costs for the summer school are typically between EUR 400 and 500; these cover the actual costs, no profits are made. Accommodation will cost ca (EUR 40) per person per night (not included in the course fees). The organizers provide no funding/scholarships to participants. Participants from ODA-listed countries (http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/daclist), however, can apply
for a subsidized price for registration costs.


  • Roger Bivand: Representing and handling spatial and spatio-temporal data in R: sp, rgdal, maptools packages
  • Edzer Pebesma: Handling and analyzing spatio-temporal data with R
  • Robert Hijmans: Spatial modeling with environmental data (raster and dismo packages)
  • Marta Blangiardo: Bayesian spatiotemporal models in R
  • Michela Cameletti: Spatio-temporal models for environmental data in R
  • Matthias Templ: Robust analysis of compositional data / Small Area Estimation
  • Jorge Sanz: CartoDB tutorial
  • César Martínez Izquierdo: gvSIG tutorial
  • Virgilio Gomez Rubio: Spatial and Spatiotemporal point process analysis in R
  • Tomislav Hengl: Automated geostatistics and visualization in 3D+T: GSIF and plotKML packages

To register for this Summer school visit:


For more information about GEOSTAT 2016 please write to:

  • T. (Tom) Hengl: registrations, website materials
  • V. (Virgilio) Gomez Rubio: the official program, local organizer

Local organizing committee: Esteban Alfaro-Cortés, José Luis Alfaro-Navarro, María Teresa Alonso-Martínez, Matías Gámez-Martínez, Noelia García-Rubio, Virgilio Gómez-Rubio (Chair), Emilio L. Cano, Francisco Palmí Perales and Francisco Parreño-Torres.

Elephant Meeting on Big Data Services

News Date: 
14 Dec 2015

While we try to get to grips with the ever-increasing “Big Data” deluge we recognize that adequate Web services are a key prerequisite for ubiquitous, flexible, and fast data access. In a massive concertation effort several large European initiatives have teamed up now to address the service challenge. From 12 through 13 November 2015 an inaugural EUDAT Workshop on services for Big Data held successfully at the Super­computing Center in Barcelona, Spain. Representatives of three decisive Big Data projects - EUDAT, EarthServer, and EPOS - have come together to discuss innovative alternatives for value-adding services.

To consolidate activities around these specific themes the workshop was divided in several tracks focusing on the topics of Big Data semantics, federated Data Mining, and multi-dimensional Array Databases for large time series. Discussions started by capturing best practices and discussing the current state of development and activities in the respective areas. Questions like: How can data processing be orchestrated optimally or how can scientific workflows make use of EUDAT services were discussed intensively in different working groups.

Peter Wittenburg, scientific coordinator of the EUDAT Data Infrastructure, convened a critical variety of expertise from Europe and the US. Especially the topic of multidimensional arrays was focused by the experts because of playing a major role in scientific and engineering data. In a summary Mark van de Sanden, EUDAT Workpackage Leader, and Peter Baumann, workshop facilitator of the EUDAT Array Database track, pointed out possible roles of EUDAT in the future:

  • Iaas service provider: providing a cloud infrastructure to run Array Databases
  • SaaS service provider: providing an Array Database as an domain-independent, horizontal service
  • Providing tools for easy data movement between EUDAT DCI domain and User domain
  • Providing domain services (e.g., geo, astro, life sciences) based on a common horizontal platform of array services, thereby leveraging cross-community effects

Peter Baumann resumed his experiences of running large-scale infrastructures in his presentation:

“Of course multidimensional arrays do not stand alone, they are intertwined with other data types, but typically they constitute the “Big Data” part. Therefore, it makes sense to integrate arrays into common data management platforms.“ The flexibility of querying data, achieving data independency, scalability and standards conformance are critical advantages of Array Database technologies. Among the challenges spotted were integration of heterogeneous data types, including arrays, into a single common information space for users. Array intensive domains like the Earth-, Space- and Life Sciences were considered as possible candidates of future EUDAT services.

The following presenters contributed their expertise to the Array Database track:

  • Peter Baumann (Workshop Facilitator, Array Database expert) - Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • Kwo-Sen Kuo (Array Database expert) - NASA collaborator, US
  • Stefan Pröll (Data Citation expert) - SBA Research, Austria
  • Simone Mantovani (Atmospheric Analysis expert) - MEEO s.r.l., Italia
  • Alessandro Spinuso (Seismology expert) - KNMI, Netherlands
  • Luca Trani (Seismology expert) - KNMI, Netherlands
  • Thomas Zastrow (expert for Data Analysis in the Humanities) - Max Planck Gesellschaft, Rechenzentrum Garching, Germany
  • Mark van de Sanden (EUDAT Workpackage Leader) - SURFsara, Netherlands

The European Data Infrastructure EUDAT aims to contribute to the production of a Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI). The project´s target is to provide a pan-European solution to the challenge of data proliferation in Europe's scientific and research communities. Increasing complexity and massive growth of data has outpaced the development of tools to deal with it.

Corresponding to this challenge the intercontinental initiative EarthServer aims for unleashing the potential of Big Data through a disruptive paradigm shift in service technology. EarthServer has established open ad-hoc analytics on massive Earth Science data, based on and extending leading-edge Array Database technology, rasdaman. Now the participating data centers are extending this to a Petabyte of 3-D and 4-D datacubes. Technology advance will allow real-time scaling of such Petabyte cubes, and intercontinental fusion.

The European Plate Observing System EPOS contributes by planning a research infrastructure for European Solid Earth science, integrating existing research infrastructures to enable innovative multidisciplinary research, recently prioritized by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures ESFRI for implementation.

Heike Hoenig