GeoForAll OSGeo Relationship

From OSGeo
Revision as of 08:07, 16 November 2015 by Jive (talk | contribs) (→‎Scenario 1:)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page is a DRAFT document subject to discussion and OSGeo board approval

Defining the Relationship Between Geo For All and OSGeo (Draft)

Purpose of Document

The OSGeo Board of Directors would like to clarify the relationship between the Geo4All initiative, and the OSGeo foundation, in terms of promoting education. The intended audience of this document is the Geo4All community. This document outlines a few possible scenarios, of how the Geo4All group can work with the OSGeo foundation.

About Geo4All

The Geo4All initiative that started off after the signing of an MoU (see between OSGeo and the International Cartographic Association (ICA) has been growing at a rapid pace since 2011. Geo4All expanded in 2014 with the addition of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).

One of the initiatives championed by Geo4All, is the setting up of “ICA-ISPRS-OSGeo Labs” worldwide which presently includes 101 labs. In a recent survey conducted by Maria Brovelli and Peter Mooney, 35 labs have responded to questionnaire concerning their activities.

The Geo4All initiative has an Advisory Board co-chaired by Presidents of OSGeo and ICA and comprised majority of members who are also Charter Members of OSGeo. Geo4All operates its own website, has its own logo and publishes its own Newsletter. As a main mode of communication, Geo4All utilizes the OSGeo listserver and wiki.

About OSGeo

On the other hand, OSGeo has an “Education and Curriculum Committee” chaired by VP, (Vice President) Education and Curriculum Project (presently Charlie Schweik; see and main channel of communications is the edu_discuss mailing list and OSGeo Wiki. The mailing list is not active with few stray mails coming at an irregular pace and the “Education and Curriculum Committee” Wiki does not reflect the existence of such a committee within the OSGeo Foundation.

Current Status

The discussions on the Geo4All ML, at the video conference among Geo4All enthusiasts and at the Geo4All BoF held in Como led to the agreement among the OSGeo education committee chair and several OSGeo members also actively involved in Geo4All initiative that, “GeoForAll: OSGeo's Education and Curriculum Effort” ( education) is the new avatar of the former “Education and Curriculum Committee”.

“OSGeo” is currently not very visible in Geo4All, an example being OSGeo’s newly formed Open GeoScience Committee who actively plans various OSGeo events, such as OSGeo townhalls etc. With so many foundations involved in Geo4All, students often come away from a Geo4All session not knowing what “OSGeo” is.

Requirements of OSGeo

OSGeo needs a committee/initiative/group that is focused on promoting "collaborative development of open source geospatial software, and promote its widespread use" through education. Students and researchers need to know how to benefit from the great open source projects and how to participate in these projects and the open source community.


OSGeo is not asking for special placement, instead we are asking that the participation message of Open Source be showcased. This message is of vital importance, as any advocacy of use that is not balanced by participation does our students (and our projects) a disservice.

Requirements of Geo4All

Recently through mailing list discussions, several Geo4All members have strongly stated that Geo4All is not about any one foundation or solution.

What Must Happen

As a foundation, OSGeo needs to provide a clear picture about relation/role of the Geo4All initiative, and the Geo4All Advisory Board need to confirm its stand vis-à-vis the OSGeo Foundation.

How to Get There

Three possible scenarios could be considered as regards the synergy between OSGeo Foundation and Geo4All initiative.

Scenario 1:

OSGeo Board of Directors and the Geo4All Advisory Board mutually agree that Geo4All is the “official” educational outreach of OSGeo Foundation. In this case, the Geo4All Advisory Board would include representatives from our partners like ICA, ISPRS etc. Geo4All Advisory Board comprises of representatives from ICA, ISPRS, OSGeo and other organization that join in future. As a partner in the Geo4All initiative, a Project Steering Committee (PSC) comprising of VP OSGeo Foundation (Education and Curriculum Project) and other representatives (e.g Regional Chairs of Geo4All) need to be constituted within the OSGeo Foundation. The PSC could liaise with Geo4All Advisory Board to evolve way and means to achieve mutual goals and objectives.

Figure 1: Organization Structure of Scenario 1

Figure 1: Organization Structure of Scenario 1

It the case of Scenario 1, several things need to be considered for example

Should the “ICA-OSGeo Labs” simply be named as “Geo4All-Labs” We think that the organizations partnering with OSGeo Foundation’s educational outreach will grow in the future. Would it be feasible to add organizational abbreviations to the Labs e.g. “ICA-ISPRS-XXX-YYY-ZZZ-OSGeo Labs”?. The OSGeo Advisory board has agreed that this was not feasible and proposed a Geo4All “Partners” category to list organizations affiliated to Geo4All.

Scenario 1B:

Similar to Scenario 1, OSGeo Board of Directors and the Geo4All Advisory Board mutually agree that Geo4All is the “official” educational outreach of OSGeo Foundation, but no new structure (PSC, committee or whatever) would be created in OSGeo; instead, Geo4All as an external body with respect to OSGeo will now focus on strongly promoting the OSGeo foundation through education, by holding “OSGeo” events, presentations, papers, training sessions, awards, etc. This focus on OSGeo should be in writing, documented on the Geo4All website and also on the OSGeo website. Note that in this scenario Geo4All would be required to name an officer who would liaise with the OSGeo Board (as every other OSGeo committee does).

Figure 1b: Organization Structure of Scenario 1b

Scenario 2:

Geo4All, an independent entity working closely with the OSGeo Foundation. Geo4All could be something for “open Geospatial education” what OSM is for “open geospatial data”. Such a decision is for Geo4All advisory board to take and also propose some kind of MoU with the OSGeo Foundation to spread “open Geospatial education” using the resources of the OSGeo Foundation.

Figure 2: Organization Structure of Scenario 2

In case of Scenario 2, some of the things that need to be considered are:

a) Since Education is an important outreach initiative for the OSGeo Foundation, a proper “Education and Curriculum Committee” needs to be re-established whose main role would be to liaise and work jointly with Geo4All to fulfill the OSGeo mission in the sphere of Education and academic Research

Scenario 3:

We do not think that a third scenario exists.

Based on the clarification of the Scenario 1, 1B, and 2 listed above, the OSGeo board needs to approve the decision and take appropriate steps (update web site etc.) to reflect the correct picture both inside and outside of the OSGeo Foundation. The Geo4All also would need to update its website, newsletter etc. to reflect being a part of OSGeo Foundation or teaming with OSGeo Foundation along with other organizations. Both OSGeo Board of directors and Geo4All Advisory Board should officially approve the new relation/role of OSGeo and Geo4All.