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Advisory Board of the "Geo for All" initiative

News Date: 
9 Dec 2013

We are pleased to announce the Advisory Board of the "Geo for All" initiative.

* Professor Georg Gartner (ICA President & co-chair)
* Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President & co-chair)
* Professor Josef Strobl
* Professor Marguerite Madden
* Professor Mike Jackson
* Sven Schade
* Gavin Fleming
* Sergio Acosta y Lara
* Dr Chris Pettit
* Professor Venkatesh Raghavan
* Geoff Zeiss
* Jeroen Ticheler
* Phillip Davis
* Arnulf Christl
* Professor Maria Brovelli
* Dr Rafael Moreno

The ICA-OSGeo Lab network is a joint initiative of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA). The ICA and OSGeo Presidents will be the co-chairs and permanent members of the Advisory Board. Others will have 3 year term starting date of the Advisory Board being constituted (1 Dec 2013). The Advisory Board has brought together excellent range of expertise (academia, government, industry) and geographical distribution (we have nearly all continents covered). Also it brought together members from other key communities ISPRS, AGILE, INSPIRE, UNIGIS etc. which will make sure is it a fully inclusive global initiative. The Advisory Board will meet once every six months by telemeeting and AB members will keep an eye on the developments and provide strategic advice to the initiative through various forums.

While there has been tremendous growth in geospatial technology over the last few decades, the number of universities offering courses in geospatial science has not kept pace. Free and open geographic information (GI) software helps make geospatial education available to students from economically poor backgrounds worldwide (removing the need for high cost proprietary GI software). Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries to be also able to get geospatial education. This initiative will bring more opportunities for geospatial education worldwide. Over 50 Open Source Geospatial Labs have already been established in universities around the world as part of this initiative in just two year's time, and we will be establishing over 100 research labs worldwide by September 2014.

We will have over 500 labs established worldwide in the next five years making us the biggest geospatial education and research network in the planet and we now have a good team of experts to guide us for the future. Welcome to all members of the Advisory Board and we are looking forward for their advice and ideas for expanding this education initiative globally.

We thank all of you for your strong support for this education initiative and it is very happy for us that our initiative has now grown rapidly from very humble beginnings and is helping to widen the
benefits of geospatial education opportunities to thousands of students worldwide.

OSGeo Board approves Code Sprint Funding Guidelines

News Date: 
27 Nov 2013

The OSGeo Board has approved the Code Sprint Funding Guidelines. This document outlines specific criteria for requesting funding to support both single and multi-project coding events.

The OSGeo Board welcomes all OSGeo projects in considering funding support for code sprints, as a way to offer more opportunities for in-person gathering of developers and foster productive cross-project collaboration.

First Open Source Geospatial Lab in Wales

News Date: 
4 Nov 2013

We are pleased to announce that the first Open Source Geospatial Lab in Wales is established at the GIS Research Unit at the University of South Wales. The GIS group at University of South Wales has been established for over 25 years and its research activity and outputs has given it an international reputation. It has developed highly successful lines of GIS research, as well as introducing new areas of activity and new collaborations. Notable progress has been made in areas such as accessibility modelling, landscape visualisation, spatial data generalisation, population estimation modelling and GIS-based optimisation techniques. Staff within the Centre have published over 100 papers in peer reviewed journals and Academic staff in the group are Programme Committee members for a number of UK and International conferences.

The GIS Research Unit will become part of the ICA-OSGeo Lab network of over 50 laboratories world-wide (more details at http://www.osgeo.org/education, and on the initiative's website http://www.geoforall.org/). This is in recognition of the unit’s on-going use and development of Free and Open Source GIS technology in teaching, research and consultancy. A particular focus is on the use of such technologies in the areas of health service planning, environmental management and the emergency services. The lab will be directed jointly by Dr. Mark Ware and Prof. Gary Higgs.

More details at

OSGeo is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.

ICA is the world authoritative body for cartography and GIScience.

GeoExt 2.0.0 released

News Date: 
25 Oct 2013

The GeoExt community is proud to announce the release of GeoExt 2.0.0.

GeoExt 2.0.0 is the first official GeoExt version that is built atop of OpenLayers 2.13.1 and ExtJS 4.2.1. It is being released 2 weeks after release candidate 1 was published and no serious bugs were discovered.

GeoExt 2 has been in the making for quite a while, but most of the code comes from a code sprint in Bonn, Germany, that happened last year.

The newest major version of GeoExt wants to provide mostly the same API you know and love from the 1.x-series. It comes with support for the autoloading-mechanism of ExtJS, support for the single-file build tool of sencha and with exhaustive documentation that is built using the same tools that the mother library ExtJS uses (see GeoExt classes documentation and GeoExt and ExtJS classes documentation).

This release wouldn't have been possible without the sponsors of the above mentioned sprint. Also we want to thank the companies behind the contributors of GeoExt for supporting GeoExt development in numerous ways and for such a long time.

We invite you all to use GeoExt 2!

To do so, download GeoExt 2.0.0 and use it in your OpenLayers 2.13.1 and Ext JS 4.2.1 powered webpage by telling the autoloading-mechanism of Ext about GeoExt:

enabled: true,
paths: {
GeoExt: "path/to/geoext2/src",
Ext: "path/to/extjs/src"

Have a look at the examples and additional information listed at the GeoExt 2 website over at github.

We are looking forward to your feedback on this release.

