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The mission of the Scottish Chapter broadly follows the general OSGeo Mission, with emphasis on the following areas:

OSGeo-Scotland establishes a focal point for liaison, outreach, and technical interests within Scotland for the promotion, adoption and use of Open Source Geospatial software and aims to contribute to the technical development of such software and to foster the growth of a Scottish pool of technical skills and knowledge i.e. development & consultancy capacities within the regional GI economy.

In addition we would like to work towards the following:

  • A fully-featured open access Scottish SDI
  • Assisting the UK Chapter someday hosting the FOSS4G conference in the UK


Legislative and cultural distinctiveness with other parts of the UK mean that the Scottish Chapter acts as a central focus for issues that have special resonance to a devolved Scotland within the wider UK setting. This distinctiveness is manifest in e.g. :

  • the devolved Scottish government has it's own GI Strategy and budget for its' implementation and is facing real issues that could mutually benefit from OS geospatial solutions.
  • there has historically been significant and active academic, private & public GI communities in Scotland that are well connected with the global GI community.
  • Geographically therefore OSGeo Scotland would be better placed to serve the local needs and requirements of Scotland than a UK Chapter- a fact already appreciated by the fostering of regional groupings within the Association for Geographic Information (AGI). Logistically too, events and face to face meetings are more inclusive and accessible for a local audience if based in Scotland as travel costs to English/London based events can pose a significant opportunity cost for individuals participation.


OSGeo Scotland has the following objectives:

  • Act as advocate for best of breed Open geospatial Software
  • Promote usage via coordination of effort, including technical development efforts
  • Illustrate via exemplars and case studies that are pertinent and relevant to a Scottish audience
  • Engender and foster a self-help community within Scotland
  • Hold regular face to face meetings supplemented by an active mailing list
  • Conduct events for the purposes of Networking and Outreach opportunities
  • Promote a User to User support and mentoring culture
  • Act as a conduit for the dissemination of appropriate Job Opportunities
  • To develop and maintain relevant Localised Documentation and Training Data Sets Supporting Regional OSGEO projects and Events

Links to Case Studies

Please add any appropriate links here

  • City of Munich move to a completely open source software solution (pdf)
  • Interview with CIO of Oxford Archaeology on the move towards open source [1]
  • Not strictly a Case Study, but a useful discussion on the differences between Open Source Business Models in Europe and the US [2]
  • Actuate Annual Open Source Survey 2008 shows open source is entering the business mainstream in both Europe and the US [3]
  • PostGIS case studies from refractions are always worth a look [4] one of which is from the UK :)
  • - Bicycle routing for NYC using the osgeo stack + postgis/pgrouting [5]
  • MapServer powered WMS showing Geological maps of the UK from British Geological Survey [6]
  • OSGeo Scotland case studies [7]

Publicly Available Geodata

In progress- please contact the mailing list if you have any legitimate free sources of geospatial data that you would like to include

Public Geodata for the UK

Also check the CKAN pages for geodata sources- mainly global but some UK

Mailing List

Discussion list:

Meetings and Events

One really useful role of a Scotland OSGeo chapter would be as a focal point for organising meetings - evening presentation sessions or short seminars with Q and A afterwards.

Recent Events

21st November 2008: Initial meetup at the University of Edinburgh's workshopseries. This meeting was held with the objective of ascertaining the level of interest in establishing an offical local Chapter. Sixteen people attended and provided their contact details with a view to establishing a more active self-help local OSS network.

25th November 2008: After much waiting the UK's GI Location Strategy has been published. Note Ed's comment on this is quite amusing..

Forthcoming Events

First Open Source GIS UK Conference - 22 June 2009 [8]

Workshop announcement: Business and Sustainability Models Around Free and Open Source Software

OpenStreetmap also have regular UK mapping parties in different cities

Don't forget to sign the Inspire petition -and tell your friends too - you don't have to use geo-data to believe that publically funded work should be public property!


Sign up here to show interest! Also join the mailing list so we can be in touch directly.

Create an account using the menu at the very top-right of this page; then simply edit this page to add your details here.

Local Contact

James S Reid University of Edinburgh


See Also

Free GIS - all thats wholesome in the world of FOSS!

Useful Links UK

Neo vs paleo A tag cloud from (and for) the geowankers...

One for the GPS and DSLR enthusiast. Personally, I'd prefer a price reduction on panoheads...

News Items of interest

Techcrunch article on OSM growth

Podcast on 'Three Paths to Open Source Geospatial'

Guardian article on Open Source in UK gov