Prof. Chen Jun (ISPRS President), Jeff McKenna (OSGeo President) and Prof. Georg Gartner (ICA President) during their meeting at AfricaGEO in Cape Town in July 2014 to discuss future collaboration for GeoforAll
In order to direct the development of this initiative an Advisory Board has been found, co-chaired by the Presidents of ICA (Georg Gartner) and OSGeo (Jeff McKenna). Due to the inclusive character of this initiative and a strong interest being expressed several times from the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) is now joining this initiative.
We are looking forward to working together in our common aim to expand geospatial education and opportunities to all.
Thorben Brigsted Hansen, EuroSDR President, and Georg Gartner, President of ICA, signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations
At the ICC 2013 in Dresden, Germany, a Memorandum of Understanding between ICA and EuroSDR (the European spatial data research platform for National Mapping and Cadastre Agencies) was signed by EuroSDR President Thorben Brigsted Hansen and ICA President Georg Gartner.
With this the already exisiting several cooperations between ICA and EuroSDR get a renewed and stronger framework.
After discussing with our lab members, I am pleased to inform that we now have the official name and also a short acronym for our network of Open Source geospatial laboratories: ICA-OSGeo Lab Network is the official title of the network and OSGL as the acronym to be used for the url, domain name, etc.
The official full title highlights and brings together two communities – the ICA and the OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial Foundation) – in our common aim to support the establishment of Open Source Geospatial Laboratories and Research Centers across the world for supporting development of open-source geospatial software technologies, training and expertise. We started establishing the network of labs globally with the ICA-OSGeo MoU initiative.
Individual labs (those already established and those in future) are free to select the names they wish. For example, the lab at UNMC is called Open-source Geospatial Research Lab, at NCSU it is OSGeo Research and Education Laboratory (OSGeoREL), it is Open Source Geospatial Lab in Newcastle University, etc. That will also give individual nodes the flexibility to select the name for their lab that they want under a joint lab network umbrella.
Cartographers apply mapping technologies to map lands. Hydrographers apply mapping technologies to map the seas. It is obvious, that both have a lot in common. It is not only the technologies they are sharing but also the methodologies , the theories and the principles of design, cartographic modeling and media adequate representation techniques.
When looking at famous mariners and explorers like for instance Captain James Cook one can learn, that those mariners have not only managed on how to sail a ship successfully but have also been excellent cartographers. Cook’s maps of the St. Lawrence River System have been used for decades!
It is therefore not a big surprise that the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), the international body of hydrographic offices all over the world being in charge on producing navigational charts and the International Cartographic Association have renewed their memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently. With the friendly support of the new elected president of IHO Captain Robert Ward the signing of the MoU was placed prominently at the opening of the Hydrographic Conference in Monaco 2012. Under personal patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco and the EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki the MoU got a more then appropriate audience.
What is needed most to fill this cooperation with life? I see three major aspects: Hydrographers are eager to understand, if their usage of electronic displays leads to efficient cartographic communication processes. Furthermore, the topics of standardization, portrayal and SDI are of importance to both communities. And finally, both organizations are interested in contributing to capacity building and outreach programs. What’s the point in not having joined efforts in this respect when applicable, like e.g. in a small island where the capacity of mapping and hydrographic offices are restricted anyhow?
I would be most pleased, if ICA can become a home for the cartographers of the sea as well. And I would welcome it very much, if the ICA community comes up with ideas and actions on joined efforts.
Professor Georg Gartner (left), President of ICA and Arnulf Christl, President of OSGeo shake hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of developing on a global basis collaboration opportunities for academia, industry and government organizations in open source GIS software and data. The MoU aims to provide expertise and support for the establishment of Open Source Geospatial Laboratories and Research Centres across the world for supporting development of open-source geospatial software technologies, training and expertise. In the first phase five laboratories will be established, one each in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australasia which will act as nodes for future expansion. It also aims to provide support for building-up and supporting development of open source GIS teaching and training materials, joint organization of open source GIS events, workshops through the ICA network for wider participation globally etc.
Professor Georg Gartner, President of the ICA, said “The International Cartographic Association (ICA) is committed to supporting society and governments by collaboratively facilitating initiatives and programmes that establish and grow the capacity to deliver timely, comprehensive and useful geospatial information. This MoU responds to the challenges and issues related to the use of open source cartographic and GI software and data. In considering this response, it is pertinent to note that ICA is interested in contributing to this initiative, and will champion the advancement of the initiative through their various individual and collaborative efforts.”
Arnulf Christl, President of OSGeo, said “The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) is committed to support and build the highest level Open Source geospatial technology. It is our pleasure to be able to serve as a platform and multiplier for the cartographic domain, an area which needs creativity beyond pure technology. This MoU intends to bridge the gap between technology and cartographic requirements and we very much look forward to work with members of the International Cartographic Association to improve this. A very much hands-on objective of this MoU is to jointly organize walk-in events where cartographic professionals can access and use a set of software unencumbered by proprietary restrictions and vendor lock-in.Both organizations are also interested in supporting young academics by lowering the barrier to good cartography through collaborative efforts on both sides.”
Dr Suchith Anand, Chair of ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies welcomed this excellent initiative and said “this will be landmark opportunity for both OSGeo and ICA in building up synergies and bringing opportunities for lots of people worldwide to learn and benefit from geospatial technologies especially in developing countries. This will build upon the Open Source Geospatial Lab UK initiative started at the University of Nottingham. We are also pleased to announce that Open Source Geospatial Lab Malaysia is now being established by Dr. Tuong Thuy Vu. We are pleased to see many Universities are rapidly following this example (such as University of Girona in Spain). Over the next few months we will be building collaborations with key Universities and research organisations worldwide for the establishment of Open Source Geospatial Research Laboratories and Research Centres for development of open-source geospatial software technologies, training, expertise and building up momentum in Open Source GIS education and research worldwide.”
OSGeo is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2006 whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data.
ICA is the world authoritative body for cartography, the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps.