[Open-education] Direct inputs to national policy and Intergovernmental agreements for expanding "Geo for All"

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Sat Jul 25 11:54:17 UTC 2015


I have been contacted by Prof.  Silvana Comboim (Universidade Federal de Paraná ,Brazil)  who is also the new chair of the  ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies on the arrangements for the next ICA Commission meeting on August 27th, 2015 (exact time, room etc will be informed soon) during the  27th International Cartographic Conference (16th General Assembly ) at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The new Terms of Reference for the ICA Commission on Geospatial Technologies is also available at [1]

Silvana has also been working on making local arrangements for the success of Pre-conference workshop on Spatial data infrastructures, standards, open source and open data for geospatial (SDI-Open 2015)  jointly organised by the ICA Commission on Geoinformation Infrastructures and Standards, the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) on 20 and 21 August 2014 at Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in Rio de Janeiro  and the Conference itself http://www.icc2015.org  will be great opportunity to strengthen the “Geo for All” initiative and to reinforce the key projects and research links for the future.

Silvana has shared two key developments:

1 - As part of the International Map Year, they had an Olympics of Cartography organised in Brazil, with almost 700 secondary schools distributed in the whole country. Although it was not specifically open source, we are thinking to use this in next years to publish tutorials and other materials to secondary teachers, because there was an extraordinary response. The map of participants can be accessed at  http://www.olimpiadadecartografia.uff.br/index.php/mapa   and more information can be found in English at http://www.icc2015.org/brazilian-cartographic-olympiad.html

2  There is this call from British and Brazilian government to support researchers that are willing to make joint research with Brazilian institutions at https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/confap-and-uk-academies-launch-new-call-to-support-researchers   We encourage those interested in UK and Brazil universities in Geo4All to participate in this funding bid.

I had the opportunity of participating in the NSDI meetings in Brazil last year and I would like to thank the Ministry of Planning, Government of Brazil for organising this excellent event and also for their kind invitation for keynote presentation where i shared the developments in Open Geospatial Science and Applications and its importance for widening education opportunities, new jobs creation and innovation ecosystems in Geoservices.

I would like to share some of the things i learned from our colleagues in Brazil which i think is relevant to the wider community

1. There are fast paced developments happening in Geospatial domain and it is important the countries should keep updating their Geoinformation policies to reflect this and take advantage of the new opportunities. I am pleased to see countries like Brazil are well tuned to global developments.
2. It is important to have inputs from the academic community and i was pleased to see this bringing together of key people from government and academia to discuss ideas and good practices.
3. Education and Capacity building is key for expanding opportunities.

Having direct inputs to national policy and Intergovernmental agreements are good way to expand "Geo for All" . For example, we have done this with other countries like Australia following the 3rd EU - Australia Research Infrastructure meetings   that i attended in  Canberra.

In the area of sustainable cities, we have agreement to  establish Open Source Geoscience Sustainable Cities  Lab at the University of Melbourne with linked laboratories across Australia and New Zealand, under the ICA-OSGeo Initiative (jointly by INSPIRE, AURIN, ICA-OSGeo).

The Joint European Commission- Australian Government Communique is at

I am sure Silvana will expand these ideas for the future at our next Commission meeting. We are looking forward to building  strong research and teaching collaborations  worldwide in Open Geospatial Science.

Best wishes,


[1] http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2015/05/terms-of-reference-for-the-ica-commission-on-open-source-geospatial-technologies-2015-2019/

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