Special Issue "Open Geospatial Science and Applications"

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A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2015

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Suchith Anand
Chair of ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies, Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, UK
E-Mail: suchithanand76@gmail.com

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thierry Badard
Chairs, ICA Commission on Open source Geospatial Technologies, Centre for Research in Geomatics, Department of Geomatic Sciences, Laval University, Québec, QC, G1K 7P4, Canada
Website: http://geosoa.scg.ulaval.ca/fr/
E-Mail: Thierry.Badard@scg.ulaval.ca

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Behr
Department of Geomatics, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, Schellingstraße 24, D-70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Website: http://gis-management.de/
E-Mail: franz-josef.behr@hft-stuttgart.de

Guest Editor
Prof. Serena Coetzee
Geography Building 3-5, Centre for Geoinformation Science, Department Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa
Website: http://www.up.ac.za/cgis
E-Mail: serena.coetzee@up.ac.za
Phone: +27 12 420 3823
Fax: +27 12 420 6385

Guest Editor
Dr. Luciene Delzari
Universidade Federal do Paraná, Setor de Ciências da Terra - Departamento de Geomática, Caixa Postal 19.001, 81.531-970 Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
E-Mail: luciene@ufpr.br

Guest Editor
Dr. Barend Kobben
Department of GIP, International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), PO Box 6, 7500 AA Enschede, The Netherlands
Website: http://www.itc.nl/resumes/kobben
E-Mail: kobben@itc.nl
Phone: +31 53 4874 253

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last decade has seen a rapid growth in open source geospatial software and open data developments. Building upon the broader progress in open science, the synergies in the developments in open source geospatial software, open data, open standards, open hardware and open access to research publications have been key in accelerating the advancement for open geospatial science and applications. A combination of factors are driving this momentum, including the contributions made by hundreds of developers and the leading role played by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), aiming primarily to support and promote the collaborative development of open source geospatial technologies and data. For the geospatial community this has offered exciting opportunities for expanding both research and education for the future. By combining the potential of free and open GI software, open data, open standards, open access to research publications, open hardware, etc. will enable the creation of a sustainable innovation ecosystem for advancing the discipline and accelerating new discoveries to help solve global cross disciplinary societal challenges from climate change mitigation to sustainable cities.

We invite original research contributions on all aspects of open source geospatial software and its applications, and particularly encourage submissions focusing on the following themes for this Special Issue.

  • The use of open source geospatial software and data, in and for scientific research
  • Academic endeavors to conceptualize, create, assess open source geospatial software and data, and teach such usage.
  • Use of Open Data and Big Data
  • Data quality, software quality
  • Open source implementations
  • Open SDI
  • Community building
  • Assessment of costs and benefits of open source applications and open source business models
  • Architectures and frameworks for open source software and data
  • Teaching geospatial sciences with open source solutions and open data
  • Open Source GIS application use cases: government, participatory GIS, location based services, health, energy, water, climate change, etc.
  • Human computer interfaces and usability in and around Open GI systems

Important Dates

Abstracts Due: 15/08/2014
Approved Abstracts: 10/10/2014 (put as planned papers online)
Manuscripts Due: 30/01/2015
Decision to Authors: 05/04/2015
Final Papers Due: 15/05/2015

We welcome all contributions including case studies, work in progress and demos.

Dr. Suchith Anand
Prof. Thierry Badard
Prof. Franz-Josef Behr
Prof. Serena Coetzee
Dr. Luciene Delzari
Dr. Barend Kobben
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Keywords

  • State of the art developments in Open Source GIS and open data
  • Open Source GIS in education
  • Interoperability and standards: OGC, ISO/TC 211
  • Web processing services
  • Open architectures
  • Open content
  • Open science
  • Case studies of open source implementations
  • Open Source GIS internationalization and localization
  • Using Open Source GIS with proprietary software
  • Transition to Open Source GIS
  • Use of Open Data and Big Data
  • Open SDI
  • Open Source GIS business models
  • Open Source GIS implementation and deployment case studies
  • Sensor web enablement
  • Usability in Open GI systems

