Google Summer of Code Application 2009

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Link ID


Group Name (required)

OSGeo - Open Source Geospatial Foundation

Home Page URL (required)

Public Email (required)

Description (required)

OSGeo is an incorporated not-for-profit organization serving as an umbrella organization for the Open Source Geospatial community in general, and 14 projects in particular.

Why is your group applying to participate? What do you hope to gain by participating? (required)

We hope to get more students involved in open source geospatial development to grow the development community, and to advance particular projects. Additionally we hope to spread the word of open source GIS in the universities.

What is the main public mailing list for your group? (required)

Where is the main IRC channel for your group? (required)

What criteria do you use to select the members of your group? Please be as specific as possible. (required)

Mentors are selected by project steering committees based on their reputation as skilled developers, previously demonstrated ability to support new project developers, and stated willingness to devote time to the mentoring process. We also try and match up up a student working on raster processing with a leader of a raster processing module.

Has your group participated previously? If so, please summarize your involvement and any past successes and failures.

OSGeo participated in GSoC in 2008. Eleven OSGeo projects participated and were in general very successful. OSGeo didn't send delegates to the Mentor Summit due to the busy schedules of the mentors. See for a full report.

OSGeo participated in GSoC in 2007. Six OSGeo projects participated and were generally very successful. OSGeo also sent one delegate to the Mentor Summit in 2007. See for a full report.

OSGeo was formed in early 2006 and hadn't participated in GSoC before 2007. However, Refractions Research did participate in 2006 on behalf of the GeoTools, uDig, and PostGIS projects which now participate through OSGeo. Most of the the previously participating mentors and administrators are involved in this years OSGeo GSoC effort.

What license does your organization use? (required)


What is the URL to the ideas list of your organization? (required)

What is the main development mailing list for your group? (required)

What is the application template you would like contributors to your organization to use. (required)



School and degree:



OSGeo project(s):


Describe your idea

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. The idea
  4. Project plan (how do you plan to spend your summer?)
  5. Future ideas

Explain how your project would benefit the OSGeo project and OSGeo

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing contributors? (required)

In order to minimize the chance of disappearing students we will ensure that the OSGeo administrative contact and the mentors have full contact information (email, home phone, etc) so that we can keep in touch with them at all times. We also stress to our students that this is a Job, as opposed to a school project.

In addition, we will make our reporting requirements clear up front. Letting the students know that we will require weekly progress reports, participation on public IRC channels and mailing lists will all help ensure ongoing commitment to the work.

Other possibilities include:

  1. Having potential students work with their potential mentor to prepare a brief plan for the implementation of their project.
  2. Setting milestones that need to be reached by the student. These milestones would be defined before the student's work begins. A student would subsequently write a brief e-mail informing the appropriate OSGeo or project-specific mailing list when they have reached a milestone, giving a brief description of the work completed to that date.
  3. Selecting students that have shown interest previously in the geospatial field.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing members? (required)

Project steering committees will appoint replacement mentors if existing mentors become unavailable or unresponsive during the project period. Where possible we also plan to have backup mentors for projects so the backup mentor can fill in for, or replace the mentor in case of changing circumstances.

What steps will you take to encourage contributors to interact with your community before, during, and after the program? (required)

The steps taken depend on the individual projects, as example last year we required weekly reports and encouraged the students to interact with us on the project mailinglists and IRC channels

Furthermore the mentors are encouraged to actively involve the students in the community, but having the student interact with the mentor through the community channels rather then directly.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted contributors stick with the project after the program concludes? (required)

The steps taken depend on the individual projects, as example last year many projects asked that students act as a "module maintainer" for their work. This role has an expected level of support associated with it.

Apart from that, we are relying on the open development process and the appreciation that students will receive for implementing these needed features to provide positive feedback for the students. The projects will be encouraging the students to take ownership of their work, and to contribute in other areas they may be interested in. In some cases students may also have opportunities for future contract work if they make a good impression on community members.

Please select your backup group administrator.