GeoForAll History

From OSGeo
Jump to navigation Jump to search

I, Markus Neteler, move that a "Education and Curriculum Committee" be designated to create and promote educational and curriculum material. The initial committee membership shall include:

  • Puneet Kishor (chair)
  • Ari Jolma (graduate level education MS, PhD; academic research; primary school education)
  • Markus Neteler
  • Venkatesh Raghavan
  • Charlie Schweik (undergraduate and graduate level education; academic research on open source collaboration, public sector information technology, natural resource management)
  • Pericles Nacionales (general training/education materials; conservation and natural resource management)
  • Ned Horning
  • See Education Contributors page for others who are helping/interested

This motion was accepted at the Fifth Board Meeting.


The project aims at creating and promoting educational and curriculum material that supports the goals of the Foundation. The intent is to provide appropriately licensed material that is accessible by a broad audience including academia, professionals, and the general public. Material supported through this project should directly or indirectly build and strengthen the open source geospatial user and developer communities. This can be accomplished by integrating the use of OSGeo endorsed tools in curricula that teach geospatial concepts and applications as well as the creating curricula to teach skills necessary for people to actively participate in supported OSGeo software and data projects. The committee seeks strong cooperation with academic research projects.

The Educational Resources page will list and describe materials, mainly free software and data, for education.

The OSGeo in Research page discusses the research outreach.

The Core Curriculum Project page contains the initial brainstorming data.



  • Don't create a "core curriculum" as OSGEO is not in a position to do so.
  • Don't duplicate NCGIA's effort.
  • Don't promote open source or GIS by itself as there is potential to be misunderstood. Instead, promote the role of open source in GIS.


  • Create free tools in distance learning so students can install the software without any restrictions.
  • Create installation packages for the more difficult to install software.
  • Develop teaching materials (labs, tutorials, datasets) that are aligned with existing curricula.
  • Document connections between the general knowledge and OS technical solutions (e.g., "This skill can be performed with GRASS, this one with mapserver")
  • Get involved in existing initiatives to make sure that they fairly consider open source solutions.
  • Develop an "Intro to open source GIS" course that could be offered as a distance-learning class.
  • Develop pre-prepared curricula utilizing open coursework and tools that could be used by teachers in their own classes.
  • Compile FAQ and their answers.
  • Provide a solid foundation on Geoinformatics technology using OSGEO tools as a means of education and self-learning.
  • Develop a database of education material, so an instructor could make some selections and be presented with a list of materials and links.
  • Promote the role of open source in GIS.

Possibly Do

  • An OSGEO-CE (OSGEO- Certified Engineer). Although, this might conflict with some of the "Don'ts" above, and might be best left alone for The GIS Certification Institute.
  • Develop phased coursework (short, medium, and long term). Once again, how much do we want to seem like we are doing the academia's job?


Several of us felt that that "Core Curriculum" might be confusing. "Education and Outreach" or "Educational Outreach" were deemed more appropriate.

Leave certification to The GIS Certification Institute

Certification is a topic for another OSGeo initiative.


There is overlap between this committee and the Promotion and Visibility Committee and we ought to collaborate with that group in the areas where our aims meet.

We should also promote the use of open geospatial data and should work with the Public Geospatial Data Committee for our data needs.

Link with the Geodata Packaging Working Group to work on educational datasets.

Need input from commercial organizations, such as Geo-Consortium, as some of them may have already developed curriculum material.