Published Papers

No papers have been published in this special issue yet, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: On the Use of Open Source Remotely Sensed Data for Assessing Agricultural Drought: The Case of May Gabat Watershed, Northern Ethiopia
Authors:
E. Okalany 1 and M. C. A. M. Poclava 2
Affiliations:
1 Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture Plot 151/155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus, P.O. Box 16811, Wandegeya, Kampala, Uganda
2
Argentina Institute of Natural Resources and Research, Salta, Argentina
Abstract:
Agricultural drought is the most adverse climate change risk accounting for over 80% losses in biological and agricultural yields worldwide. In the last decade, over 60% losses in agricultural yield and over one million deaths have been caused by drought in Ethiopia.
This study focused on use of open source software and data to assess the susceptibility of May Gabat watershed to agricultural drought. Irrigation water requirement (IWR), Available Water Capacity (AWC), land cover, and ground water levels were used as separate raster layers. IWR was computed as where . Kc was adjusted to Kcadj (for Ks, Kv and Km) as separate raster layers of AWC and land cover. AWC was derived from soil analysis while land cover from Landsat 8 and ground truthing. ETo raster data was downloaded from CGIAR website http://www.cgiar-csi.org/data/global-aridity-and-pet-database while precipitation (P) data was downloaded from worldclim website http://www.worldclim.org/current. Ground water levels were estimated using Topographic Wetness Index (TWI) derived from ASTER DEM using SAGA GIS. The four parameters were reclassed, weighted, and summed as raster layers to derive susceptibility classes.
The whole area suffers from agricultural drought indicated by positive values of IWR with the largest area covering 48% with deficit of 700-800mm/year. 53% of the area has annual AWC between 40-50cm, values less than soil water requirements of the dominant crops in the area. 95% of the study area has TWI values less than 50% of the optimum. Over 90% of the area is heavily terraced, reducing the impact of runoff in the land of very steep slopes. When classified and rated, 52% of the area was less susceptible to agricultural drought while 40% is moderately to highly susceptible. In the 52%, water deficit is countered by deep colluvial soils on low lands with high AWC and TWI farther strengthened by terracing, contour farming, and drought tolerant vegetation. The 40% of the area is dominated by bare and shallow soils on steep slopes.
Keywords
: Agricultural drought; Susceptibility; GIS; Remote sensing; Open source data

Title: QC-SOS—An Open Observation Service for Accessing Quality Control Descriptions of Environmental Data
Authors:
Anusuriya Devaraju 1,*, Simon Jirka 2,†, Ralf Kunkel 1,† and Juergen Sorg 1,†
Affiliations:
1 IBG-3, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich, Germany; E-Mails: a.devaraju@fz-juelich.de; r.kunkel@fz-juelich.de; j.sorg@fz-juelich.de
2
52°North GmbH, Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24, 48155 Muenster, Germany; E-Mail: s.jirka@52north.org
Abstract:
The worldwide Sensor Web comprises observation datasets from diverse sources. Each data provider may gather, process and quality control datasets differently before making them available online. Therefore, communicating these descriptions along with observation data to prospective users is critical. Several Sensor Web projects focus on data quality: some approaches address quality measures and uncertainty of observation data, but lack quality control information. Others partially capture this kind of information or address specific sensing applications. We argue that end-to-end quality control of observation data ranges from the selection and maintenance of instrumentation to the final assessment of data at the product level. Data lineage information providing contextual background concerning quality control is also vital. In the current OGC's Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) framework, it is unclear how these aspects of observation data can be systematically represented and made accessible to users. In this paper, we present QC-SOS—a profile of the SWE’s Sensor Observation Service (SOS) that allows retrieval of sensor observations together with data quality control and lineage descriptions. The service is developed based on open source tools, and currently being used to share observation data from our observatory infrastructure TERENO. We discuss the advantages of deploying such a service from data provider and consumer viewpoints. Enhancements applied to the related open-source developments also are described.
Keywords:
Sensor Web, Sensor Observation Service; Environmental Open Data, TERENO

