The motto of ICA-OSGeo Labs initiative is “Geo For All.” The creativity, dynamism and high-profile success stories of the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial applications (FOSS4G) movement are attracting increasing attention from end users, developers, businesses, governments, educators and researchers around the world. The goal of the initiative is to promote and enhance education, research and service activities carried out by these stakeholders in the area of Open Geospatial Science & Applications all over the world. By combining the potential of free and open GI software, open data, open standards, open access to research publications, open education resources in Geospatial education and research will enable creation of sustainable innovation ecosystem to advance the discipline. This is key for widening geospatial education opportunities, accelerating new discoveries and helping solving global cross disciplinary societal challenges from Climate change mitigation to sustainable cities.
Free and Open Source Geospatial technologies are critical for both developed and developing countries as it lowers the access cost to geospatial software for education, government and industry applications; enhancement of research and teaching in geospatial science and technology; research and development of Spatial Data Infrastructures and need for more transparency, accessibility and long term sustainability. It also creates healthy competition for proprietary software. This has been the key reason why government organisations, universities and private companies, are turning to FOSS4G to carry out their missions. For universities, educational institutions, Open Geospatial Science & Applications is especially important as it helps in empowerment of staff and students, capacity building, create openness in Geo Education for developing creative and open minds in students which is critical for building open innovation and contributes to building up Open Knowledge for the benefit of the whole society and for our future generations.
We look forward to working with you all for making geospatial education, software and opportunities accessible to all.