Inauguration of Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics

International Institute of Information Technology, Pune

in collaboration with OSGeo Foundation

17-18 August, 2018

About Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics

Geo enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the mainstay of several national initiatives such as Digital India, Smart Cities Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Geo-ICT research contributes to the development of various location-aware technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile sensors (weather, environment, water & air pollution etc), and remote sensing (satellites, UAV’s, drone, aerial etc). Applied Geoinformatics, using tools such as Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing, supports an increasingly wide range of disciplines that include the arts, humanities, social/natural/health sciences and engineering.

The Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics, is an initiative aimed at promoting education, research and support services for Information Communication Technology (ICT) enablement of Geospatial applications using open source solutions. Its main efforts are geared towards increasing awareness, understanding, appreciation and application of Geospatial solutions using a participatory and community driven approach. Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics was inaugurated by Prof Venkatesh Raghavan, who is one of the founding members of Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) at I2IT campus. Center is focused to various facets of Geoinformation technology and systems in the form of research, outreach and consultancy. The research activities in the center are in the form of community development projects and sponsored projects by national & international funding agencies. Faculty members form all departments of the institute such as Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering, Computer Engineering and Information Technology are associated with the center for the promotion of interdisciplinary research for sustainable development.

Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics has hosted an Inaugural International Workshop on Free & Open Source Solutions for Geoinformatics (FOSS4G) for Digital & Skill India during 17-18 August 2018 at I2IT, Hinjawadi, Pune. This workshop was focused on how the geospatial ecosystem comprising of Open Source Software, Open Data and Open Standards can be leveraged for deploying Geo-ICT based participatory platform with emphasis on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) applications. This workshop introduced the MapMint framework that provides quick and easy way to build and manage geospatial web applications using Open Source, Open Standards and Open Data. Open Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations plan, collect, and manage field data using a mobile device. In addition to socio-economic and health surveys with GPS locations and images, ODK is being used to create decision support for health surveys, for building multimedia-rich natural heritage mapping & environmental monitoring. ODK has been prime focus in recently held outreach programme on “Geospatial Inputs for Enabling Master Plan Formulation under AMRUT Sub-scheme” by Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) of Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) during July 2018. This can enable citizen centric crowd sourcing information using android mobile apps for India’s mission of smart villages & cities.

For further details, Logon to OSGeo Wiki Page:

https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/I2IT-CoE

Key Resource Persons for the International Workshop:

Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan, Ex-President, OSGeo Foundation, Osaka City University, Japan: He gave insights of geoinformatics applications in urban management, citizen based assisted location based services, disaster management quoting the example of recent devasted floods in Kerala. Encouraged the youth of the nation to take up in spreading FOSS4G ahead.

Mr. Gerald Fenoy, Founder & CEO, GeoLabs SARL, France: He has thrown light on mapmint software and its implementation with hands-on sessions.

Mr. Ravi Kumar Vundavalli, Secretary, OSGeo India: He took us back to 2003, wherein then president, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, stressed on the usage of open source for software development, during the dedication to the nation ceremony of I2IT, pune, from the same daises. He also pointed out the importance of converting the software languages into local language for the ease of use by farmers and locals.

Prof. Natraj Vaddadi, Principal Consultant, U Vee Infosystems, India: He focused on ODK hands-on sessions and briefed it various applications in contributing to smart cities & smart villages campaign of Indian government.

Other attendees were:

Mr. Vivek Saxena, DTRL, DRDO, India

Mr. Harish Solanki, (National Institute of Rural Development)NIRD, India

Inauguration of Center of Excellence in Geoinformatics at I2IT, Pune

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