Title: Prototype of a Web-based Participative Decision Support Platform in Natural Hazards and Risk Management
Authors:
Zar Chi Aye *, Michel Jaboyedoff and Marc-Henri Derron
Affiliations:
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Geopolis, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; E-Mail: zarchi.aye@unil.ch
Abstract:
This paper presents the current state and development of the prototype on a web-GIS (Geographic Information System) based decision support platform in the field of natural hazards and risk management especially for floods and landslides using open-source geospatial software and web technologies. This prototype web platform is based on a three-tier, client-server architecture with the support of boundless (opengeo) framework and its client side software development kit (SDK) environment using customized gxp components and data utility classes. The main purpose of the platform is to assist the experts and stakeholders in the decision-making process for evaluation and selection of different risk reduction alternative scenarios through the active participation approach. It integrates web-GIS interface with decision support tool based on compromise programming approach, and hence, assists to strengthen the collaborative activities and exchange of risk information within the different institutions dealing with risk prevention and management. There are different access rights to the platform depending on the levels of users and their responsibilities in managing the risk. In this paper, the application of the prototype platform will be demonstrated using an example case study site with the discussion of its preliminary user feedback collected from the stakeholders in the region.
Keywords:
web-GIS; decision making; participative decision support system; risk management; natural hazards; compromise programming

Title: WebGIS Open Source of management of experimental data for research in agroecology at INRA
Author:
Julien ANCELIN
Affiliation:
Administrator of Information Systems for INRA (France); E-Mail: julien.ancelin@stlaurent.lusignan.inra.fr
Abstract:
For National Institute for Agricultural Research (fr),Geographic Informations Systems and WebGIS grows. It becomes possible now, in the field and in the office, to access experimental data.
SIGMA (Geographic Information System in Marsh) is a collaborative web-based tool created for capturing and managing spatial data. Designed for experimental farming system testing, it automatically centralizes and preanalyses agroecology data in dynamic maps and is used for multi-criteria analysis. Made with open source tools and adaptable to the needs of each experimental program, SIGMA controls channel acquisition and use of data, for local or external researchers.
Keywords:
French National Institute of Agronomic Research; agroecology; Open Source; Linux; Postgres/Postgis; Qgis; Lizmap; Websig; data aquisition; MCA

Title: Making Planning Open to Citizens: A Discussion of Design Criteria and Implementation of a Social Planning Platform with Open Source Components
Authors:
Stefan Steiniger, Andrew J.S. Hunter, Ebrahim Poorazizi (et al.)
Abstract:
Citizen participation should be an essential part of urban planning processes if the needs of the local population are to be addressed. It will also further the acceptance of private construction projects by residents that live adjacent to and within the neighbourhood of development projects. A complementary form of citizen participation to public planning meetings is to permit citizen engagement via Web 2.0 technologies, which has also the potential to get citizens involved that are usually difficult to reach. Within the PlanYourPlace project we aim at building a social, i.e., participatory, planning platform that allows technology savvy citizens to inform themselves about future and ongoing development projects and to discuss them. In this work we discuss the functional needs of such a platform and later present a prototype with a focus on the city Calgary in Canada. This prototype is built on free and open source software components, including a social network, to enable platform adoption in other locations. We will finally outline a few particular research challenges for the development of such participatory planning platforms.

Title: Spatial Distribution of OpenStreetMap Database Updates
Author:
Silvana Camboim
Affiliation:
Department of Geomatics, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil; E-Mail: silvanacamboim@gmail.com
Abstract:
The integration of user-generated content made  in collaborative environment is been increasingly considered as a valuable input to reference maps, even from official Map Agencies as USGS and Ordnance Survey. In Brazil, decades of lack in investments resulted in a topographic map coverage that is both outdated and unequally distributed along the territory. This paper aims to analyse the spatial distribution of updates of OpenStreetMap through rural and urban areas in the country to understand the patterns of user updates and its correlation with other economic and development variables. This analysis can contribute to generate the knowledge necessary to consider the use of this data as part of reference layer of the National Spatial Database Infrastructure as well to design strategies to encourage user action in specific areas.

