Academic Network

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Brainstorming page - not official

The goals of the OSGeo (International) Academic Network would be primarily collaboration, to:

  1. Provide a unified academic body for OSGeo to turn to for more official perspectives and roles.
  2. Allow OSGeo focused students, interns, and institutions to find opportunities to work together.
  3. Help each other find research funding opportunities and grants by working together.
  4. Maintain a comprehensive list of contact persons in various regions for rollout of ideas. (more than just a mailing list!)
  5. Receive and direct the use of funding. There would be a fee to join the network, with some of that funding going back to fund activities - e.g. scholarships, research, writing, events.
  6. Give a more unified presence for OSGeo Academics at major events - e.g. AAG, ICA ...
  7. Identify the best opportunities for using marketing funds at academic events.
  8. Help host and run regular, regionally focus, workshops, events and education sprints.
  9. Coordinate with the OSGeo Journal to have special editions, move toward collective needs.
  10. Show the world that OSGeo is organised and pursuing academic initiatives.

All this would build on the idea of the Education Committee but act more like a formal Project within OSGeo rather than just a discussion place.

More background on the Talk:Academic Network page.


Institutions showing interest

  • Tyler Mitchell, OSGeo, coordinating discussion
  1. Charlie Schweik, University of Massachusetts, USA
  2. Ari Jolma, Aalto University, Finland
  3. Suchith Anand, University of Nottingham, UK
  4. Lluís Vicens, SIGTE-University of Girona, Spain
  5. Maria Brovelli, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  6. Rafael Moreno, University of Colorado Denver, USA
  7. David Percy, Portland State University, USA
  8. Massimiliano Cannata,SUPSI, Switzerland
  9. Venkatesh Raghavan,OCU, Japan,
  10. Helena Mitasova, North Carolina State University, USA
  11. Thierry Badard, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
  • ICA and ISPRS - several above members on their working groups too

Collaboration Agreement

Brainstorming - not official


Open source geospatial applications and projects can greatly contribute to effective education within post-secondary institutions. Likewise, institutions are able to help raise awareness of the open source geospatial options that are freely available. A successful Academic (or "Education"?) Network would see increased uptake of OSGeo technology and a strengthening of education outcomes for students by seeing them broaden their professional toolkits.


To draw academic institutions together as partners, under OSGeo's umbrella, with the goal of mutual support and encouragement while implementing collective programs and initiatives.

Values & Assumptions

Representatives of OSGeo and each partnering institution agree that:

  1. Open source geospatial software serves an important part of post-secondary geographical (better terms here?) education
  2. OSGeo's Academic Network is a central meeting place for like-minded institutions interested in promoting open soure geospatial software.
  3. There are opportunities for further research, development and training in this field


The Academic Network is structured as a formal group of engaged institutional representatives working alongside OSGeo staff, directors and volunteers. The group is led by an elected Chairperson and decision-making occurs through consensus of all participants. A subset of internal or external representatives may be established as an Advisory Board.


  • Chairperson - calls, plans, and chairs meetings, raises discussion topics and is the primary contact back to the OSGeo Board and Members
  • Participants - join discussions, seek opportunities to collaborate on goals, represent their Institutions in decision-making
  • Institutional Representative - Participants act to represent their Institution. Where there are more than one Participants from an Institution, one of those Participants will be identified as the primary Institutional Representative. This delegation only applies in the Decision-Making Processess. (make sense?)
  • OSGeo Representative - OSGeo executive rep, bring questions to the group, support chair and participants, report back to OSGeo board, signs MOUs, drafts policy as required
  • Professors, teachers, researchers, students, other associations - While not formally part of the Network, they are the target group for many Network projects. They interact with the institutions that are part of the Network, through their Participant-led events and initiatives.
  • Communication Office - needed? more in Communication Plan section


Primary communication occurs through mailing list discussions and teleconference. Semi-annual face-to-face meetings occur. Face-to-face meetings may also include teleconference and mailing list discussions to make it accessible to more Participants.

Confidentiality Expectations

As the Network is aimed at public interaction, its work and initiatives will be public facing. At some times there may be need for non-public discussions, e.g. sensitive internal institutional policies. These rare discussions occur on a private list.

Decision-Making Processes

(needs work)

  • All Participants are involved in decision-making and may propose new initiatives at any time.
  • The Chair ensures that proposals are framed in a consistent manner.
  • Proposals must be circulated for at least 10 days to ensure input and discussion are possible. Decisions may happen quicker if all Participants respond in less than 10 days.
  • Participants each carry one vote on behalf of their Institution. Where there are more than one Participants from an Institution, one of those Participants will be identified as the primary Institutional Representative. (need process for identifying the first engaged person from an Institution)
  • Proposals are approved by majority of the Participants voting in favour.
  • Negative votes require an explanation by the voter, with mention of what is required to change their vote (we don't want mysterious or ambivalent NO votes, is this the best way?)
  • Voting occurs after general discussion has occurred.
  • more...?

Conflict Resolution

  • Conflicts are reported to the Chair, if sensitive, or generally to the Participants if not sensitive.
  • Chair investigates the conflict and discusses potential for resolution between conflicting Participants, or with all Participants if it involves more than two people.
  • ...

Communication Plan

... how the Network communicates news, announcements, more.

Initiatives & Goals

.. annual process for reviewing, identifying, and refining goals and primary initiatives