Google Summer of Code 2011 Ideas

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see also Google Summer of Code 2010 Ideas

OSGeo Google Summer of Code 2011

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 posted to the soc@osgeo mailing list 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?

These questions BTW are the same as are used in real-work, when developing with the Scrum development process. ;)

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 and blogs

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

Wiki and/or blog space can and will be provided by OSGeo if your project doesn't have anything already set up for this.


  • March 18: Google announces accepted organizations. If OSGeo is accepted as an organization for Google Summer of Code, start talking to us earlier rather than later.
  • April 8: Student application deadline. The earlier you start the more probable it is that you will be accepted! There is two way feedback during the application process which really helps you improve and clarify your application before this final deadline.
  • April 25: Accepted student proposals are announced.
  • May 23: Coding begins!
  • July 11: Mid-term evaluation.
  • August 22: 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!
  • 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.
  • uDig Summer of Code: 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.
  • 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.
  • OpenRouter/pgRouting 2011 SOC Ideas: OpenRouter/pgRouting is a couple of projects that are building routing and driving direction libraries and applications that can be integrated with other applications.
  • OSSIM Py-OSSIM: - ossim-swig-python to generate code to call ossim from python
  • Cartographic Engine project ideas built on Mapnik: Refining much needed high quality hardcopy output tools that encourage collaboration. Built on Mapnik, applications like QGIS, GRASS, MapServer, etc. can output using these features. Focused initially on building specs that support Mapnik as the engine, but that could be applied generally across OSGeo projects as well.
  • GSoC 2010 Ideas: is the new home of the three open source Geospatial BI projects (GeoKettle, GeoMondrian and SOLAPLayers). Geospatial Business Intelligence (BI) tools, such as spatial ETL (Extract, Transform and Load), geo-analytical dashboards and Spatial On-Line Analytical Processing (SOLAP) allow decision-makers to rapidly analyze large amount of data at different levels of time, geography and detail in order to make better decisions.
  • MapWindow GIS: MapWindow will not participate in the Summer of Code 2011. 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.
  • MapServer GSoC Ideas: MapServer is a Web Mapping Engine; an Open Source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications to the web.
  • OSGeo Live is a stack of 35+ of the best GeoSpatial Open Source packages bundled as a LiveDVD and Virtual Machine on top an Xubuntu linux ditribution. There are opportunities to address packaging and cross project quality control through application of systematic testing processes. Through this project, developers will gain a broad understanding of the full GeoSpatial Open Source stack.
  • gvSIG is the free GIS project developed by the gvSIG Association. gvSIG is at this time a group of software developments for Desktop,PDAs and mobile phones.
  • GeoServer is an open source software server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it publishes data from any major spatial data source using open standards.
  • Opticks Ideas: Opticks is an extensible remote sensing and imagery analysis desktop application. It provides a framework to process remote sensing data such as Hyperspectral (HSI), Multispectral (MSI), and Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and video. The application is written in C++ and licensed under LGPL v2.1. Extensions are written using C++ or Python. You can review the available extensions and feature tour to get a better idea of what Opticks can do.
  • PostGIS raster Ideas PostGIS raster is the raster side of PostGIS. It allows to store, manipulate and do analysis of raster data in the PostgreSQL/PostGIS spatial database.

Application Template



School and degree:



OSGeo project(s):

(please include the name of the member project as part of the title, for example: "Gee Whiz Foobar 2001 for QGIS")

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

Explain how your SoC task would benefit the OSGeo member project and more generally the OSGeo Foundation as a whole:

Please provide details of general computing experience:
 (operating systems you use on a day-to-day basis, languages you could write a program in, hardware, networking experience, etc.)

Please provide details of previous GIS experience:

Please provide details of any previous involvement with GIS programming and other software programming:

Please tell us why you are interested in GIS and open source software:

Please tell us why you are interested in working for OSGeo and the software project you have selected:

Please tell us why you are interested in your specific coding project:

Would your application contribute to your ongoing studies/degree? If so, how?

Please explain how you intend to continue being an active member of your project and/or OSGeo AFTER the summer is over:

Do you understand this is a serious commitment, equivalent to a full-time paid summer internship or summer job?

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, [ alternative)

Project irc channels: