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Memorandum of Understanding 2018

This document is a DRAFT: discussions between the OSGeo and AGU Boards are ongoing
The goal is for both parties to sign the MOU at EGU in Vienna in April 2018

Memorandum of Understanding between

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)


  • OSGeo's main focus lies on the fostering of Open geospatial technologies and data resources. This is a cross-cutting topic which affects society as a whole, including industries, education and research on a global level. This approach is compatible with and expands AGU's thrive for Partnerships to enable coproduction connecting geoscientists to advance societal priorities by connecting with decision-makers.
  • The paradigm change towards the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoprable, Reusable) and Open Science has been affecting the geosciences already for a while. After an initial growth phase, this trend is now reaching critical mass within the Earth Sciences (Enabling FAIR project, led by AGU)
  • OSGeo's stable and healthy ecosystem can assist early career scientists facing many challenges and learning curves as they are introduced to Open geospatial.
  • OSGeo has already been using EGU to assess the needs/interfaces to the scientific communities in AGU/EGU
  • There is a need to provide advice/leadership to mitigate the insecurities/anxieties about software licenses, in the scientific community
  • OSGeo can help scientists become aware of the ecosystem(s) of available community software projects, which can act as havens for research code.
  • OSGeo is actively working on DOI-based machine-actionable citation, which is important for scientists and researchers referencing and leveraging Open geospatial projects.


The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to establish a collaborative relationship between the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the Amercian Geophysical Union (AGU). Both parties to this MOU share the goal of helping share openly all global geo-information with all communities.

The MOU will cover the following proposals and topics:

  • To formally bridge the geophysical sciences, involving the fundamental areas: atmospheric and ocean sciences, solid-Earth sciences, hydrologic sciences, and space sciences communities, with the open source geospatial communities under the OSGeo umbrella to foster the sharing of expertise to advance societal priorities.
  • To promote and assist the development in geophysical sciences through leveraging Open Source Geospatial software and Open Source Geospatial resources.
  • To promote sustainable Open Science, especially open source software, open datasets and related ressources, according to the FAIR principles under open source and open access licences, especially for early career scientists.
  • To work closely with the initiatives of the OSGeo foundation, especially Open GeoScience and GeoforAll, to help promote openness in education and research.
  • To improve scientific recognition for open software and open resource-related efforts by suitable citation standards and best-practices.
  • To hold joint international workshops and conference sessions on open geo-datasets and Open Source Geospatial software for the geophysical sciences.
  • To share expertise and resources for helpdesks about data and research software during conference events.

Period of Agreement

This MOU will be reviewed biennially by both parties at which time revisions may be made and the agreement renewed.

Signed by



The initial liaisons and their contact data is as follows:

Primary OSGeo Liaison

Peter Löwe, Co-Chair of OSGeo Open Geoscience Committee, ploewe AT

Secondary OSGeo Liaison

Jeff McKenna, OSGeo President Emeritus, jmckenna AT

Primary AGU Liaison

Brooks Hanson, Senior Vice President, bhanson AT