US: The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They aim to develop a global collaboration opportunities for academia, industry and government organisations in open source GIS software and data.
In addition, 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 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.”