50th ICA-OSGeo Lab established at Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Italy, and new GeoforAll website launched

News Date: 
23 Oct 2013

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new website of the ICA-OSGeo lab initiative. Many thanks to Jason Sadler and colleagues at the University of Southampton , UK who developed and are hosting the central site for our rapidly growing network.

The motto of ICA-OSGeo Labs initiative is "Geo For All." By combining the potential of e-learning tools and open source geospatial software, the academic community can strengthen education in GIScience providing students with holistic education covering open source, open standards, and open data in geospatial technology. The widespread application of e-learning tools and open source GIS will increase access to GIS education. Free and open GI software helps make geospatial education available to students from economically poor backgrounds worldwide (removing the need for high cost proprietary GI software). Our key aim is to make it possible for students in developing and poor countries to be also able to get geospatial education. We also will be starting work on "Train the Trainer" GIS programs for school teachers all over the world. It is very important to have open source GIS and standards (OGC, ISO TC 211) based solutions to achieve widespread application of geotools at grassroots level especially in developing countries. Open source GIS provides accessibility, low cost solutions and lowers the entry barriers for the use of geospatial technologies for all. We look forward to working with you all for making geospatial education and opportunities accessible to all. More details of our website and mission at http://www.geoforall.org .

It is also our pleasure to announce that the 50th ICA-OSGeo Lab has been established at the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (Piattaforma GIS & Remote Sensing, PGIS), Research and Innovation Centre (CRI), Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Italy. CRI is a multifaceted research organization established in 2008 under the umbrella of FEM, a private research foundation funded by the government of Autonomous Province of Trento. CRI focuses on studies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, and environment, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life.

The mission of the PGIS unit is to develop and provide multi-scale approaches for the description of multi-dimensional biological systems and processes. Core activities of the unit include acquisition, processing and validation of geo-physical, ecological and spatial datasets collected within various research projects and monitoring activities, along with advanced scientific analysis and data management. These studies involve multi-decadal change analysis of various ecological and physical parameters from continental to landscape level using satellite imagery and other climatic layers. The lab focuses on the geostatistical analysis of such information layers, the creation and processing of indicators, and the production of ecological, landscape genetics, eco-epidemiological and physiological models. The team pursues actively the development of innovative methods and their implementation in a GIS framework including the time series analysis of proximal and remote sensing data.

The GIS and Remote Sensing Unit (PGIS) members strongly support the peer reviewed approach of Free and Open Source software development which is perfectly in line with academic research. PGIS contributes extensively to the open source software development in geospatial (main contributors to GRASS GIS), often collaborating with various other developers and researchers around the globe. In the new ICA-OSGeo lab at FEM international PhD students, university students and trainees are present.PGIS is focused on knowledge dissemination of open source tools through a series of courses designed for specific user requirement (schools, universities, research institutes), blogs, workshops and conferences. Their recent publication in Trends in Ecology and Evolution underlines the need on using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for completely open science. Dr. Markus Neteler, who is leading the group since its formation, has two decades of experience in developing and promoting open source GIS software. Being founding member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo.org, USA), he served on its board of directors from 2006 to 2011. Luca Delucchi, focal point and responsible person for the new ICA-OSGeo Lab, is member of the board of directors of the Associazione Italiana per l'Informazione Geografica Libera (GFOSS.it, the Italian Local Chapter of OSGeo). He contributes to several Free and Open Source software and open data projects as developer and trainer.

Details about the GIS and Remote Sensing Unit at http://gis.cri.fmach.it/.

Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.

International Cartographic Association (ICA) is the world authoritative body for cartography and GIScience.

Marble Virtual Globe Graduates OSGeo Incubation

News Date: 
18 Oct 2013

OSGeo is pleased to announce that the Marble Virtual Globe project has graduated from incubation and is now a full fledged OSGeo project. Torsten Rahn, co founder and long time maintainer of Marble has been appointed as project officer.

Marble is a virtual globe and world atlas — your swiss army knife for maps. Marble is known to be used a lot in education from primary school throughout higher level classes. And it is also used in industry and research projects as a software library for displaying maps. No matter whether the topic is navigation, space science, earth science or geo-caching: Marble offers a wealth of functionality and comes with free maps which help to visualize and understand each topic. It is available for all major operating systems and it's installed on many Linux distributions by default.

Graduating incubation includes fulfilling requirements for open community operation, a responsible project governance model, code provenance, and general good project operation. Graduation is the OSGeo seal of approval for a project and gives potential users and the community at large an added confidence in the viability and safety of the project.

The project lead says, The Marble team is thrilled to be recognized as a full OSGeo project. Being part of OSGeo is important for us since OSGeo supports the collaborative development of open source geospatial software. The Marble team would like to support this mission by offering Marble as a showcase to illustrate the power of Open Source, Free Software and Free Maps. Since Marble is easy to use and fun to work with it's the perfect tool to introduce a wider audience into the world of GIS and to get people excited about it.

Arnulf Christl mentor of the incubation process says: Marble Incubation was a breeze. One can immediately see that it is a well maintained project with experienced project leads and a great developer team. There were practically no open issues regarding code provenance and licensing showing that the KDE community which is the home of Marble provides a really good environment. Marble is a great addition to the OSGeo software stack because it makes accessing geospatial data and maps easy. It has already become a great tool for teachers around the world and we hope that by becoming an OSGeo project it will spread even further.

Congratulations to the Marble community!