US: Boundless, the leader in open and scalable GIS, announced its partnership with the United Nations (UN) to support its UN Open GIS Initiative, which aides UN operations around the world through open source geospatial software and services. With Boundless’ technology, the UN can leverage a hybrid architecture approach and maintain interoperability with existing software systems to maximize the value of its open technology and open data in global peacekeeping and other UN operations.
The UN Open GIS Initiative aims to identify and develop open source geospatial software and services that meet the requirements of UN operations, taking full advantage of the expertise of mission partners including member states, technology contributing countries, international organizations, academia, NGOs and the private sector. The scope of the initiative covers software development for the entire lifecycle of geospatial information at the enterprise level, from data collection, management and sharing to geospatial analysis and web and mobile applications. The initiative also focuses on the technology’s sustainability and eventual transfer from the UN to other potential user groups as well as developing countries.
“Boundless is honored to be a critical part of the UN Open GIS Initiative, and proud to see the real-world impact our open source software and technology is supporting for UN peacekeeping operations around the world,” said Anthony Calamito, Chief Geospatial Officer at Boundless. “The ability to use Boundless in a hybrid architecture enables the organization to share freely with other UN operational partners and nations and interoperate with existing technologies already in use. It enables rapid innovation and prevents single vendor lock-in.”
The UN deployed Boundless’ technology after nearly two years of planning and development and a successful demonstration in a simulated UN field operational environment. To meet UN-specific requirements, Boundless added customized functionality to Boundless Exchange (or GeoSHAPE-Exchange) and Boundless Anywhere (or GeoSHAPE-Anywhere), its content management and mobile GIS offerings, respectively, which are now actively deployed and operational in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
“We are very glad to see and prove, through the operational demonstration at the UN Regional Service Centre in Entebbe with Boundless’ open GIS solutions, that open source geospatial solutions are much needed tools for peacekeepers in the UN field operational environment, and it will definitely impact positively on UN peacekeeping operations, enhancing situational awareness and creating common operational picture,” said Kyoung-Soo Eom, Chief of UN Geospatial Information Section. “Open source geospatial solutions in a hybrid architecture will effectively support the increased and complex UN operational demands in a more flexible and scalable manner, and will also allow to share the solutions with UN operational partners and transfer the technology and experience to social community and host nations.”