Title: A Volunteered Geographic Information Framework to Enable Bottom-Up Disaster Management Platforms
Authors:
M. Ebrahim Poorazizi, Andrew J. S. Hunter
Affiliations:
Department of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary; E-Mails: mepooraz@ucalgary.ca; ahunter@ucalgary.ca
Abstract:
Recent disasters, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, have drawn attention to the potential role of citizens as active information producers, who use location-aware devices such as smartphones to collect geographic information (i.e., geo-tagged text, photos, or videos) and share it through online social media such as Twitter. The use of geographic information created by citizens, known as Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), has four main benefits in disaster management: it significantly decreases the time required to collect crisis information, (ii) it often has comparable accuracy to authoritative sources, (iii) its update and refresh rates are generally very rapid, especially for the affected area, and (iv) as the data is open and freely accessible, crisis mapping platforms can discover, process, and publish them. We present a VGI framework for discovery and use of VGI in disaster management platforms. We developed three components: (i) a VGI brokering module, to provide a standard service interface to retrieve VGI from multiple resources based on spatial, temporal, and quality search parameters, (ii) a VGI quality control component, which employs semantic filtering and cross-referencing techniques to evaluate accuracy and credibility of VGI, and (iii) a VGI publisher module, which uses a service-based delivery mechanism to disseminate VGI. As a proof of concept, we employed a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) strategy, open standards/specifications, and free/open data to implement a prototype application. This framework can facilitate discovery and use of up-to-date crisis information to support disaster management activities in different phases, to make informed policy choices that could save lives, meet basic humanitarian needs earlier, and limit environmental and economic damage.

Title: Conception and Implementation of an OGC-Compliant Sensor Observation Service for a Standardized Access to Raster Data
Author:
Juergen Sorg
Abstract:
The target of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is interoperability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which means creating opportunities to access geodata in a consistent, standardized way. In the domain of sensor data, the target will be picked up within the OGC Sensor Web Enablement Initiative and especially reached through the Sensor Observation Service (SOS) specification. This one defines a service for a standardized access to time series data and is usually used for in-situ sensors (like discharge gauges, climate stations). Although the specification considers raster data, no implementation of the standard for raster data exists presently. In this paper an OGC-compliant Sensor Observation Service for a standardized access to raster data is described. Our reference implementation extends the open source SOS implementation for in-situ sensors developed by 52°North company (http://52north.org/communities/sensorweb/sos/). A data model was developed, which enables an effective storage of the raster data with the corresponding metadata in an open source database (PostgreSQL/PostGIS), reading this data in an efficient way and encoding it with result formats that the SOS-specification provides.

Title: Open Source Geospatial Visual Analytics and Decision Technologies
Authors:
Sergio Rey *, Luc Anselin, Xun Li, Robert Pahle, Julia Koschinsky
Affiliations:
GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University; E-Mails: Luc.Anselin@asu.edu; Xun.Li@asu.edu; Robert.Pahle@asu.edu; julia.koshinsky@asu.edu
Abstract:
Live data streams and dashboard systems to visualize patterns of these streams are not only characterizing new technological infrastructures in smart cities but are becoming more common in many urban areas (Batty et al. 2012). In this context, an opportunity exists to supplement client-side closed-box desktop solutions for spatial data analysis with more modular and expandable spatial analytic software libraries. These can be flexibly integrated with live data streams, visualization libraries and decision support tools to be part of end-to-end solutions from data to analysis and visualization to generate evidence-based insights in near real-time. Further, as more open government data are released regularly in machine-readable formats there is a need for open analytics, including spatial analytics, to make sense of patterns in these increasingly larger datasets. The lack of license fees enables analysts in public, non-profit and educational institutions who are already utilizing open data to employ more powerful analytics. Finally, by making the implementation of spatial methods transparent, open spatial tools are part of the larger movement toward open science (Rey 2014). In this paper we present one recently example of such open spatial analytics, the free and open source Python-based Spatial Analysis Library (PySAL) developed at the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation. Several examples of flexible delivery formats of PySAL are discussed that include desktop programs (stand-alone and plug-in) and webbased applications (web services, web-based spatial data management, and the Complex Systems Framework (CSF) decision support system.

Title: Open Source GIS Technologies in Meteorology: A Case Study
Authors:
Roberto Santos, Fabio Sato
Abstract:
A number of meteorological systems have a strong spatial aspect and many of these systems have maps as their main product. Since the beginning of the open source initiative in the GIS field, many of the motivations were related direct or indirect with demands from Environment or Meteorology fields. In this paper, the authors present the experience of the Simepar, a meteorological service in the south of Brazil, which migrated most of its computational environment from proprietary GIS software to open source technologies. It is discussed the strategy utilised in the migration process, the change of paradigm from product to service in many of the systems and how open source GIS technologies were integrated with other open source technologies such as NoSQL databases and mobile.

Title: Spatial ecological complexity measures in GRASS GIS
Authors:
Duccio Rocchini 1,*, Markus Metz 1, Martin Landa 2, Anna Petrasova 3, Vaclav Petras 3, Luca Delucchi 1, Markus Neteler 1
Affiliations:
1 Fondazione Edmund Mach, Research and Innovation Centre, Department of Biodiversity and Molecular Ecology, Via E. Mach 1, 38010 S. Michele allAdige (TN), Italy
2
Department of Mapping and Cartography and Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Abstract:
Many geospatial tools have been advocated in spatial ecology to estimate ecosystem complexity and its changes over space and time. Such information is essential for a number of ecological tasks. For example it has been demonstrated that an increase in ecological complexity is directly related to the increase in species diversity over space. Hence, measuring ecological complexity over space becomes crucial in macroecology and geography. Finding free and open source ways to measure complexity is essential to guarantee the robustness of the used algorithms and allow their reproducibility. In this paper we will summarize the most straightforward measures of spatial complexity available in the Free and Open Source Software GRASS GIS, and relate them to the potential estimate of important ecological patterns and processes.
Keywords:
Free and Open Source Software; remote sensing; spatial complexity; spatial ecology

 

Education/Academic

Title: Educating 21st Century Geospatial Technology Industry Workers with Open Source Software
Authors:
Phillip Davis
Abstract:
This report describes an effort in the US to increase the use of FOSS4G software in colleges and universities through the development of a new innovative geospatial curriculum built around open source software.
Keywords:
Curriculum; open source; FOSS4G; education; university; college; QGIS; GTCM

Title: Future-Saving the Audiovisual Heritage of the FOSS Communities
Authors:
Peter Löwe, Margret Plank
Affiliations:
TIB Hannover, Welfengarten 1b, 10367 Hannover, Germany; E-Mails: peter.loewe@gmx.de (P.L.); margret.plank@tib.uni-hannover.de (M.P.)
Abstract:
Web 2.0 video portals such as Youtube.com are being actively used by the FOSS geospatial communities to share task oriented solutions. This augments and transcends the established role of text-based software manuals and Wikis for users and developers.
The platforms currently in use lack advanced query mechanisms, citation capabilities to provide scientific credit to the authors and long term content preservation.
This paper introduces alternative approaches currently developed by the research library community to overcome the existing bottlenecks and to provide reliable long term knowledge preservation.
The benefits are demonstrated by examples from the GRASS GIS community spanning over 20 years of FOSS geospatial heritage.

Title: Open Geospatial Education
Authors:
Josef Strobl 1, Mariana Belgiu 1* and Gudrun Wallentin
Affiliations:
Department of Geoinformatics–Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Schillerstrasse 30, 5020 Salzburg, Austria; E-Mails: josef.strobl@sbg.ac.at, gudrun.wallentin@sbg.ac.at
Abstract:
The advances in open data, free and open source software solutions and open access to research publications have influenced the emergence of the open educational resources initiative. This initiative permits access to openly licensed learning resources including courses, webinars, training materials and textbooks. Thereby, an increasing number of users has the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and gain new skills. The goal of this paper is to evaluate open education in the geospatial domain and its synergies with open spatial data and software. The advantages, challenges and business models of open geospatial education will be thoroughly discussed.

Title: From School to Industry: Relevance of Open Source GIS Software to Teaching for the Needs of Job Market
Authors:
Hector Mongi, Gilbert Gilbert and Christina Muro
Affiliations:
Department of Information Systems, School of Informatics, College of Informatics and Virtual Education, The University of Dodoma, P. O. Box 490, Dodoma, Tanzania
Abstract:
The ecosystem of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is changing very fast with increased number of skilled people, new and innovative hardware, cost effective and user friendly software solutions, sophisticated and accommodating procedures, and large and accessible quantity of data. In an ideal situation academic institutions are expected to be in the front lines in supplying the components that GIS industry needs. However, in developing countries such capacity is impaired by inadequate resources for regular curricula review. This study evaluates the extent to which teaching GIS with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) meets the existing needs of job markets in a developing country context. It blends secondary data obtained from market opportunity surveys in developing countries with primary data collected from more than 200 alumni of Information Systems major between 2010 and 2013. Respondent alumni were drawn from different sectors and from various institutions in Tanzania. Primary data were collected through online survey instruments, forum discussions and key informant interviews using mobile phone. Secondary data were collected through review of existing literature and data repositories. Qualitative data collected were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while qualitative data were analyzed using Nvivo Package. Provisional results of data analysis indicate that despite potential of FOSS-based GIS and associated teaching process, the GIS industry still, on great extent, relies on proprietary software. This calls for more awareness creation among industry that could be led by emerging army of FOSS-based GIS experts and users in developing countries.
Keywords:
Relevance; Open Source GIS Software; Proprietary GIS Software; Teaching; Job Market

Title: Integrating open source solutions into geospatial science education
Authors:
Vaclav Petras, Anna Petrasova, Brendan Harmon, Ross Meentemeyer, Helena Mitasova
Abstract:
While the knowledge of open source software becomes increasingly important in geospatial research and industry, universities generally do not reflect such need in their geospatial programs. Here we present an example of incorporating open source into geospatial education at North Carolina State University. Since 2008 graduate students have the opportunity to take a course on geospatial modeling and analysis taught with both open source and proprietary software. In this course students can compare how similar geospatial tasks are performed in proprietary ArcGIS and open source GRASS GIS. Such teaching model gives the students the opportunity to improve their knowledge of software they already know and at the same time challenges them with different software which uses similar but not identical approach. Our goal is to ensure that students can easier distinguish between GIS concepts and specifics of GIS software, become true experts in GIS, not in particular software, and become more flexible when choosing solutions for their own tasks in the future. In this article, we will share our experience based on many years of running this course and develop ideas for further improvements in engaging students with open source GIS community. We will also discuss how we plan to update and improve our publicly available teaching materials and data to be more attractive for students and easily reusable for teachers, self-learners and other members of GIS community.

