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Meetings of India Chapter

  • 4th Oct 2006, Hyderabad

Venue: NRSA, Hyderabad
Duration: 11:00AM to 01:30 PM
Participation:20 members (12 from NRSA)

A tentative agenda was put up by Dr Rajan, OSGEO Advisor. The meeting was initiated with Ravi Kumar explaining the philosophy of OSGEO, and FOSS GIS, by running info on the projector.
There was an open discussion on what the Chapter would like to work on in the months and years ahead. Here is a Summary of the discussions -

  1. Request to all those present to join the mailing list and become members of the OSGeo India Chapter and actively contribute in its activities.
  2. Can the chapter become a platform to promote sharing of the data between different Geodata users. One suggestion was to digitize widely available datasets like tourist maps etc and make it more widely available
  3. Better documentation of not just on the software usage but also its algorithms, to the extent possible. This will primarily help those who want to link up different components of the Open source towards building a operational system. This will help carry these tools from the developers domain to the users domain.
  4. There should be an emphasis on the Development of Tutorials or Training Kits for three different kinds of audiences/users -
    1. Basic installation, setup and fundamentals
    2. Education and Training purposes
    3. for linking with other tools of domain expertise or thematic models
  5. Some amount of standardization of formats and conversion tools
  6. In the Indian context, how can we make it more participatory GIS, so that a wealth of data can be generated from users and supplemented to the current base layers. Can some filters/tools be developed for such efforts
  7. Metadata listing through a kind of a survey of the members in India to draw up a matrix/table of FOSS4G tools/softwares (GRASS, Q-GIS, POSTGIS, GEOtools, etc etc) and the main areas of application - this will be kind of a starting point for anyone to lookup when he starts out or needs help with a certain procedure or thematic application.
  8. Efforts at development of tools that are more suited to the Indian conditions and needs. In the discussions about coding for possible customisation was touched upon by Dr Pandian. He also expressed the problems of different platforms, Ex: Java and other.
  9. Demonstrate in our own ways how OpenSource can help build grassroot level GIS applications and interfaces - this will help increase the interest of other stakeholders.
  10. Free Software Foundation of Andhra Pradesh has agreed to provide support at the developmental level and are now involved in making GRASS available in Telugu
  11. Funding - both direct and indirect (voluntary) sources need to be explored and encouraged, with the primary philosophy being that the development or application will be based on FOSS.
  12. Mapworld Forum - we set up a team of about 4/5 volunteers to coordinate the efforts to this, planning both the logistics and the content for the Booth + Workshop. Some ideas on what can be demonstrated was discussed, both in terms of various FOSS4G tools and its sample applications. NRSA has also agreed to provide some sample datasets for this activity. One suggestion was, if we can ask Sanjay@GISDevelopment for a Keynote Speaker on OSGeo, then can it be possible for having an Indian Speaker to give an overview of the efforts begin here. Neeraj said that since Autodesk is a GoldSponsor of MapWorld, GaryLang will be coming and he might be speaking on OSGeo - not confirmed as yet. Reg. funding from Autodesk India for the booth, there was no commitment as such - we plan to write a letter asking Autodesk and other organisations in India to support us. The consensus was on asking for a 24sq.m booth area, and have about 6systems to demonstrate the activities, including a LCD projector - the costs are being worked out.
  13. Setting up an India based server for the Chapter - Dr.Rajan and Dr.Roy will explore the possibilities at their respective institutions and will report by next meeting.
  14. Next meeting is planned in first half of November. The meeting may be preceded with a few hours of work on setting up demonstrable systems and checking the knowledge levels.

We would like to get the feedback/suggestion/ideas from the members of the community to build on these initial thoughts.

EVENTS of OSGeo India chapter
1) National Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Human Well-Being was organized by Department of Zoology, Osmania University and co-sponsored by SACON Deccan Regional Station, Hyderabad. The conference was held at Osmania University during February 8-10, 2007. SACON conducted a workshop on Wetland Informatics. It was aimed to address some of the issues related to spatial information generation, processing and data base design, dissemination and software development. In this workshop SACON presented Wetlands of India’s website and it's future with the extensive use of FOSS tools.

V.Ravi Kumar, Joint Secretory OSGeo India Chapter presented about the various FOSS4G's GIS software and their use taking the City of Hyderabad as an example. Prof K.S.Rajan, treasurer of OSGeo India chapter also actively participated in the proceedings. P.K.Sinha and A.V.Satya Kumar demonstrated FOSS GIS by showing OpenJUMP and it's userfriendly capabilities in performing vector GIS tasks like onscreen digitization of raster images to shape file with attribution.

2)Society of Geoinformatics Engineering at Anna University, Chennai, conducted a two-day Geohorizon 2007 symposium (16-17 march 2007). There were four participants from OSGeo India chapter two on each day. Sri Neeraj Deekshith of Autodesk India and Santosh Gaekwad of SACON Hyderabad, presented use of Open Source Geospatial software in their organisations. Mr V.Ravi Kumar, Joint Secretary and Mrs Mahalakshmi Narayanan presented 'Open Source GIS Galore', and 'Open Source GIS for web-services' respectively.

Santosh Gaikwad presented the use of GeoSever for internet mapping of Wetlands of india. He delievered the SACON’s experience while studying GeoServer- a open source server for Web-GIS. Use of Udig and GeoServer for publishing vector or raster maps onto web by storing the spatial data into PostGIS was demonstrated.

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