First Australian open source geospatial laboratory

By on 23 July, 2013

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The University of Melbourne will be home to Australia’s first open source geospatial laboratory, which will support urban research and educational excellence through the use of geospatial data and tools.

The software used to support activities of the laboratory is all open source. This open source geospatial laboratory is a joint initiative of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

The Laboratory will undertake research and provide training resources that use digital data and analytical and visualisation tools to up-skill students from many different disciplines in evidence-based decision-making practices. Training will be delivered via integration into existing University curriculum, and through a series of workshops and short-courses.

The laboratory will use the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) – a $20 million open source e-infrastructure initiative that is unlocking datasets of relevance to Australia’s cities, and providing an analytical toolkit to inform sustainable urban futures.

The laboratory will see scientists and practitioners from the ICA and OSGeo collaborate with University colleagues.  This Australian facility will be part of a global network of open geospatial research labs known as ICA-OSGeo labs. Currently there are 22 ICA-OSGeo labs operating globally.

Dr Christopher Pettit, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Victorian Chair of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), and Strategic Implementation Co-ordinator of AURIN will lead the initiative.

“The University of Melbourne is one of the top research universities in the world, and has been a pioneer in Australian geospatial science research,” said Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

“We are delighted to collaborate with the ICA and OSGeo to create this opportunity for our students and researchers, which will encourage open geospatial teaching and related research in other universities.”

The facility will open in Spring 2014.

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