Theoretical

Title: Opengeoscience: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Increased Open Data Provision
Author:
Patrick D. Bell
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey
Abstract:
The information world is on the move. Rapidly developing web and communications technologies are making geospatial data much more accessible to a new generation of environmentally-aware users. Smartphones, tablets, GPS technologies and innovative web services are combining to enable providers of geospatial data, like the British Geological Survey (BGS), to deliver user-centric, relevant and current data wherever and whenever users need them.
Since 2009, OpenGeoscience has offered free online access to a portfolio of BGS apps, maps, web services and data under the Open Government Licence for research, education and business use.
Available resources include digital geological mapping for the whole of Great Britain at 1:50,000 scale, over one million scanned borehole records (ranging from one metre to several thousand metres deep) from all forms of drilling and site investigation work, 50,000 images from its extensive collection of photographs of geological interest, access to many of its databases such as the rock classification scheme and lexicon of named rock units, an open archive of academic papers and research reports and software downloads such as the BGS digital field data capture system.
Information is made available in many formats. Data downloads in common GIS formats (ESRI and MapInfo formats) are provided as well as KML files for visualisation in GeoBrowsers such as GoogleEarth. Interactive online map visualisation tools are made available, as well as smartphone apps such as iGeology which enable over 200,000 people to carry around the geology of the UK at street-level scale in their back pocket.
Underpinning these visualisation and download tools are freely accessible web services following a range of open standards and formats (OGC, REST, linked data). Providing information in flexible and interoperable formats enables users to combine the data in their own systems with their own information. Developing these ‘mashups’ helps to free BGS’ data, making vast data assets available, usable and relevant to a whole new audience of users.
This paper will explain the strategic framework for knowledge exchange within the BGS and how OpenGeoscience fits into a balanced ‘Freemium’ model for information delivery. It will discuss the user community for OpenGeoscience and how the service is meeting their needs. It will attempt to assess what the impact has been of releasing greater amounts of data and information under an open use licence and what the cost and benefit implications have been for BGS.
OpenGeoscience is available at www.bgs.ac.uk/opengeoscience

Title: An Assessment of the Usage of Free and Open Source Geospatial Software in Spatial Data Infrastructures in Africa
Authors:
Wiafe Owusu-Banahene 1,2,*, Victoria Rautenbach 2
Affiliations:
1 Centre for Geoinformation Science, Dep artment of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Geography Building 3-5, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa Emails: banahene@ug.edu.gh; victoria.rautenbach@up.ac.za
2
Computer Engineering Department, University of Ghana, Legon, PMB Legon, Accra, Ghana, West Africa
Abstract:
There are efforts, such as the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) aimed at promoting the use of Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G). A variety of geospatial free and open source software (FOSS) is available globally. Spatial data infrastructures (SDIs) are being developed by countries and organisations to facilitate access to, and the sharing of, geospatial data and information. The research presented in this paper aims to provide answers to the question: “To what extent are free and open source geospatial software used in SDIs?” There is a knowledge gap between SDIs and the usage of geospatial FOSS. Not much research has been done in closing this gap. In this paper, a qualitative assessment was carried out to investigate the use of geospatial FOSS in selected SDIs in Africa. The geospatial FOSS were categorised and SDIs were selected according to literature. The assessment focussed on the use of geospatial FOSS used in geoportals-a part of the SDI which is visible via the World Wide Web. This research seeks to use the extent of use as an indication of the maturity, acceptability and penetration of geospatial FOSS, especially among governments of countries around the world. The results of this assessment are presented in this paper. In future, we aim to improve on the methodology to include more geospatial FOSS and SDIs. This research contributes to bridging the knowledge gap between the usage of free and open source geospatial software and SDIs.
Keywords:
Free and open source geospatial software; spatial data infrastructure (SDI); usage; maturity; acceptability; penetration

