Google Summer of Code 2009 Ideas

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OSGeo Google Summer of Code 2009

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

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 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?

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

In addition to weekly reports we ask you to maintain a wiki 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.


  • March 18th 2009: Google announces accepted organisations. If OSGeo is accepted as an organization for Google Summer of Code, start talking to us earlier rather than later.
  • April 3rd 2009: Student application deadline. The earlier you start the more probable it is that you will be accepted!
  • April 20th 2009: Accepted student proposals are announced.
  • May 23rd 2009: Coding begins!
  • July 6th - July 13th: Mid-term evaluation.
  • August 10th: Pencils down!

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:

  • GDAL SoC Ideas: GDAL is the Geographic Data Abstraction Library, a library which provides access to spatial data in all kinds of formats via a uniform API.
  • 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!
  • Mapbender SoC ideas 2009: Mapbender is a server and client side geographic data management tool, programmed in PHP and JavaScript, using the jQuery library.
  • 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.
  • MapServer 2009 SOC Ideas
  • Laval University 2009 SoC ideas: Based on OpenLayers and other relevant software from OSGeo, this project aims at designing and developing a tool to produce rich and interactive geo-analytical dashboards. Such dashboards will serve as a front end for a range of Spatial OLAP technologies to better support decision makers, managers, etc. in making informed decisions.
  • GeoServer SoC 2009: GeoServer supports Web Map Server, Web Feature Server and Web Coverage Service protocols. It makes spatial information available in a range of formats from GeoTIFF to KML. The application is Java EE based, making use of Spring to wire everything up. The application supports a plug-in system so student contributions can me distributed as they are ready.
  • GeoTools SoC 2009: GeoTools is a Java toolkit for working with spatial data, it covers everything from bits on disk to rendering. It provides client code for WFS, WMS and supports a range of data sources like shapefile and PostGIS. The library is used by a lot of the Java applications on this page. The library has a plug-in system so students work can be distributed via maven as they are ready.
  • uDig SoC 2009: 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.
  • OSSIM 2009 SOC Ideas: OSSIM provides advanced geo-spatial image processing for remote sensing, photogrammetry, and Geographic Information Systems. There are various opportunities to improve existing components or implement new functionality.
  • OpenJUMP/deegree Ideas List: deegree and OpenJUMP share code derived from the original JUMP. Both programs maintain separate development lists and source code repositories but look for opportunities to collaborate.
  • OSGeo Cartographic Library: A cross-project effort to define a cartography output specification, and ideally, to create an example engine or set of scripts to produce high quality printable output. Then other projects can export to this standard and share in the benefit of a common engine.
  • OpenGeocoder 2009 SOC Ideas: We are trying to focus our development efforts on PAGC that uses statistical record match and fuzzy searches. We are refactoring this code to make it more modular and reusable. We want to extend it with support for countries other than North America. We are also interested in making it OpenLS compatible for the geocoding components.
  • OpenRouter 2009 SOC Ideas: OpenRouter is an attempt to work towards creation of open source software providing routing capability. Open source projects such as pgRouting already provide routing and network analysis. There are various opportunities to improve existing components or implement new functionality.
  • gvSIG 2009 SOC Ideas: gvSIG is a complete GIS desktop and mobile software, promoted by the Valencian Government (Spain), written mainly in Java. gvSIG is highly modular so, if you have an idea you can build your own extension and improve gvSIG features.
  • MapWindow GIS: MapWindow is a free, extensible, geographic information system (GIS) that can be used as an alternative desktop GIS, to distribute data to others, to develop and distribute custom spatial data analyses, written in .NET (C++, C#, VB.NET). If you're a talented VB.Net, C#, or C++ programmer, you could be the perfect fit to work on this project. We have a couple of ideas that could be done over the summer; feel free to suggest your own ideas or plug-ins as well.

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)

Project irc channels: