Google Summer of Code 2012 Ideas

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OSGeo Google Summer of Code 2012

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation would like to extend a welcome to all SoC students. On this page you will find links to a host of ideas organized by project. You will find ideas ranging from the depths of computer science graph theory to the heights of visualization. One thing all these ideas have in common is lots and lots of spatial data.

These ideas are *only* to motivate you, and serve as example of the kind of hills we want to charge up. Your own ideas are more than welcomed - they are encouraged. We view you as the next wave of open source leaders; show us what you've got.

If you need more information on how to apply you can contact all the mentoring organisations via soc at

  • Ok, OSGeo is involved in working with maps and things, but what kind of projects does it really do? Have a look at the live blog feed to see what people are working on right now.

What to expect during the summer?

Be prepared to be in constant communication with your mentors and project

You and your mentors will decide on the specifics, but we will expect you and your mentor to communicate *a lot*. Part of the idea of SoC is to intergrate you into the developer community, so you should get involved from the start. The more you communicate the easier it will be. Don't be afraid that the mentors will request your phone number. It is only to make sure that we can reach you, in case of problems.

Weekly reports

Yes, every week we expect to see a report posted to the soc@osgeo mailing list that at least answers the following questions:

  1. What did you get done this week?
  2. What do you plan on doing next week?
  3. Are you blocked on anything?

These questions BTW are the same as are used in real-work, when developing with the Scrum development process. ;)

If you want, feel free to write *more*. But three sentences is the bare minimum. *IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND YOUR PROGRESS REPORTS ON TIME*, if you don't send this email your mentors will start to get twitchy, and *especially* if they don't get any responses to their emails / don't see you in IRC. Twitchy mentors is not what we want. If you are blocked by finals, that's cool. We have all studied at some point, just tell us about it, be honest. If you don't know how to proceed and your mentor isn't answering *definitely* tell about it. The SoC project admins will always be available. Basically the point is that you open up the communication channels, and keep them open. That way you will have a super summer, and get paid ;)

Last year this weekly report proved to be very popular among the students and mentors alike, so we will keep it up.

Wiki page and blogs

In addition to weekly reports we ask you to maintain a wiki or blog page for your project. You should store your weekly reports there and add other information, like how to compile and test your program. If applicable add screenshots and other nice info.

Wiki and/or blog space can and will be provided by OSGeo if your project doesn't have anything already set up for this.


  • March 16: Google announces accepted organizations. If OSGeo is accepted as an organization for Google Summer of Code, start talking to us earlier rather than later.
  • March 26: Student applications open. The earlier you start the more probable it is that you will be accepted! There is two way feedback during the application process which really helps you improve and clarify your application before the final deadline. The better your involvement with your potential mentors during this period, the better your chances of being selected.
  • April 6: Student application deadline.
  • April 23: Accepted student proposals are announced.
  • May 21: Coding begins! (you may unofficially start a week or two earlier if you know you'll have to take a week or two off during The Summer or you'll be sitting finals in the first week(s) of the program. This must be reflected in your application timeline)
  • July 13: Mid-term evaluation.
  • August 13: Pencils down!
  • August 24: Final evaluation deadline
  • August 27: Final results announced
  • August 31: Students begin submitting required code samples to Google

The ideas pages

Each participating project's list of ideas is here, with a short description of the project and what type of students would be interested in it:

  • GRASS SoC Ideas: GRASS GIS is an open source GIS focusing mainly on analysis. It is written as a collection of stand-alone C programs and has a new GUI written in Python. If you know Python, or want to implement algorithms in C take a look!
  • Quantum GIS SoC Ideas Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and Windows. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats.
  • uDig Summer of Code: User-friendly Desktop GIS is a Java application written with the Eclipse RCP framework. The project has a community svn area to host student plug-ins, tutorials cover how to package up a custom application to show off your work.

  • OpenRouter/pgRouting 2012 SOC Ideas: OpenRouter/pgRouting is a couple of projects that are building routing and driving direction libraries and applications that can be integrated with other applications.

  • MapServer GSoC Ideas: MapServer is a Web Mapping Engine; an Open Source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications to the web.

  • gvSIG is the free GIS project developed by the gvSIG Association. gvSIG is at this time a group of software developments for Desktop,PDAs and mobile phones. The gvSIG project looks for students with Java skills that want to develop new ideas on any of gvSIG products.

  • PostGIS raster Ideas PostGIS raster is the raster side of PostGIS. It allows to store, manipulate and do analysis of raster data in the PostgreSQL/PostGIS spatial database.

Application Template

(All questions must be answered)



School and degree:



OSGeo project(s):

(please include the name of the member project as part of
 the title, for example: "Gee Whiz Foobar 2001 for QGIS")

Describe your idea
  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. The idea
  4. Project plan (detailed timeline: how do you plan to spend your summer?)
  5. Future ideas / How can your idea be expanded? 

Explain how your SoC task would benefit the OSGeo member
 project and more generally the OSGeo Foundation as a whole:

Please provide details of general computing experience:
 (operating systems you use on a day-to-day basis, languages you
 could write a program in, hardware, networking experience, etc.)

Please provide details of previous GIS experience:

Please provide details of any previous involvement with
 GIS programming and other software programming:

Please tell us why you are interested in GIS and open
 source software:

Please tell us why you are interested in working for OSGeo
 and the software project you have selected:

Please tell us why you are interested in your specific
 coding project:

Would your application contribute to your ongoing studies/
 degree? If so, how?

Please explain how you intend to continue being an active
 member of your project and/or OSGeo AFTER the summer is over:

Do you understand this is a serious commitment, equivalent
 to a full-time paid summer internship or summer job?

What is the main public mailing list for your organization?

Since OSGeo is an umbrella organisation for multiple projects, each project has their own discussion and development mailing lists.

Main OSGeo mailing lists of interest to students.

Please start here, when contacting us for the first time with questions about Google Summer of Code.

Also see the Mailing Lists page for project specific lists.

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

irc:// (Web based IRC client, [ alternative)

Project irc channels:

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