Title: Communicating Data Quality and Uncertainty with Web Map Services
Authors:
Jonathan Blower *, Joan Maso, Daniel Diaz, Charles Roberts, Guy Griffiths
Abstract:
Geospatial information of many kinds, from topographic maps to scientific data, are increasingly being made available through web mapping services. These allow georeferenced map images to be served from data stores and displayed in websites and geographic information systems, where they can be integrated with other geographic information. The Open Geospatial Consortium's Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) standards have been widely adopted in diverse communities for sharing data in this way. However, current services typically provide little or no information about the quality or accuracy of the data they serve. This is a particular problem when scientific data (for example, climate projections, weather forecasts and satellite imagery) are used for decision-making purposes. How does the user know the level of confidence they should ascribe to the data they are visualising?
In this paper we will describe the design and implementation of new “quality-enabled” profiles of WMS and WMTS, which we call “WMS-Q” and “WMTS-Q”. These new specifications describe how web mapping services can be used to transmit information about data quality to the user. Such information can exist at many levels, from entire datasets to individual measurements, and includes the many different ways in which data uncertainty can be expressed. We also describe proposed extensions to the Symbology Encoding specification, which controls the appearance of map images. Our extensions include provision for visualising data uncertainty in a number of different ways, including contours, shading and bivariate colour maps.
We shall also describe a number of open-source implementations of the new specifications, which include both clients and servers. We show how WMS-Q and WMTS-Q can form essential components of a wider quality-enabled spatial data infrastructure (SDI) using innovations developed within the GeoViQua project. These innovations will enable SDIs such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to provide better information on data quality to its users, ultimately enabling them to make better decisions on how to use spatial data.

Title: An Open, Streaming Architecture for Geospatial Data
Authors:
Terence van Zyl, Graeme McFerren, Lauren Hankel
Abstract:
Enterprise Architectures, primarily of a service-oriented nature, are the predominant open architecture approach for delivering geospatial information systems. The open standards offerings of the Open Geospatial Consortium exemplify this approach, where well described and understood services are published, discovered and bound to form applications. An alternate or complimentary approach to the service oriented architecture style is one that is underpinned by geospatial data streams as the primary abstraction rather than services. This architecture is suited to an open data environment where the requirements/constraints of big data velocity, volume and heterogenous sources have become paramount, as exists in the emergent Internet Of Things concept. This architecture should support dynamic composition of unforeseen ephemeral or long lasting applications. This article presents an architectural framework that provides constructs for supporting these needs.

Title: Enabling semantic augmented and context-aware mobile Geospatial Business Intelligence (GeoBI) through open source components
Authors:
Belko Diallo, Thierry Badard *, Frédéric Hubert, Sylvie Daniel
Affiliations:
Centre for Research in Geomatics (CRG), Laval University, Quebec City (Quebec), G1V0A6, Canada
Abstract:
Companies are increasingly adopting Business Intelligence (BI) solutions and their geospatial extensions (GeoBI or Location Intelligence software) to provide their employees with better decision making capabilities. However, there is still a semantic gap within Geo/BI data structures (data warehouses, S/OLAP—Spatial/OnLine Analytical Processing-cubes) that does not always ease a straight and clear understanding and analysis of data (e.g. what does really mean this given measure? How is it computed? What is the uncertainty related to this measure?). Thanks to the recent lightning development of information and communication technologies (ICT), mobile BI has also been increasingly adopted by mobile professionals. However, most of today’s mobile BI applications mainly focus on allowing a remote access to BI data, but they totally ignore the mobile decision maker’s work context such like his/her business agenda, current location, contextual metrics/statistics regarding that location (e.g., average revenue per capita, rate of employment, most consumed products, etc.), etc. Whereas, according a Dresner’s 2013 study, location-awareness and context-awareness (application activity recognition) are among the top three priority requirements for mobile BI users. Therefore, there is a need for designing and developing a semantic-augmented and context aware mobile GeoBI solution.
If designing and developing a BI and mobile BI solution is somehow well known, building a context-aware and semantic augmented GeoBI solution remains a challenge. This paper attempts to address this challenge by presenting an open source semantic augmented and context-aware mobile GeoBI platform, assisting mobile users in their decision making process and supporting context-based reasoning. It is based on open source technologies and standards like: BPEL, OWL, GeoSPARQL, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, Apache Tomcat, Apache ODE, GeoMondrian S/OLAP server, Jena Reasoning framework, Parliament triple store.
Keywords:
Open source; geospatial Business Intelligence; mobile; context aware applications; semantic web

Last update: 30 October 2014

ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert